Detroit's only fire boat left remains left out on icy waters

The frigid weather not only dangerous for people, but it is also a threat for an expensive piece of city equipment.

The Detroit Fire Department's fire boat remains at risk, left out in the Detroit River. 

Even after a previous report by FOX 2, the Curtis Randolph has been left in the water with nothing done.

FOX 2 spoke to Reginald Amos, a retired Detroit Fire Department deputy chief.

FOX 2: "Has the fire boat ever been left in the water at the boat launch?"

"No," Amos said.

When he was active, Amos' main responsibility was the Curtis Randolph - the only firefighting watercraft from Detroit to Cleveland.

FOX 2: "What do you think about this fireboat in the water and it's the end of February?" 

"It's a shame," Amos said. "It just goes to show, you have 100 years of fire department leadership there in leadership positions, and nobody knows about the fire boat taken out of the water."

Every October  the boat is taken out of service, winterized and moved to a protected location like a basin at the United States Coast Guard.

Last month FOX 2 showed that nothing was done and it was still here.

Although it was three months late, a spokesperson with the Detroit Fire Department told FOX 2 they reached an agreement with the Coast Guard to move the Detroit fire boat, but three months later, it is still there.

Gabriel Settel, the Coast Guard communications chief, said there is no agreement to move the fire boat.

Last month Fire Commissioner Edsel Jenkins sent FOX 2's Taryn Asher a status update which said Jan. 5 they reached an agreement with the Coast Guard and the boat would be moved within a week.

FOX 2: "What's taking so long?"

"Really nothing on our part," Settle said. "We've been working with them via the phone and email. And we are just waiting on more official guidance on when the city wants to do it."

But instead of taking the boat to this protected boat slip at the coast guard off Mt. Elliott, it appears Detroit fire may be keeping it where it is.

The Fire Department just started running a hose in the water to make sure the ice doesn't freeze around it  which due to the cold conditions, is not really working.

And in an email Jenkins sent Asher, he claims they hooked the boat up to an electrical supply to keep the battery charged, what other big cities have done.

But Jenkins did not answer any other questions.

Many insiders fault the department's leadership for not protecting this fire boat against the giant chunks of ice and frigid conditions, and not just for the citizens, but for Curtis Randolph himself. He is the firefighter the boat was named after. He lost his life in the line of duty in 1977.

"It's a slap in the face of not only in memory of Curtis Randolph," Amos said. "But it's a slap in the face of Detroit that paid for the boat."
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