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$500K in funding for Buffalo’s Beloved EM Cotter Fireboat

Buffalo’s EM Cotter Fireboat was lavished with some love today, as representatives from The Buffalo Fire Department, Friends of the CotterThe Fireboat EM Cotter Conservancy, Assemblyman Sean Ryan, Mayor Byron Brown, Buffalo Common Council Member Chris Scanlon, and Jessie Fisher of Preservation Buffalo Niagara announced that it was getting $500,000 in funding.

The funding will go a long way towards maintaining and preserving Buffalo’s iconic fireboat, which is the oldest operational fireboat in the world. The Cotter is not only operational as a fireboat, it also serves as an icebreaker along the Buffalo River, and at the Inner Harbor. Finally, the fireboat, listed under National Register of Historic Places, has become the official welcome committee for visiting tall ships, and even attends a number of regional waterfront celebrations. 

The funding will allow the following work to commence: 

  • A total replacement of the ship’s hull
  • Replacement of the ships propellers
  • The welding approximately 800 rivets
  • Repairs to the rudder, tail shafts and main engine will also be made while the boat is in dry- dock for the hull replacement

“The Edward M. Cotter is a tremendous asset that provides a vital service to our community,” said Assemblyman Sean Ryan. “These repairs will allow The Cotter to continue to serve our community both as an icebreaker, and an active fire engine for decades to come. I thank Mayor Brown, Council Member Scanlon, the Buffalo Fire Department, and the Fire Fighters Union for coming together to help protect and preserve the Cotter.”

“At age 118, the Edmund M. Cotter is the oldest active fireboat in the world, and it has not had significant rebuilding since 1953, so funding for a new hull and other repairs is very good news for this iconic City of Buffalo vessel,” Mayor Byron W. Brown said. “I thank Assemblyman Ryan for his work to secure the needed funding for these repairs which will keep the Cotter in service fighting fires and as an icebreaker on the Buffalo waterfront for many decades to come.”

“This $500,000 will ensure the Cotter will continue to serve the residents of the City of Buffalo in its multiple capacities,” said South District Councilmember Christopher P Scanlon. “Thank you Assemblyman Ryan for securing the funding.”

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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