U.S.

Fireboat used during 9/11 now on national historic registry

From 1955-2010, the John D. McKean Fireboat responded to many of New York City's most notable incidents, including 9/11 and the Miracle on the Hudson.

The John D. McKean Fireboat on the water.
David Rocco, New York State Historic Preservation Office
SMS

A New York Fire Department boat that was used on Sept. 11, 2001, is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. 

The John D. McKean Fireboat, docked in Stony Point, New York, was used by New York fire officials for more than 56 years. It directly responded to many incidents, most notably the attacks of New York on 9/11 and the Miracle on the Hudson in 2009. 

The boat has four direct reversible diesel engines — two for propulsion and two for water pumps. According to the National Park Service, it pumped water from the Hudson River for three straight days after the Sept. 11 attack until debris was removed and firetrucks were able to take over the firefighting operation. 

In addition to pumping water on debris, the boat also helped take those evacuating Lower Manhattan to safer ground after the falling towers caused people to jump into the Hudson River. 

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Officials said the boat was decommissioned in 2010 due to its age and obsolete technology. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pushed for the boat's inclusion on the registry. 

"Today marks an exciting step towards anchoring the John D. McKean fireboat’s place in history — With the retired FDNY fireboat finally securing its well-deserved place on the National Register of Historic Places, this timeless symbol of the bravery and heroism of our first responders in the New York City Fire Department will be preserved for decades to come, honoring the important role the McKean played in our nation's history — including its critical emergency response to the 9/11 attacks, Miracle on the Hudson, and beyond — while celebrating the firefighters who served aboard it,” Schumer said earlier this year.