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The Fireboat Cotter returns to Buffalo waters

The Cotter returns from Toronto after refurbishing
Posted at 6:02 PM, Jul 24, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. — "It is a Buffalo staple," said Buffalo Fire Commissioner Bill Renaldo.

"She's a treasure. A treasure of the city of Buffalo," Captain John Jixt said.

She's back, and better than ever.

"It feels like a brand new boat now," said Jixt, who's the Fireboat Cotter's Captain.

The Fireboat Cotter came back from a two month trip to Toronto to be refurbished.

"It's unsexy work. It's below the waterline. It's not really much you'd see," said Jixt.

What was worked on happened below the surface, like putting on new shafts and propellers.

"We want to be sure of its capabilities well into the future so we're good for at least another ten years before it has to be looked at again," Renaldo said.

The Cotter's crew said the $200,000 spent on the boat was money well spent.

"When they built her I'm sure they weren't planning on her being around as long. The fresh water lake I'm sure has helped, and as long as we keep taking care of her I don't see an end," Jixt said.

The Cotter has been putting out fires along the waterway and breaking down ice for 119 years.

"It's the oldest operating fireboat not just in the state or the city, but in the country," Renaldo said.

"They just don't make them like they used to. Everything is very unique. Little idiosyncrasies with the boat, the stairways are narrow and small," said Jixt.

The special ship will be stationed at Engine 20.

"It's part of the family. It's part of the Buffalo Fire Department family, and it always will be," said Renaldo.