Special Operations - Marine Team

Vancouver Fire's boat

In March 2014, the Vancouver Fire Department (VFD) welcomed a new all hazard quick response vessel, Discovery, to the Columbia River. Its primary mission is to provide rapid water response to fire, rescue and hazmat incidents occurring on or along the Columbia River between Lewiston and Astoria.

The Rescue Boat coordinates closely with other public safety marine units during emergency operations.

The Discovery is staffed with well-trained firefighters who are qualified and approved to fill one or more of the following operational roles:

  • Water-based rescue and medical calls
  • Fire suppression on boats, docks and on shore
  • Search and rescue
  • Chemical/fuel spill response
  • Support during natural disasters, earthquakes or other large-scale incidents
  • Support for Hazardous Materials and Technical Rescue response operations
  • Law enforcement support
  • Dive team support

Using smaller “fast attack” vessels instead of the larger traditional fireboats provides both tactical and economic advantages, providing a quicker and more nimble response to marine fires and other emergencies and costing far less to operate and maintain.