The Jacksonport Fire Department says its 2012 Sealegs Amphibious Rescue Boat is now in service & has quickly proven itself to be an important addition. The boat is a rigid hull inflatable, 20 feet in length, with an Evinrude 115 horse power outboard motor. While on land, its wheels are powered by hydraulics, allowing the boat to drive on land for 20 minutes at a speed of 7 miles per hour. It is equipped with GPS charts, sonar & radar, has emergency lights & numerous search lights & is capable of carrying six to eight people. Fire Chief Tom Ash says the acquisition of the boat is the culmination of years of research, fundraising & planning. Due to Jacksonport’s shoreline & lack of suitable boat launch facilities, the department has always used boats that were small enough to be carried into the water by firefighters. However, the practice led to long response times & dangerous situations for personnel. The new boat has eliminated those issues because it can be launched practically anywhere, cutting down on response times. The safety of fire crews operating on the water has also been greatly improved. Chief Ash praised those who made it possible to acquire the boat & thanked the town board, fire commission & community members for their support.