NY 1 - June 03, 2012by Venise Toussaint
A piece of American history has sailed along the Hudson River. The John J. Harvey, which fireboat helped save lives during the horrific September 11th terror attacks, has now made its third-annual trip to Kingston, N.Y. as part of an interactive museum project with the Roundout Valley Schools.
"People see her and they're curious and we want to reward their curiosity by giving them an opportunity to see something that most people just don't see," said Ann Loeding of the John J. Harvey Fireboat Program.
The boat, built in 1931, is one of the most powerful of its kind, able to pump 18,000 gallons of water per minute.
"Basically to get water to the places that it's hard for land-based equipment to get to," said Loeding.
The boat was used by the New York City Fire Department up until its retirement in 1994, but on September 11, 2001, the fireboat and its crew were called back into action.
"They were at home watching what was going on, like we all were, and they got a call saying, 'We need you,'" said Loeding.
The Harvey played a vital role during the nation's worst terror attack. Crews spent three days pumping thousands of gallons of water at the World Trade Center site, until the city's water mains were restored.
"After the planes hit and the buildings collapsed, they buried all the fire mains in that area in Lower Manhattan, so the only source of water was from the fireboats" said Bob Lenney, the captain on the John J. Harvey.
Free tours of the Harvey are being offered at the Hudson River Maritime Museum until Wednesday.