By Michael Souza
PBN Staff Writer
WOONSOCKET – Navigant Credit Union of Smithfield has donated $5,500 to the Woonsocket Fire Department for the purchase of a new rescue boat. The inflatable boat replaces one that was in a state of disrepair but still seaworthy. The inflatable will allow the department to more effectively respond to emergencies on the Blackstone River.
According to department captain Tim Walsh, the old craft was 12-years-old, delicate and prone to cuts, rips and punctures, and its small motor showed signs of age. A new craft was necessary because calls for assistance have risen over the last few years, a reflection of the popularity of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. The new motor is 25-horsepower, more than suitable for the river.
A Federal Emergency Management Agency program, allowed them to buy the boat at cost. It will be kept at WFD Station 3.