The speed of Friday Harbor's fire boat Confidence came in handy June 26. A man anchored off Sucia Island suffered from anaphylactic shock after eating seafood. Friday Harbor Fire Department Training Officer Frank Chaffee said the call came in after 1 a.m. The Coast Guard was at least an hour away and did not carry epinephrine. A paramedic, firefighters and emergency medical technicians responded and saved the man's life.
Friday Harbor Town Council authorized the purchase of an $85,946.56 26-foot fire boat for the town's Fire Department. The Port of Friday Harbor will pay one-fourth the cost. A grant from the Confidence Foundation will cover half the cost.
Almar Aluminum Marine Construction, Inc. of Tacoma was the low bidder. There were three other bids ranging from $92,471.41 to $149,681.70. The bids included sales tax.
Town Administrator King Fitch said an interlocal agreement still needs to be drawn up between the Port of Friday Harbor and the Town. He told the town council during their March 6, 2003 meeting, he was hoping to expedite the process since "the Lucy T is again down and out of service as we speak."
The new fire boat is scheduled to be ready for delivery at the end of June, 2003.
Friday Harbor Fire Chief Bob Low said the specifications for the new fire boat for the town have been finished. He turned them over to Town Administrator King Fitch. The next step will be a request for bids.
The Friday Harbor Town Council, the Port of Friday Harbor will each contribute $22,000 towards the purchase. The Confidence Foundation is donating $44,000.The fire boat will replace the Lucy T.
Friday Harbor Town Council cast a vote for Confidence, a new fireboat July 11, 2002. The boat will replace the Lucy T. Half of the estimated $87,000 cost of the new boat will be paid for by a donation from the Confidence Foundation. The other half will be split by the Port of Friday Harbor and the Town.
Councilmember David Jones made a motion: "Move to commit the Town to fund said purchase of boat subject to the drafting of a mutually agreed upon inter-local agreement. The motion was necessary to move the boat purchase process forward. Town Administrator King Fitch wouldn't allow Town Attorney Don Eaton to draft an interlocal agreement with the Port because the town had not committed to any funding.
Fitch recommended against the motion. He said, "We need to be cautious about committing funds. I'm reluctant to put in a commitment for funding until you look at all the other needs." He suggested the council authorize the drafting of an interlocal agreement but stop short of committing to the funding.
Councilmember Wally Gillette cited two recent marina fires in Seattle as examples of the need for a fireboat. The council voted unanimously to pass the motion as presented by Jones.
Eaton and Charles Jackson, Port of Friday Harbor attorney will work out the details of the interlocal agreement and it will then be presented to the Town Council and to the Port of Friday Harbor Commissioners. At their July 10 port meeting, Commissioner Mike Ahrenius asked if the boat purchase would mitigate any of the need for dry lines at the marina. The lines have foam for fighting fires.
Harbormaster Ed Barrett said, "Fire Chief Bob Low said he would view with eye toward mitigation but the law is the law regarding the fire code."