The Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum in Greenport, Long Island, is celebrating the William Francis Gibbs-designed vessel's 80th birthday this month with a variety of festivities — including a rechristening of the ship by Gibbs' granddaughter, SS United States Conservancy Executive Director Susan Gibbs.
Don't miss the exciting weekend-long celebration, August 24th - 26th. Learn more:
"Fire Fighter was active with the New York City Fire Department from 1938 to 2010, the year FDNY decommissioned and retired the ship. In 2012, ownership of Fire Fighter was transferred to the Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the ship as a fully operational vessel, memorial, and teaching museum. She was then relocated to Greenport in February 2013 and docked next to the North Ferry, where she’ll live out her golden years.
In her prime, Fire Fighter’s crew fought over 50 major fires, including fires aboard the SS Normandie, El Estero, Esso Brussels, and Sea Witch, as well as several dozen major pier fires throughout New York Harbor. In perhaps her greatest single contribution to New York City, Fire Fighter led the FDNY Marine Unit response to the terrorist attacks on 9/11 by supplying water to emergency crews fighting fires at Ground Zero. She spent three weeks pumping at maximum capacity while her crew sought out damaged, but still-operational pumpers to use as inland pumping stations among the ruin of the Twin Towers. The ship was only released from her station at the foot of Albany Street in the Battery when enough landside water mains had been repaired to support the firefighting efforts.
Fire Fighter is the only fireboat to have received the Gallant Ship Award since its establishment in 1944. She is a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places."
The three-day birthday celebration will run from August 24 to 26.
Friday, Aug. 24: Festivities will begin with a water display in Greenport Harbor at 7 p.m. Don't miss seeing Fire Fighter in action!
Saturday, Aug. 25: Free tours of the vessel will be given from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be a fire truck muster by the Eastern Long Island Antique Fire Apparatus Association near the East End Seaport Museum. Fire department and Coast Guard demonstrations will be part of the muster, and approximately 25 fire trucks from various North Fork fire departments will gather in Mitchell Park on the water in Greenport.
Sunday, Aug. 26: Free fireboat tours will continue from 9 a.m. to noon, followed by a rechristening of Fire Fighter by Susan Gibbs, granddaughter of the vessel’s architect, William Francis Gibbs. Another water display by Fire Fighter will follow the rechristening ceremony.
All events take place at Mitchell Park Marina, 115 Front Street, Greenport NY, 11944.
A video tribute to Fire Fighter by filmmakers Judy Hole and Noah Therrien; narrated by Charles Osgood.
"Gibbs, a renowned naval architect, built Fire Fighter from the keel up. She is capable of pumping 20,000 gallons of water per-minute to nine topside fire monitors and was powered by one of the first diesel-electric powerplants ever fitted to a vessel of her size. Her design was so advanced and performance so impressive, that throughout her entire career, Fire Fighter remained in an essentially unchanged operational condition. She outlasted all of her contemporaries and even the majority of FDNY fireboats half her age."
CLICK HERE for additional details about this exciting upcoming event. We look forward to seeing you there!
As the Conservancy works to secure the future of our nation's greatest and sole remaining ocean liner, the SS United States, we're also hard at work preserving and celebrating the legacy of this extraordinary vessel through our curatorial initiatives and educational outreach.