New life-saving tool on Lake Pleasant

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Peoria Fire Department now has its own boat for use on Lake Pleasant.

The boat will make it much easier for firefighters to respond to emergency calls on the lake.

In the past, firefighters would have to rely on other boaters to get them out on the water or bring injured people to shore.

"It would sometimes take us 20, 25, 30 minutes for us to get to people or for people to get to us. Now we can get to them," said Deputy Chief Rick Picard with the Peoria Fire Department.

The new boat can get fire crews to any spot on the lake in just six minutes.

The boat is equipped with a special door that makes it easy to get patients on board.

"We can walk out on it. We can have several people out there working if we need to. It gives us a lot of flexibility" said Picard.

The boat also has a lot of versatility. It is equipped with a high-pressure pump that allows it to be used to fight fires.

The $178,00 rescue boat was purchased with grant money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Tohono O'odham Nation.

"This is a new service and it's not like we could go to another department in the Valley and say 'hey how are you doing this' because nobody's really providing this level of service on a recreational lake like this," explained Picard. "So we're developing this as we go."

It's hard work that these firefighters hope will save lives.