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    (New Haven, CT) – The City of New Haven was awarded a $1.3 million Port Security grant from the Department of Homeland Security for the purchase of a new public safety boat and today officials—and a fifth-grade New Haven student—officially commissioned it for service. Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. was joined by Captain Joseph M. Vojvodich, the Long Island Sector Commander of the United States Coast Guard, Fire Chief Michael Grant, Police Lieutenant Jeff Hoffman and Nathan Hale School fifth-grader Joshua Morgillo for the dedication of the City’s new public safety boat, the Nathan Hale.

    The Nathan Hale will be used to respond to emergency situations in the harbor but will not be used for patrol. Emergency response will be staffed by Fire or Police Department depending on the call, with Police Department’s Dive Team handling search and rescue. The Port Security grant covered all costs associated with the purchase of the boat, as well as training of New Haven Police and Fire Department personnel.

    “In the event of an emergency in the harbor, whether a ship fire or potential drowning, the addition of this boat and its highly trained staff will increase safety in New Haven Harbor,” said Mayor DeStefano.

    The 40-foot vessel has advanced navigational equipment, a 35 knot speed and can pump 4,700 gallons of water or foam per minute—which is more than a fire truck. The Nathan Hale is also equipped with two sonar radar systems and a forward looking infrared radiometer (FLIR) camera for rescue or recovery as well as a patient–care compartment.

    The New Haven Public Schools held a contest for select the name of the public safety boat and Joshua Morgillo submitted the winning entry, Nathan Hale. “I chose the name Nathan Hale because it is the name of our school. Also Nathan Hale is a big part of Connecticut’s history. He risked his life to keep people safe just like the police and firefighters will do aboard this boat,” said Joshua who was joined at the commissioning and dedication ceremony by his teacher Krista Morgan and school Principal Lucia Paolella.


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