On the eve of the Newport Boat Show, some 26 land-based firefighters from the Newport Fire Department will go back to school for two days of special training in how to fight fires aboard yachts, ships, and in marinas and yacht yards. The program is the only one of its kind in the nation and will be led by retired U.S. Navy Firefighter Tom Jones. It will include classroom instruction and a private yacht facility tour.
The training follows the Newport City Council’s 5-2 decision to accept a federal grant for the procurement of a new CRBNE Fire/Rescue Boat (Chemical, Radiological, Biological, Nuclear and Explosive). Another local fire department reports that 2016 has been the worst year for boat fires, distress alarms and accidents on the water including seven boat fires and 72 distress alarms. Portsmouth, Providence, and North Kingstown are currently the only first responders on Narragansett Bay that have a boat with firefighting capabilities.
The program will be hosted by AIG’s Private Client Group, which insures many yachts in Newport, Resolve Maritime Academy, a leader in yacht and shipboard firefighter training, and the Newport Shipyard.