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June 26, 2006
Toronto Fire invites residents to step into history
  
Three years before Orville and Wilbur Wright made their historic flight at Kitty Hawk, Buffalo’s fireboat, currently named the Edward M. Cotter, began its 100-plus years of service to the City of Buffalo, and its fire department. The Cotter will visit Toronto next week on its farewell tour.

On Tuesday, June 27, residents and visitors will have an opportunity to see the Cotter up close, and in the evening Toronto Fire will host a public event. Highlights include: the Canadian Forces 424 Squadron’s Hercules and Griffons aerial show, a Search and Rescue technician drop and extrication, a water display by both the Cotter and Toronto Fire Services’s William Lyon MacKenzie, and a fireworks display.

Date: Tuesday, June 27
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Pier 4 (near Toronto Police Marine Unit)

Members of the public are invited to join us on this historic occasion. Come out and support the Canadian Forces, Toronto Fire Services and Toronto Police Services.

Built and commissioned during an era when Buffalo’s waterfront and port were booming, the Cotter has been an invaluable asset to fire protection for the numerous warehouses, grain elevators and other facilities that line Buffalo’s shores. Many of these structures pose unique challenges for firefighters and would be difficult, if not impossible, to reach using conventional land equipment. With its pumping capacity equal to that of 11 firetrucks, the Cotter’s importance is immeasurable.

In addition to its firefighting capabilities, the Cotter serves another critical role as the city’s sole ice-breaking resource. By breaking up ice jams in the Buffalo River the water and ice in its upstream tributaries can flow freely, helping to prevent flooding – not only in Buffalo, but in neighbouring communities as well.

As the world’s oldest working fireboat, the Cotter has borne three names, survived a devastating explosion and stands ready to protect our vessels and shorelines for many more years to come.

In 1996, the Edward M. Cotter was designated a National Historic Landmark.


Media contact:

Captain David Sheen
Toronto Fire Services
PIO
416-338-9317
416-578-4316 (cell)
416-468-9978 (pager)


 

 

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