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Buffalo-based Coast Guard Members to Aid City's Fireboat

The U.S chartered fire tug the OMEED TAHER sprays water from its hoses during a mass training exercise at Pier 17 at the Port of Shuaiba (SPOD) in Kuwait, Oct. 22, 2009. (U.S. Army photo/ Spc. Monte Swift)
The U.S chartered fire tug the OMEED TAHER sprays water from its hoses during a mass training exercise at Pier 17 at the Port of Shuaiba (SPOD) in Kuwait, Oct. 22, 2009. (U.S. Army photo/ Spc. Monte Swift)

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Members of the U.S. Coast Guard stationed on Buffalo's Lake Erie waterfront are lending a hand keeping the world's oldest working fireboat in working order.

Coast Guard officials say chief petty officers based in Buffalo will volunteer their services this week in the maintenance and upkeep of the Edward M. Cotter, the Buffalo Fire Department's primary fireboat.

The Cotter began its service to the city of Buffalo 115 years ago.

According to the fire department's website, the vessel's pumping capacity equals that of nearly a dozen firetrucks.

The Cotter specialized in battling fires the erupted along Buffalo's thriving waterfront when it was home to numerous grain elevators, warehouses and other shoreline structures not easily reached by land-based firefighting equipment.

In addition to fighting fires, the Cotter serves as Buffalo's only ice-breaking vessel.

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