Alabama fire department debuts $65,000 airboat as river-based emergency calls increase

  • Source: WDHN-TV ABC 18 Dothan
  • Published: 08/05/2020 12:00 AM

The Elba Fire Department is now home to a $65,000 airboat. In December 2015, flood waters breached the dam and sent water rushing through the Pea River. Now, five years later, the river struggles to stay at 2.5 feet. This has led to people getting stuck and sometimes stranded while trying to enjoy a day on the water. But now, water-based rescue missions have gotten easier for the Elba Fire Department. “The only way we had to navigate the river was the same way that the folks using it for the recreation would be able to navigate it,” said Elba Fire Department Chief Drew Parker. “That’s either by jon boats, kayaks, or even inner tubes. Now that we have an airboat, we can navigate it somewhere between 30 to 45 minutes from start to finish.”


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