The City of Amsterdam Fire Department has taken delivery of its new firefighting vessel:  Jan van der Heyde IV. C-Job Naval Architects provided the concept design for the 17.6m vessel. Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld executed detailed design, engineering and vessel construction.

The canals of Amsterdam are more than a world-famous tourist attraction. They also form an important part of the city’s infrastructure. For example, the interconnected system of canals has been long used by the Amsterdam Fire Department not only to access fires but also as a source of firefighting water.

The new vessel marks the continuance of the Amsterdam Fire Department’s tradition of naming its firefighting boats after the founder of the current firefighting method, organisation and technology – Jan van der Heyde. In fact, the first vessel to take the name was a floating steam injection vessel that dates back to the 1870s.

The fact that Jan van der Heyde IV is first and foremost a firefighting vessel is reflected in its design. “In a way you can look at this boat as a big floating fire pump,” says C-Job Naval Architects Head of Engineering Tim Vlaar, referring to the vessel’s 1,680 m3 per hour pump capacity.

Because the speed of water traffic permitted through Amsterdam’s canals is limited, the Fire Department do not envisage the vessel as a ‘first-on-the-scene’ responder. “Its main role is to supply the fire trucks on the road with an ample flow of water,” continues Mr Vlaar. As well as the ability to provide large quantities of water to teams working on land, the vessel is also equipped to fight multiple fire-types from the water. “The boat does have its own fire monitors, which will certainly be used for fighting fires on ships or near the water.”

Supplementing her firefighting duties, Jan van der Heyde IV is equipped with two 180 cubic metre per hour pumps that can be called on to pump water out of flooded boat houses or other vessels. Furthermore the vessel can also be used as a dive platform.

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