The Cambridge Fire Department Marine Unit responds to maritime fires, dive missions, emergency medical calls, and hazmat spills on the water. The Unit is a member of the Massachusetts Bay Maritime Firefighting Task Force, providing mutual aid fire boat response in the greater Boston area, and north and south shores. The Marine Unit is also a member of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Harbormasters and Maritime Professionals Association. The unit has participated in many large scale exercises with our response partners from the fire service, law enforcement, and EMS.
Marine 1 is a custom built, welded aluminum fire/rescue boat, designed and built by Response Marine and Viking Welding and Fabrication in Kensington, NH, model FR30. The length is 34' overall and beam is 10'7". It's powered by 2 Mercury Verado 250hp outboard motors. The 1500gpm Hale fire pump is powered by a 5.7L Kodiak marine engine, and it feeds a 1250gpm forward monitor, a 350gpm aft monitor, two 2 1/2" and one 4" Storz discharges. It is equipped with firefighting tools, EMS equipment, FLIR camera, heat and air conditioning, generator, 35 gallon foam tank, marine head, dive door with integrated boarding ladder, CBRNE detection, and a state of the art navigation system with 3 screens for radar, GPS, chart plotter, side imaging sonar, and automatic identification system. Side scan sonar, multi-beam scanning sonar, and the remote operated underwater vehicle can also be deployed from Marine 1.
Cambridge Fire's Marine Unit 1 was named after the first African American Fire Chief in the United States. Here is a bio of Chief Raymond:
PATRICK H. RAYMOND
1831 – 1892
Civil War Veteran, Newspaper Editor, and Fire Chief
Marker location: 10 Pleasant Street
Patrick H. Raymond, the first African American fire chief, was born in Philadelphia, the son of the Reverend John and Susan Raymond. His father, a runaway slave from Virginia who became a well-known abolitionist in New York City, was one of the early pastors of the African Meeting House in Boston. About 1847, the Raymond family moved to Cambridge, where they lived on Washington Street near Kendall Square in the "lower Port," Cambridge’s first African American neighborhood. Raymond worked as a shoemaker before becoming a journalist at the Boston Herald and the Boston Advertiser. Able to pass as white, he and his brother joined the navy in 1862.
In 1864, Raymond returned to Cambridge, and in 1869 became the editor of the weekly Cambridge Press. In 1871, Mayor Hamlin Harding, a former editor of the paper, appointed him chief engineer of the Cambridge Fire Department. In 1870, the department had four assistant engineers, fifteen foremen, nine drivers, fifty-two part-time firemen, and a telegraph operator. The horse-drawn apparatus consisted of four steam fire engines and a hook and ladder truck. Over the next seven years, Raymond was able to triple the annual budget of the department, creating two new fire companies and building new firehouses on Portland Street and Western Avenue and in Brattle and Inman squares. Raymond suffered intense criticism from his rivals at the Cambridge Chronicle, but he survived eight years in office and served at the pleasure of four mayors. During his tenure he lived at 10 Pleasant Street, which was across Green Street from the City Hall of that time.
After Raymond was replaced as chief in 1878, he continued as editor and business agent of the Cambridge Press until 1890. He was elected corresponding secretary of the National Association of Fire Engineers in 1873 and was a charter member of the John A. Logan Post, Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Civil War veterans. His nephew, Theodore Raymond, was a real estate developer and longtime civic leader. Patrick Raymond died on July 28, 1892, and was buried in Cambridge Cemetery.
A History of the Fire Service in Cambridge, 1888
Cambridge Chronicle, April 6, 1878 and August 29, 1903 (photo)
Boston Transcript, July 29, 1892
City of Cambridge Historical Commission
Marine 2 is a 2014 Ribcraft 7.0. It is 24’ feet long and powered by a 295hp diesel engine and Hamilton Jet drive. It is kept at Engine 5 and will be used for surface and subsurface water rescue, CBRNE detection, and oil boom deployment.
Marine 3 is a 2004 12ft Zodiac inflatable with a 30HP Evinrude pump jet outboard motor, kept on a trailer at Engine 9 for response to Fresh Pond or mutual aid, and is ideal for urban flooding rescue.