FDNY fireboat to protect against biological, chemical threats

The New York City Fire Department this week showed off its brand new high-tech fireboat, named the "Three Forty Three" in honor of FDNY's 343 fallen firefighters from the 9/11 attacks, dnainfo.com reports.

"When we built this boat we had to think about the threats that could affect New York City and the region for the next 50 years, since that's the lifespan of the boat," James Dalton, chief of marine operations for the FDNY, told the news publication.

The fireboat, designed by Robert Allan Ltd., will be used to sniff out chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents from the city's waterways and is also protected against them, dnainfo.com says. That's because the Three Forty Three was built with an air purification system that would allow firefighters to be able to continue working should the environment around them be contaminated by a CBRN attack.

According to the report, the boat is the world's most technologically advanced fireboat.

The new fireboat will go on active duty later this summer, likely towards the end of July, and will replace the John D. McKean, a fireboat that's been in use for the past 56 years, according to the report. The McKean is reportedly so old that parts had to be specifically manufactured when they broke down because the boat was so far out of production.