Boat Made 180 Runs and Pumped Over 14 Million Gallons Water at Fires—System Protects Craft from Gasoline Vapor Hazards

THE gasoline fire boat, John J. Harvey, flagship of the marine fire fighters of New York City, celebrated her first year of active service December 17. Despite skeptics and apprehensive ones, the Harvey did not blow up during the past twelve months. She had one mishap at the Cunard pier fire last May, when a piston shaft tore a rent in the housing of one of her five engines and the sizzling hot oil flashed fire into the bilge. The fire was so quickly extinguished with the CO2 system that the boat resumed pumping operations within forty minutes.

The Harvey, pumped a total of 14,026,308 gallons of water between December 17, 1931, and the same date in 1932. She had 180 runs, worked 59 1/2 hours on fire duty, traveled 706 miles, used 25,713 gallons of gasoline, 757 gallons of lubricating oil and 20,662 gallons of fuel oil. The cost for repairs, supplies, fuel, oil, etc., during the year was $5,861.13.

At the Cunard Pier fire she delivered 12,289,123 gallons of water. Last Decoration Day she delivered 115,320 gallons during five hours duty; at the Coney Island conflagration last July she pumped in Jamaica Bay to the Coney Island high pressure system to augment it and delivered 1,248,400 gallons.

The boat attains 20 knots an hour, needs no fuel at her berth, no human energy is required to maintain speed, she can operate continuously for 24 hours without refuelling, can supply electric current ashore, is designed to combat ice floes, can be navigated by twin propellers if the rudder fails, can be refuelled while at her berth without going out of service, each of the four pumps has its own separate suction bay, she has twice as many deck turrets as any other fire boat and her gasoline supply in tanks does not invite explosion due to vapors because of the aqua-marine system which supplies water in the tank in an amount equivalent to the gasoline consumed, thereby maintaining at all times a “solid tank” and thus defeating the possibility of the congregation of gases or gasoline vapors.

Only one kind of oil for lubrication is required throughout the vessel. The fact that she is of the gasoline-electric type of simple operation exempts her from inspection by the United States Steamboat Inspection Service. As an auxiliary to high pressure systems ashore, she can and has delivered 16,000 gallons of sea water a minute at 150 pounds pressure. The Harvey was built by the Todd Shipyards in Brooklyn.

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