BOWLEYS QUARTERS, MD. (WJZ) — The Bowleys Quarters Volunteer Fire Department ushered in a new era Thursday morning.

They dedicated their new fire rescue boat, made possible through donations and a capital campaign they were able to raise $300,000 for the purchase.

“It’s huge, it’s an accomplishment long overdue, it took about three years and we put together several grant applications between the state of Maryland, Baltimore County government, local businesses and corporate entities plus community residents really stepped it up in helping us achieve our final goal,” said Captain Shannon Stallings of Marine Emergency Team 21.

The new boat replaces the 14-year-old Miss Linda, which reached the end of the line last November, mechanical breakdowns were happening almost every day, the Miss Linda Two is a state of the art vessel.

“The new vessel is 32 feet in length, we’re able to pre-determine search patterns, visibility of 36 miles with the radar, it’s really incredible what it can do,” Captain Stallings said.

Private donors helped raise $50,000 in 53 days, Deb and Wayne Sullivan of Sullivan and Sons Inc donated $10,000.

“We just hope to keep our community safe and safer and this is really extending it even further ou tin the bay. We’re just happy to help with our local fire department,” said Deb Sullivan.

Marine Emergency Team 21 covers about 90 square miles of the Upper Chesapeake Bay including the area around Poole’s and Hart-Miller Islands.

“Of course we want all our friends and families to be safe out there on the water, but in the event, there’s an emergency these folks are prepared to respond and render aid in a timely manner. This new vessel will be an asset to this entire fire department and the community,” said Jennifer Aubeert-Utz, acting Baltimore County Fire Chief.

The new fire and rescue vessel will drastically reduce response time and increase the quality of service and will be in service this holiday weekend, the traditional start of Maryland’s boating season.

“She’ll be splashed and she’ll be wet, and she’ll be providing service throughout the weekend for years to come,” Captain Stallings said.

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