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PERTH AMBOY, NJ (APRIL 5, 2024) – Community members and officials from Perth Amboy gathered at the Ferry Slip Museum on Front Street to dedicate a new fireboat, the Mike Barcheski II, in honor of the late Mike Barcheski, a key founder of the city's marine division. Attendees included Mayor Helmin J. Caba, Fire Chief Edward Mullen, Christopher Barcheski, and various county and state legislative representatives. They celebrated the addition of this vital resource to the city's marine emergency fleet.

The new fireboat, named Mike Barcheski II, replaces an older 19-year model and is equipped with advanced features including two 3000 GPM pumps, enhancing its capacity and efficiency for firefighting. This vessel is part of the New Jersey Regional Taskforce and will be responsible for a 51-mile stretch of shoreline, aiding both water-based and land-based emergency operations.

Funding for the $1.3 million fireboat came largely from a $900,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant through the Port Security Grant Program, further supported by contributions from Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. and Senator Cory Booker. An additional $400,000 was provided through a Perth Amboy Redevelopment Agreement. This funding reflects a decade-long commitment by FEMA, totaling over $7 million in grants to Perth Amboy, emphasizing the city’s focus on safety and preparedness.

"The Mike Barcheski II is a testament to our city’s dedication to enhancing public safety and honoring the legacy of those who have served our community with distinction,” said Mayor Caba. “This investment represents a significant step forward in our ongoing commitment to safeguarding Perth Amboy’s waterfront."

"The dedication of the Mike Barcheski II marks a pivotal advancement in our maritime emergency capabilities, said Fire Chief Edward Mullen. “This state-of-the-art vessel, equipped with the latest technology, is a powerhouse of efficiency and reliability, ready to protect our city’s waters."

"Today, we honor a legacy of service and commitment with the dedication of the Mike Barcheski II,” said Senator Booker.  “This vessel is a critical addition to our emergency response infrastructure, ensuring the safety and security of Perth Amboy's waterfront."

"This project is a prime example of what we can achieve when federal and local entities work together,” said Congressman Pallone Jr. “The Mike Barcheski II will significantly enhance our marine safety operations and serve as a vital resource for the community."

 “In addition to protecting the people and property of the City of Perth Amboy, the brave members of the Perth Amboy Fire Department also help cover Middlesex County’s main waterways, including the Raritan River, Arthur Kill, and Raritan Bay,” said Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios. “This new fireboat will help ensure their members can continue protecting the community as part of the New Jersey Regional Fireboat Task Force. On behalf of the entire Board of County Commissioners, I congratulate the Perth Amboy Fire Department on their new fireboat, the Captain Mike Barcheski II, and thank the members of the department for their service.”

Perth Amboy Fire Department is a critical partner and a true example of the peerless network of agencies throughout the region that help us extend our reach and keep our ports and waterways safe and secure, said Captain Zeita Merchant - Atlantic Area - Coast Guard. “We simply could not be effective as a Coast Guard without the professionalism and skill that the dedicated team at Perth Amboy and the entire Regional Task Force bring to bear. It was an honor being a part of the commissioning of the Captain Barcheski II and look forward to our continued partnership.”

"It’s not often we’re able to get this group together to honor my Father. He lives on through stories, photos, and events like these,’ said Christopher Barcheski, honoring his family member.  It means a lot to be part of today to celebrate his memory after so many years”.

The Mike Barcheski II is set to enhance maritime safety in Perth Amboy significantly. As a part of the New Jersey Regional Taskforce, it will patrol areas including the Arthur Kill, Raritan Bay, and Raritan River, playing a crucial role in protecting the community’s safety and environmental health.

Click here for event photos