Many Would Like It In The Water
"Wrought steel is not available anymore nor is that method of riveting," said Frank Borden, who is spearheading the LAFDHS' efforts.
"A lot of people would like to see it [in the water]. I would like to see it that way," said Bill Dahlquist, who served on the vessel for 50 years.
"But L.A. Harbor hasn't had a very good record on preserving old vessels," pointing by way of example to the Princess Louise and the sister ships SS Catalina and SS Avalon.
"Old Fireboat 1 is now 400 feet deep on the bottom of Puget Sound. We're never going to see it again. And that's because private individuals tried to keep it and do something with it. They wanted to own it." he said.
Mike Corcoran, pilot of the Scott for her last 13 years agreed.
"I think people start out with good intentions, then money starts drying up" he said. "People get tired or lose interest in the boat, and it ends up scrapped or on the bottom."
Servicing the L.A. Harbor for 77 years, the Scott has been on the front like of every major incident in the Port of L.A.
She has responded to more than 10,000 boating incidents and adapted to all the major changes in the harbor.
Representative Of An Era
"It's representative of an era in the evolution of American fireboats and one of the few things left in the L.A. Harbor that is that old and has so much history," said Dahlquist. "We want to preserve it in an environment where it will last for 200 years."
On Jan.20, authorized by Mayor James Hahn,the L.A. Fire Commission concurred with Battalion Chief Lou Roupoli and the Historical Society's recommendation to remove the boat from the water and to display it on land in an honorable fashion.
Despite the odds, Griffith said that he and Simon are going forward with their proposal.
The Historical Society plans to dry-berth the Scott in a climate-controlled structure where people can see its normally submerged unique features, view the engine room via cholecystitides television, and have access to the pilothouse.
Proposing to situate the facility between Station 112, nearby the Maritime Museum, and the new LAFD Museum, the LAFDHS is beginning their campaign to garner community support for the project.
One major hurdle for a new building to house the Scott, however, is that many say the area already has too many buildings that block the waterfront.
With the boat in desperate need of TLC and facing the the challenges of housing and maintenance for generations to come the Historical Society has set up a memorial fund and is asking for the public's help.
Tax-deductible contributions can be sent to LAFD Historical Society, 1335 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood CA 90028. Be sure to mention that they're for the Ralph J. Scott project. For more information, call (323) 464-2727.