Pasco Fire Department utilizes new rescue boat to fight McNary D - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Pasco Fire Department utilizes new rescue boat to fight McNary Dam wildfire

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PASCO, WA - A part of the wildfire near the McNary Dam last Friday was put out by crews utilizing a unique tool the Pasco Fire Department has: their rescue boat.

The department calls the boat they've only had for about 18 months a "vital piece of fire suppression equipment."

15 firefighters on the water rescue team are also trained to handle things like oil spills or medical calls on the water.

When fighting fires, the boat uses an unlimited supply of water.

Pasco Fire says they haven't utilized the firefighting capabilities much because other agencies in our area just don't realize it's possible.

"Having a boat capable of supplying the water and being able to get into areas that would've been really tough to get a tender and hand crews in there works out really nice for all the surrounding fire districts," said Kevin Sugden, firefighter/paramedic for City of Pasco.

Crews can also connect multiple hoses from what's known as "Travis packs" to the water cannon. This would give firefighters at least another 500 feet to work with if a fire is not right on the shore.

And response time isn't too long either. Pasco Fire says it's between six to eight minutes from the time they get a call to getting crews in the boat and on the water.