RUTHERFORD, N.J. — There was no doubt that Rutherford firefighters would welcome a new $25,000 rescue boat -- not after its 30-year-old predecessor stalled on a recent call.
A motorcyclist who got thrown from Route 3 into the Passaic River in late August was holding onto a pillar from the bridge when the call came in.
Unable to get their boat started, firefighters borrowed one from the Nereid Boat Club.
“It’s something we've needed for quite sometime,” Rutherford Fire Chief Craig Scott said on Monday, a day after the new rig was delivered. “It’s going to make rescue during flooding on the streets and shallow waters a lot easier.”
“The fire department does a phenominal job,” said Councilman Jack Manzo, the fire department liaison. “Anything the mayor and council can do to make their job easier is a no brainer. [I]t will make it safer for all of us.”
The need was definitely there.
“This year alone we pulled three bodies out of the Passaic River,” including the motorcyclist, said Scott, calling the previous boat "barely seaworthy.”
“It’s been a long time coming and we are very happy we can provide a new level of safety for everyone,” the chief said.
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