26 Firefighters from Newport FD Participate in Yacht and Marina Blaze Training

Photos below taken at Newport Shipyard on Weds., Sept 14 during the Newport FD tour of the Shipyard and two yachts.

Classroom Training and Newport Shipyard Tour Follows Newport City Council
Recent Decision to Accept Fed Grant for a New Fire/Rescue Boat

What: On the eve of the Newport Boat Show, some 26 land-based firefighters from the Newport Fire Department will go back to school for two days of special training in how to fight fires aboard yachts, ships, and in marinas and yacht yards. The program is the only one of its kind in the nation and will be led by retired U.S. Navy Firefighter Tom Jones. It will include classroom instruction and a private yacht facility tour.

The training follows the Newport City Council’s 5-2 decision to accept a federal grant for the procurement of a new CRBNE Fire/Rescue Boat (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive). A neighboring town’s fire department reports that 2016 has been the worst year for boat fires, distress alarms and accidents on the water including seven boat fires and 72 distress alarms. Portsmouth, Providence and North Kingstown are currently the only first responders on Narragansett Bay that have a boat with firefighting capabilities.

The program will be hosted by AIG’s Private Client Group, which insures many yachts in Newport, Resolve Maritime Academy, a leader in yacht and shipboard firefighter training, and the Newport Shipyard.  Video of a previous AIG-hosted training.

Here’s a link to footage of a boat ablaze in Newport Harbor. 

Who: 26 firefighters from the Newport Fire Department including:

  • Deputy Chief Dave Egan
  • Tom Jones, Retired U.S. Navy Firefighter, Head Instructor
  • Cliff Charlock, Manager, Fire & Safety Group; Resolve Maritime Academy
  • Carl Lessard, Yacht Loss Prevention Specialist, AIG, and program coordinator
  • Eli Dana, General Manager and Dock Master of Newport Shipyard

When & Where (Media ops):

 Tuesday, September 13 (8:30am-4:30pm) 

Newport Fire Department Headquarters
21 W Marlborough St, Newport, RI

Classroom review of theory and practical elements of shipboard fire fighting   

Wednesday, September 14 (8am-12Noon)

Newport Shipyard
1 Washington St, Newport, RI

Firefighters on private tour of Newport Shipyard;
Walk through of vessels from a firefighting perspective; 
Luncheon & Roundtable discussion;

Why: Yacht fires in marinas or boatyards are typically fought by firefighters who have been trained to fight fires in buildings and homes. Yacht and marina fires have distinct characteristics with a potential to rapidly spread to adjacent yachts in high-concentration facilities. In addition, inherent problems exist when fighting yacht fires with water, as specialized techniques are required. A sinking yacht could cause higher losses and pollution-related expenses.      


Advance: Peter Himler, for AIG Private Client Group, phimler@flatironcomm.com (m) 516-729-6461, or Sam Crichton, sam@samcrichton.com, 401 787 2250

On-Site: Carl Lessard, AIG, carl.lessard@aig.com (m) 858-790-1743 or 508-566-0200