ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) - The Elmira Fire Department is getting a new river rescue boat.
It's being bought and donated by the Chemung River Friends. It's thanks to a $9,600 grant from the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes. The fire department and River Friends are each investing $250 in the project.
The 14-foot, eight-person, inflatable boat, and the motor will be owned, maintained, and stored by the fire department. Officials say it will make responding to river rescues easier, quicker, and safer for firefighters.
It's replacing a 25-year-old solid hull boat and prop motor. The old boat will be repaired and used as a backup when needed, according to Fire Chief Joe Martino.
The new boat will also be shared with the Chemung River Friends. the River Friends will use it to monitor and clean up river pollution and dump sites, remove paddling hazards, and teach water safety classes.