DERBY, Kan. – Derby firefighters trained for the first time Tuesday with their new rescue boat.
The department got the 12.5 foot inflatable boat about a month ago and have taken it out a few times to break in the motor, but this was the crew’s first chance to practice maneuvering it in the water.
They zoomed around buoys in a small lake near Patriot and Buckner, shifting their weight to help the boat make sharp turns.
Captain Matt Ludwig said the new boat will be used to rescue people stranded in high or fast-moving water.
“It will help evacuate neighborhoods that are flooded, or if we have vehicles that are swept off the road, something like that,” Ludwig said. “We can use a boat like this to affect those rescues.”
He said their aluminum boat could not be used in last year’s flooding in Mulvane and Derby so the DFD started collecting donations to buy the inflatable boat for $6,056.
They actually received $8,521, including $5,821 from Firehouse Subs, a $1,500 grant from the Derby Community Foundation, and some private donations.
DFD used the extra money to buy life jackets, helmets and other water rescue equipment.