The Hoga: The Not So Little Fireboat That Could
Original post made by James Art, FPE, Livermore, on Dec 9, 2012
There was a ceremony on December 7, to honor the Hoga, the former Oakland Fireboat that is now the last operational Naval vessel to have survived the sneak attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor.
This converted tugboat also should be honored for the years of service to Oakland, the Bay Area, and the maritime industry.
As the only fireboat capable of going to sea, it was active in many rescues even outside of the Golden Gate.
The Port of Oakland supported the shipping industry by maintaining the Hoga, leased from the Navy for $1 a year.
It was staffed by Oakland Firefighters, who could also respond using fire engines at the same firehouse, near Jack London Square - the only one on the west side of the railroad tracks- which can be blocked by trains.
With 10,000 gpm of fire pumps, the Hoga was an important backup emergency fire water supply, especially after an earthquake, if water mains are damaged.
The powerful tug uses the same diesel-electric power system as a railroad switch engine, and the railroads should be thanked, for all their help with advice, expertise, and sometimes replacement parts. To save money, ship maintenance was cut back, and eventually the hull deteriorated, then the Port replaced the Hoga with a much smaller fireboat, not oceangoing.
There are still many fire and rescue incidents in and near the Port, however over the years many of the old wooden buildings have been replaced, burned, or fitted with fire sprinklers, so large shore building fires are much less common.
James Art, Fire Protection Engineer, Livermore, Ca
Read more: Web Link
Notice how the hull is deteriorated.
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