Press Room

New fire rescue boat to enhance Saugus response times

SAUGUS, Mass. — Oct. 11, 2014 — A new fire rescue boat donated by Wheelabrator Saugus will enhance response times by emergency crews on local waterways.

“The seconds gained by this generous donation may be lifesaving,” said Fire Chief Don McQuaid. “We extend our heartfelt thanks to Wheelabrator, an active community partner that understands the importance of safety and preparedness, often providing financial assistance for life-saving equipment as well as an area to perform training exercises.”

On October 9, Wheelabrator purchased an Achilles Fast Rescue Boat 124 to replace a 20-year old, 5-horsepowerboat. With a 20-horsepower motor, the new boat allows first responders to arrive at calls on the water in less time. The new vessel is equipped with advanced features and a design that makes it more stable and durable, giving it the capability to withstand the strong Saugus River current.

“Safety is the highest priority at Wheelabrator,” said Wheelabrator Saugus Plant Manager Eric Lucier, noting that 18 Wheelabrator plants have been certified by OSHA as Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star sites, a distinction earned by only .03 percent of the seven million regulated worksites. “Wheelabrator’s commitment to safety extends to the community at large, and we appreciate the job the fire department does every day in protecting the lives of those who live and work in Saugus. It is crucial they have the proper equipment and resources to do that job well.”

To prepare for emergency situations on the water, McQuaid said the department conducts drills on the boat a number of times a year in various locations, such as on the Saugus River, at Breakheart Reservation, the reservoir on Walnut Street and a few smaller ponds. “You never know when you are going to need it,” he said.

Earlier this year, Wheelabrator Saugus provided the fire department with six automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for use on all fire apparatus and in town hall, and donated an additional 10 AEDs to Saugus Public Schools last year.


A wholly owned subsidiary of Waste Management, Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. is a leader in the safe and environmentally sound conversion of municipal solid waste and other renewable waste fuels into clean energy. Wheelabrator owns or operates 18 waste-to-energy facilities that provide safe waste disposal for towns and cities across the U.S. Wheelabrator also operates four independent power plants designed to generate electricity using an assortment of fuels, including waste wood, waste coal, and natural gas. In addition to producing electricity, some of these facilities also produce steam sold to nearby government and commercial establishments. Wheelabrator’s 22 facilities have a combined electric generating capacity of 862 megawatts, enough energy to power more than 900,000 homes. To learn more, visit