Congressman Carnahan Joins St. Louis Fire Department To Announce Funding For New Fire Boats And Marina

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May 24, 2012

(St. Louis, MO) – Congressman Russ Carnahan (MO-3) joined St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson and St. Louis Deputy Chief Michael Arras Thursday morning for a news conference to announce the acquisition of two fire boats and a self-sufficient Base of Operations for the fire boats to utilize, which will float on the Mississippi River.

Combined, the projects will add nearly $3 million in new acquisitions being made by the Fire Department to protect St. Louis residents.

Rep. Carnahan was instrumental in securing most of the funding for three projects that will drastically improve the response time and effectiveness of St. Louis’ public safety organizations along the Mississippi River.

“I was so proud to get this job done,” said Rep. Carnahan. “It is a tough environment right now for city and state offices, with budget cuts and reduced tax revenues. However, we cannot let that remove our responsibility to the people who rely on us; the people of the State of Missouri.”

The first project secured by the Fire Department, a 27-foot fire boat, was funded by the 2007 Port Security Grant administered by the Department of Homeland Security. Unfortunately, St. Louis City was unable to come up with matching funds in time to build the boat. Rep. Carnahan worked with FEMA and DHS to negotiate an extension, allowing the $300,000 boat to be built and delivered to St. Louis City this fall.

For the second project, a 40-foot fire boat and the floating, self-sufficient Base of Operations for the two boats, Rep. Carnahan secured a matching funds waiver worth more than $700,000 to the city. The waiver will allow St. Louis to receive more than $2 million in grants for the two projects, while not having to spend the previously required 25 percent in matching funds, saving desperately needed funds in tough economic times.

“The men and women of our fire service put their lives in danger every time they respond to a call, whether it’s medical, a fire, an alarm or to pull someone out of a crushed car,” said Rep. Carnahan. “We do not expect them to go to work in fire engines that are beat up, unable to pump water, missing tires, or anything similar. We try to give them the tools they need to do their jobs. There is no reason that goal should be limited to traditional fire service roles.”

Prior to the news conference, Rep. Carnahan was given a tour of the Mississippi River aboard the current St. Louis City Fire Department boat to examine the challenges in first response and homeland security created by the River.



boat_photo_1Congressman Russ Carnahan addresses the media

during the announcement of the new boats and marina station.







boat_photo_2Congressman Carnahan joins Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson aboard the 27' fire boat "Jack Buck", which is slated to be replaced by the newly acquired vessel.



boat_photo_3Congressman Carnahan and Fire Department officials examine challenges faced by the 27' fireboat "Jack Buck."