New fire, rescue boat to be deployed this summer

The city of Rochester Fire Department has acquired a new fire and rescue boat, Marine 1, to be deployed by Engine 19, the Lake Avenue Fire Station.

The City of Rochester Fire Department will deploy its new fire and rescue boat, Marine 1, on July 1, 2021. (provided)
The City of Rochester Fire Department will deploy its new fire and rescue boat, Marine 1, on July 1, 2021. (provided)

Marine 1 will provide substantially improved fire, rescue and medical water-based response capabilities compared with the department’s previous fire and rescue boat, a 17-foot recreational motorboat.

“This vessel will enhance the Rochester Fire Department’s response capabilities in providing for the safety of the residents, businesses and boating community in the Charlotte neighborhood and the nearby waterways,” said Rochester Fire Department Chief Felipe Hernandez Jr. in a statement.

Marine 1 is a 37-foot mission-specific fire and rescue boat capable of simultaneously rescuing six to eight people and pumping more than 1,500 gallons per minute of water or fire suppression foam. The new vessel will expand the operational time frame into the cold weather months and enhance the safety of citizens and firefighters in poor lake conditions.

Marine 1 will be the most capable fire and rescue boat on the south shore of Lake Ontario, officials said.

The rescue boat will be used for water-based emergencies on the lake, within the Port of Rochester and on the Genesee River up to the Veterans Bridge at Route 104. For the last nine months, RFD firefighters have been receiving training through a collaborative effort with the state Parks Police Marine Training Unit and the U.S. Coast Guard. Additional water rescue training that was delayed due to COVID-19 will take place this summer.

The vessel was delivered this week by Moose Boats out of California. Moose Boats was awarded the contract in April 2019 after an extensive project development process that began in 2013. The process included securing grants from the New York state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.

Marine 1 is expected to be in service by July 1.

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Bill Gray’s closes sole Buffalo location

Bill Gray’s no longer has an outpost in the Buffalo area.

The chain of hamburger restaurants closed its Clarence location last week, after deciding not to renew the lease for the restaurant.

Jon Gonzalez, vice president of finance for Bill Gray’s, said though the restaurant was in Clarence for about 15 years, brand awareness in Buffalo was hard to maintain with just a single restaurant. Bill Gray’s also operated a food court restaurant in the Boulevard Mall in Amherst, but the food court there had recently closed, too.

“It’s difficult supporting one store” at a distance from the company’s other stores, Gonzalez said.

The 12-15 employees at the Clarence location have been offered jobs in Rochester-area restaurants, Gonzalez said, but it wasn’t clear whether any were willing to move to Rochester to continue working with the company.

No other Bill Gray’s restaurants are slated to close, Gonzalez said, and the company just opened a new restaurant in the Port of Rochester building last month.

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Hamburgers are back at the Port of Rochester’s terminal building

Bill Gray’s Restaurant and Tap Room is the newest addition to the terminal building at the Port of Rochester.

The restaurant’s operators and corporate officials joined Mayor Lovely A. Warren for a ribbon cutting on Wednesday. The restaurant is in the northwest corner of the building.

“This is an iconic Rochester spot, right by the pier, and a great place for families to come for Bill Gray’s famous cheeseburgers after spending time together in Charlotte,” Warren said.

The new eatery is the 15th restaurant in the Bill Gray’s chain and includes its sixth Tap Room. Some 50 employees have been hired to run the restaurant and more hires are expected.

“We are thrilled to have an opportunity to bring Bill Gray’s to the Port of Rochester. There is such a great energy here, and we are excited to be a part of it,” said Jonathan Gonzalez, vice president of finance for Bill Gray’s. “We feel the World’s Greatest Cheeseburger, large selection of draft beer and a beautiful view of the water is a natural fit.”

Other restaurants at the terminal building, now named for former Rochester Mayor William A. Johnson, include Abbott’s Frozen Custard, California Rollin II, Jetty at the Port and Arbor at the Port.

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