Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department has had a Marine Unit since 1922 when the city purchased a converted sub chaser for $100 and converted it for use as the fire boat John B. Callahan. The boat was in service for 41 years before being replaced.
The Marine Unit operates out of two fire stations, Marine One at Station 38 off Trout River Drive and Marine 3 at Station 39 near Metropolitan Park. Fifteen firefighters are assigned to the Marine Unit.
The department recently upgraded its maritime fleet with the purchase of a 50-foot jet boat that has a maximum speed of 40 miles per hour. The boat, with a three-person crew, is capable of pumping 6,000 gallons of water per minute.
The department also has four smaller boats, one of which is only used for water rescues.
In addition to fighting fires on water or on shore, the Marine Unit has proven its worth supplying water to engine companies fighting fires near the St. Johns River. During a fire at Stewart Petroleum, Marine One provided a constant supply of water at 4,000 gallons per minute for four days straight.
The Marine Unit is part of Special Operations in the Operations Division.