Floating fire museum coming to Greenport?

12/20/2012 8:00 AM |

The New York City Fire Department’s loss could be Greenport’s gain if the village decides to provide winter berthing for a retired 120-foot-long fireboat and floating museum named Firefighter.

The working fireboat, which was used by the fire department on Sept. 11, 2001, will soon be losing its dockage at the Brooklyn Navy Yard due to budget cuts. The non-profit Fireboat Firefighter Museum, which now owns the boat, would ultimately like to keep it at the commercial dock near the Greenport railroad station but would like to use the marina at Mitchell Park this winter. The village would need approval from the county, which jointly owns the commercial dock, to lease space there to the fireboat.

The diesel fireboat was built by United Ship Yards in Staten Island in 1938 and fought more than 50 fires before it was retired in 2010.

Members of the Greenport Village Board expressed interest in the proposal at a work session Monday night.

“I think it’s a really cool offer. It has a lot of pluses for the village as a whole,” said Mayor David Nyce. “I’ve already talked to the Seaport Museum and they’re interested in working with them. They would go from port to port, but this would be their home port.”

Mr. Nyce said the fireboat is still capable of pumping 18,000 gallons of water per minute and could be put into use if there is a fire on the water, though he said he believes it is a little big to be used in the Sterling Harbor boat basin.

Board members agreed to discuss the proposal with the county.

“I would hate to lose this opportunity if we don’t act,” said board member Dave Murray.