Benton County firefighting boat will make a stretch of the Columbia River near Tri-Cities safer

  • Source: Tri-City Herald
  • Published: 08/24/2021 12:00 AM

The stretch of the Columbia River along Benton County’s southern border used to be a lonely place to get in trouble. Rescue crews had drive from the Tri-Cities, taking an hour to get into the water. For the last month though, firefighters and sheriff’s deputies quickly rescued several people from a sinking boat, helped a stranded boater and responded to an emergency beacon. The faster response was thanks to a used boat that Benton County Fire District 6 was able to buy from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office for $2,500. Normally, similar boats cost about $250,000. And that’s far beyond the budget of the largely volunteer fire district with an annual budget of $900,000. “We couldn’t afford it otherwise,” said Fire Chief Rolland Watt.


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