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On December 27, 1961, she slipped into


the Willamette River at Portland, OR with six engines, two propellers and a capacity of 9000 GPM. The 76-1/2 foot vessel had a 24 foot beam and cost $639,000. A classic-of modern design, she featured variable pitch propellers, maneuvering jets, special underwharf nozzles and dual pilot house controls. February 22, 1962, she sailed into Los Angeles Harbor with blaring horns and water displays. Located temporarily at Boat 2’s quar- ters, she eventually moved to Berth 29 at Fort MacArthur where the boat sat outside and the crew lived in some old government buildings. That same year, Fire Station.101 opened in the South Shores area of San Pedro.


Fire Service Day in 1965, Fireboats 1,


2 and 4 were christened with the names Ar- chibald J. Eley, Ralph J, Scott and Bethel F. Gifford, respectively, in ceremonies honoring these outstanding Chief Officers. 20,000 peo-


ple watched as the boats put on a water display parade in the Main Channel.


1967 was the year that new Fire Sta- tion 49 was completed at 400 Matsonia Way in Wilmington, and Fireboat 4 was moved into the adjoining covered boat house. On July 28, the LAFD also took delivery of two new identi- cal twin fire/rescue boats, one to replace aging Boat 3 and the other designated Fireboat S and quartered at Boat 4’s old berth at Fort MacAr- thur.


Built by Drakecraft in Oxnard, they


were 34 feet long with a 12-1/2 foot beam, had a fibre-glass over plywood hull, three engines, two propellers and a 750 GPM pump. A third Drakecraft was later launched with the same hull but a different cabin and engine arrange- ment. It was designated Fireboat 1 to replace the old boat in the Fish Harbor. The decade ended with still another


major improvement in fire fighting capability. Because of its age, Fireboat 2 was slated to be scrapped in favor of a smaller, less effective craft. Through the outstanding efforts of Cap- tain Warner L. Lawrence, a decision was made to cut the size of the crew and spend $239,000 on remodeling to make it one of the most for- midable fire vessels in the world.


It took one year of planning and another


The Ralph J. Scott now modernized, coming out of the boathouse on Terminal Island


in a local shipyard to produce the new fireboat. She sported the latest in “state of the art” hard- ware including all new stainless steel hydraulic turrets, underwater maneuvering jets, large ca- pacity underwharf nozzles, six special bulwark nozzles, hydraulic steering, direct control of propulsion engines, a power lift boom and hy- draulic winches. At her recommissioning, Oc- tober 29, 1969, she was described as the most modern and practical fire fighting boat afloat.


December 1976 - Fireboat 2 “The Scott” stands by the stern of the supertanker “Sansinena


A LEVELING OFF PERIOD (1970S) The 70’s brought fewer changes. New station numbers were assigned to Boat 5, Boat 1 and Boat 2, listing them as Fire Stations 110, 111 and 112 respectively. Budget consider- ations caused the closing of Fire Station 36, and Engine 40 was moved into Fire Station 112 to facilitate training needs at the drill tower. This was the first of several openings and clos- ings of Fire Station 40 until finally the station


and drill tower were abandoned and later torn down to make way for harbor expansion. The evening of December 17, 1976,


was suddenly shattered by an enormous explo- sion and fireball in outer harbor. The supertank- er “Sansinena” had blown up at her moorings at Berth 46, killing nine and injuring 22. Fire- boat 5 rescued 18 crewmen from the water as firefighters battled the awesome holocaust for many hours. As a result of this catastrophe, a new policy of company tanker inspection was inaugurated by the LAFD to help prevent simi- lar disasters in the future.


April 15, 1980, a new station was opened in Harbor City on the same site as old Fire Station 85. It was joined at the new station by a task force later in the year.


Bill’s great story ends here. The following con- tinued history was written by Frank Borden


THE PORT GROWS (1980’S AND 1990’S) The commerce in the Port continued to


grow through two decades with the fire protec- tion capability and services remaining about the same with a few exceptions to increase services such as tank ship inspections. In 1989 Fireboat No. 2 “The Ralph J. Scott” was desig- nated as a National Historic Landmark and was also designated a City of Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Landmark.


A NEW CENTURY (2000) After serving the Port for nearly 78


years Fireboat 2 “The Ralph J. Scott” was re- tired in 2003 with a major ceremony in the har- bor. New Fireboat 2, “The Warner Lawrence” was christened along with three new fire rescue boats.


In 2004 the “Scott” was removed from the water and placed on a land berth adjacent to Fire Station 112 where volunteers from the LAFDHS began the work to restore the boat. It remained outside in the weather for several years until the Port of LA provided a large canopy to cover the boat making the restora- tion work far more effective and long lasting. Remember Bill Dahlquist’s saying “rust never sleeps.”


Our newest Fireboats are taking the


Old Boat 2 the “Ralph J. Scott” retired and the new Boat 2 “The Warner L. Lawrence” is christened - 2003.


52 • August 2016


heights in capability and technology. The new boats are the result of a ten-year, joint effort project between the Fire Department and the Port of Los Angeles. This process researched the current and projected future port protection role of the Fire Service. The port’s hazards, po- tential, and expansion projects were studied in close detail. Target hazards were measured for fire flow, fire stream reach, potential Firefight- ing Foam requirements, alternate water source needs and a wide range of other criteria. Once this was accomplished, the data was compared against our existing Fireboat capabilities, and the potential for enhancement, or reduction was carefully studied. On completion, a list of


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