The Rockport City Council, at its regular meeting Tuesday, May 10, approved donating the Rockport Police Department’s (RPD) old patrol boat to the Aransas County Emergency Corps (ACEC) where it can be put to good use.
(Note: The ACEC membership includes the Rockport, Fulton, and Lamar volunteer fire departments.)
RPD Chief Greg Stevens noted his department has no need for the vessel since the RPD took delivery of a new patrol boat.
The boat donated to the ACEC is a 2003 22-foot Transport that is fully depreciated, and has reached the end of its useful life for use by the RPD.
Stevens said the old boat still has a useful life for firefighting.
He said he visited with ACEC President Carl Stubbs (Lamar Volunteer Fire Department Chief), and it was determined the best use of the old vessel was for firefighting, and having firefighters fight fires, as opposed to RPD officers.
“The best solution for water bourn firefighting in Rockport and Aransas County is to have trained firefighters rather than untrained police officers aboard a boat manning a water pump,” said Stevens.
The ACEC’s “new” firefighting boat will be housed at local fire stations, ready to respond with firefighters from local fire departments aboard to immediately begin fire suppression operations when necessary.
“I think this works out well for Aransas County as a whole,” said Stubbs. “We’ll keep it maintained, and ready to respond anywhere in the county.
“I see this as a joint effort between all the entities.”
Stubbs said the RPD’s old boat will be gone through, and a decision made about what color it will be. That drew a laugh because each of the VFDs use a different color.