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Photos: Mystic Fire Department Christens the Joseph B. Herman II

The new boat will serve as one of the regional emergency response boats for the greater Mystic area and Easter Long Island and Block Island sounds.

Members of the Mystic Fire Department, the United States Coast Guard and Groton and Stonington officials gathered at the Mystic River Park on Friday evening to celebrate the arrival of a new fireboat.

“The rain is good luck,” Mystic Fire Department Chief Frank Hilbert said as they huddled under a tent near the Mystic River.

The 32-foot fireboat arrived in Mystic in July. Funding for the fireboat came from the national Port Security Grant Program and Deputy Chief Tony Manfredi wrote the grant application.

“It’s his fault you’re all standing here,” Hilbert said pointing at Manfredi.

The boat, named Joseph B. Herman II after the former Mystic Fire Department Chief, replaces a smaller 40-plus-year-old boat that the department acquired second-hand from Guilford, Conn. The fireboat supports dive operations, search and hose lines to fire apparatus on shore in areas with no fire hydrants.

“Twelve department members have been trained as Captains with 100-ton USCG ratings and have received specialized Search and Rescue training delivered by USCG Station New London,” Hilbert said. “Marine 1 can support a crew of six and is powered by two 425 horsepower diesel engines with water jet drives.”

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