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Fire Boats Eyed To Protect Eastern Shore Waterfront Properties

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Two Maryland cities on the Eastern Shore are hoping to purchase state-of-the-art fire boats in an effort to better protect thousands of waterfront homes.

The Ocean City Council says the fire boats are needed to patrol hundreds of resort waterfront properties. The council voted to purchase the boats because it says those properties are more vulnerable to fires based on limited access for fire trucks and their proximity to fire hydrants. The fire boats would patrol Maryland's second-busiest waterway in the summer months.

The city of Salisbury is also in the market for a fire boat, and they plan on paying for it boat by using a federal homeland security grant.

Water rescues have increased substantially in the last four years. Town officials are also concerned about the hundreds of marinas in the area.

The diesel engine fire boats would have sizeable pumping capacity on board and can travel at high speeds in as few as six inches of water.

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