The William M. Feehan is a 66-foot long, jet-propelled fireboat named for FDNY First Commissioner William M. Feehan, who died during the World Trade Center response on Sept. 11, 2001. (FDNY photo)

FDNY Christens New Fireboat

It is named for First Deputy Commissioner William M. Feehan, who died Sept. 11, 2001, when the South Tower collapsed at the World Trade Center site. The second-highest-ranking FDNY member killed on that day, he was the oldest responder to the site.

New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro and Chief of Department James E. Leonard joined family members, colleagues, and friends of First Deputy Commissioner William M. Feehan on Nov. 20 to christen a new FDNY fireboat named in Feehan's honor at South Street Seaport. He responded to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and was killed by the collapse of the South Tower -- the second-highest-ranking FDNY member killed on that day. Age 71, he also was the oldest responder to the site, according to the department.

His name on the boat's cabin is made from steel recovered from the World Trade Center site. "With this state-of-the-art fireboat, Bill Feehan will once more serve and protect New York City and its more than 520 miles of coastline," Nigro said. "On every response, this fireboat will honor Commissioner Feehan's bravery, leadership, and his 42-year legacy of tremendous service."

The 66-foot, 90,000-pound, jet-propelled fireboat can pump more than 8,000 gallons of water a minute. Costing $4.7 million, it was built in Canada by Metalcraft Marine and was largely funded through FEMA's Port Security Grant Program. The boat has a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear system to protect occupants within a pressurized and filtered cabin on board, and it is designed to operate close to shore in shallow bay areas. "The Feehan will enable us to respond even more quickly to the numerous emergencies we face on the waterways of our city. And it will mean we can continue to bring the firefighting resources and advanced medical care needed right to the scene of an emergency, wherever that may be," said Leonard. "In this department, everything we do is looking forward to improving our capabilities, but at the same time, we always remember and honor our past and all the great men and women who came before us."

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