Boston Duck Tours, Cambridge FD Marine Unit train for worst-case scenario

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Cambridge Fire Department’s Marine Unit has been teaming up with Boston Duck Tours to train for worst case scenarios out on the water.

In recent years there have been tragedies in other areas of the country on similar duck boats.

Boston 25 News was given exclusive access to the training Thursday with Duck Boat Tours and Cambridge Fire Department’s Marine Unit.

Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Haggerty explained the importance of the training.

“To get our operators used to pulling up to the duck boats tying on to the duck boats if have to transfer or get them off,” Haggerty said.

It gives both the Duck Boat operators and the Marine Unit a chance to see how each other operate.

“They are kind of a unique vehicle so there’s some ins and outs to learn on both ends. It’s great to learn from each other,” Tom Vigna, a spokesperson for Boston Duck Tours, said.

“Dealing with the unknown is the hardest part of any emergency. The more information we get prior to our arrival the better prepared we can be,” Haggerty said.

The Marine Unit also gets a chance to get a feel for the ducks with a chance to drive them and see what makes them tick.

“Our drivers are trained for every situation as it is but like I said there is no such thing as too much training,” Vigna said.

The Cambridge Fire Department Marine Unit said it’s almost impossible to train for every scenario because the possibilities are endless. So, the goal here is to be ready for anything.

“It’s good to know what we need to do if we need to do it,” Vigna said.

“It is good to train under these conditions and to get our operators used to talking to the duck boat operators on the radios,” Haggerty said.

Both agree -- the relationships built here can be critical in an emergency situation.

“During an emergency you are now talking to someone you might be familiar with,” Haggety said.

“Safety is our top priority. There is no such thing as too safe,” Vigna said.