Fire Fighter

Fireboat Fire Fighter

Fire Fighter is not currently at the Museum.

In frontline service for over seven decades protecting New York Harbor, Fire Fighter has the hard-earned distinction of being the most famous fireboat in the world, due to its prowess as a fire apparatus. Pumping 20,000 plus gallons a minute in 1938 made her the most powerful fireboat in the world, and the largest vessel of its kind, with a state-of-the-art power plant. The first diesel-electric fireboat, she was such an engineering marvel when she went into service the following year she went on display at the New York World’s Fair in 1939.

As a National Historic Landmark since 1989, her accomplishments until then demonstrate why: Awarded the Gallant Ship Award in 1974, an honor for the bravery of its crew and ship, for their skillful fire-fighting, saving 31 men in the Sea Witch/Esso Brussels fire (1973); fighting numerous major fires around the New York waterfront including the SS Normandie, Luckenbach Steamship Pier, The El Estero munitions ship, the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and finally for its actions helping to fight the fires at the World Trade Center and its rescue/recovery efforts during and after September 11, 2001.

Designed by William Francis Gibbs, Fire Fighter was built during the depression under the direction of Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, who put 100 men at United Shipyard back to work to build what would become the “Queen of the Fleet” for New York’s Fire Department. Gibbs went on to design most of the naval vessels for WWII in New York Harbor, and designed the SS United States (the fastest Transatlantic ocean liner ever) and the SS America and became  what some consider to be America’s premier naval architect of his era.

Decommissioned in 2010, she was New York’s longest serving fireboat, and by far the most revered and beloved in the history of the Marine Division of the FDNY.


Thursday Friday: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

SaturdaySunday: 10 a.m. 4 p.m.