Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fireboat


In August 2002, my wife, our kids, and I went to New York City. A couple of weeeks before going to NY, we were in a Barnes and Noble when we found a children's book with some pictures of New York on the cover. A reading of the book can be found on the YouTube video below. It is a fantastic children's book about a real life story about the little engine that could.

When we read the book to our childred, it was about a Fireboat that was commissioned in 1934. It was a great fireboat protecting New York's piers from Fire. The name of the boat is the John J Harvey.

After 60+ years of fighting fires, it was deemed no longer necessary and sold off for scrap. A group of preservationists bought the boat in 1999 and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars renovating it.

On the morning of September 11th, the crew of the Harvey called FDNY to see if there was anything they could do to help. After initially being told to help shuttle people out of Manhattan, they were called back to help put out the WTC fires since none of the hydrants were working. For the next few days, the John J Harvey and 2 other fireboats helped pump water from the Hudson to the WTC.

When we got to New York my daughter wanted to see two things, the Statue of Liberty and the John J Harvey Fireboat. After a little internet research, we found it was docked at Pier 63. The next day we went to see this boat and were happy to find that it was going for a ride. We were treated to a 2 hour ride on the Harvey boat and had the honor of hearing the first hand stories of some true 9/11 heroes.

Unfortunately, the Harvey is in need of some major repairs again, if you are interested in learning more about this story or making a donation visit http://www.fireboat.org/index.asp.

The 9/11 Harvey story written by Huntley Gill who was one of the people that both helped preserve the Harvey and helped on 9/11 can be found here.

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