new airboat for Elba Fire Department


published: 30 July 2020
updated: 18 August 2020

The Elba Fire Department (Alabama, USA) recently took possession of the new airboat it had ordered to be able to better respond to river calls on the Pea River. Both the City of Elba and Coffee County Commission assisted Elba FD in purchasing the airboat. Monday morning, July 27, several Elba volunteer firefighters, including Fire Chief Drew Parker, attended the Coffee County Commission meeting and had the airboat with them to allow commissioners an opportunity to ‘check out’ the new rescue device and ask any questions.

new airboat answer to navigating Pea River for emergencies
new airboat answer to navigating Pea River for emergencies

Parker thanked Coffee County for the funding assistance it provided in allowing Elba FD to make the purchase. He said several of Elba’s volunteer firefighters have been training to operate the new airboat. He said the airboat appears to be the answer in being able to navigate the Pea River best when medical assistance or river rescue are needed. Of the 50-55 miles of the river in Coffee County, Parker said his department had been able to successfully travel both north and south from Elba’s boat ramp to the Williams boat landing in Kinston and just north of Hwy. 167 in the other direction. Later Monday, the fire department also had the airboat on display outside the department to allow Elba City Council members to also look at the new boat. Above, Chief Parker explains several features of the new airboat to Elba Mayor Mickey Murdock and Elba Water and Electric Chairman Tim Johnson.

Elba Fire Department’s newest resource, Airboat 1, was used in its first rescue mission Saturday night. Two kayakers were stranded along the banks of Pea River, but thanks to Airboat 1, they were able to be rescued safely just minutes after the boat launched.
Airboat 1 was custom built in Ino. Features include a 600-horsepower engine, high-quality LED lights and GPS system and a top-of-the-line communications system. The water vessel can hold three personnel and four passengers and also has space for a backboard to be secured for patient care.
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