Are you a history buff? Boating enthusiast? Interested in firefighting or fire protection? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the heroic fireboat Fire Fighter needs you! Opportunities are available now for experienced and novice docents and tour guides, operators, restorers, and more. A designated National Historic Landmark, Fire Fighter is currently docked at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, CT.

This is a fun opportunity for volunteers of all skill levels to learn about the history of Fire Fighter and the vital role of fireboats, while using their talents to make a real difference for this iconic piece of American history. No experience is necessary, and training will be provided. Volunteering as a group for school community service hours, or as a corporate service initiative, is encouraged.

Why volunteer for this fireboat?  For over seven decades, Fire Fighter, known as “America’s Fireboat,” protected the United States during some of the most harrowing incidents in American history. During World War II, Fire Fighter stood ready as ammunition-laden boats left for Europe from New York Harbor, providing courageous service on famous rescue missions including the fire and capsizing of the SS Normandie and the massive munitions ship El Estero fire.

Following the attack on 9/11, the fireboat was tasked with the greatest challenge of her career – pumping water from the Harbor after the Twin Towers collapsed and all water hydrants were crushed. Fire Fighter and other FDNY Marine Units were the sole source of water for firefighting efforts at Ground Zero. Throughout this longest ever emergency call, her vintage water cannons worked tirelessly pumping 24/7 for two solid weeks.

And in 2009, toward the end of her active career, Fire Fighter participated in the rescue of US Airways Flight 1549 passengers after its emergency landing in the Hudson River.

“Scouting groups, high school students, 9/11 survivors, maritime enthusiasts, retired professionals, teachers or anyone interested in seeing this unique piece of American history returned to her former glory are welcome to lend a hand volunteering aboard Fire Fighter,” says Charlie Ritchie President and Director of the Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum.

Volunteer roles include:

  • Hands-on Restoration
    • Includes painting, sanding, polishing, cleaning and a wide variety of other tasks for those who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves.
  • Docents and Tour Guides
    • Engage visitors, lead tours, and share the history of Fire Fighter through guided tours aboard the ship.
  • Vessel Operations – Active professional mariners with valid USCG Licenses needed to assist with the underway operation of Fire Fighter.
    • Marine Engineers: 500 tons and up, diesel and diesel-electric operations experience a major plus.
    • Captains and Mates: 500 tons and up, Twin-screw, twin-rudder experience a major plus.
  • Skilled/Hands-on Restoration – Those skilled in a trade and willing to donate their time and expertise.
    • Electricians, both industrial and commercial/household
    • Engineers, diesel experience is a major plus
    • Plumbers
    • Welders

 To learn more about volunteer opportunities, please contact Charlie Ritchie President and Director of the Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum at Visit Fire Fighter’s Facebook page for regular updates and information about open volunteer opportunities, as well as special projects and events.