The Snyder (NY) Fire Department wanted to replace a 20-year-old heavy rescue truck, and had some pretty specific ideas about what they wanted to carry and where the equipment would be placed on their new rescue. The truck committee examined heavy rescue trucks displayed at the Lancaster County (PA) Firemen’s Association annual Fire Expo in Harrisburg, and later looked at a neighboring department’s heavy rescue. After doing its due diligence, the department chose Rescue 1 to build a new walk-through heavy rescue.
Jack Bills, territory manager for Colden Enterprises, who sold the heavy rescue to Snyder, says he was introduced to Snyder chief Mark Van Horn at the Harrisburg show, and they talked about what was possible on a heavy rescue and what wasn’t. “Then they looked at the heavy rescue that Rescue 1 had built for Getzville (NY) Fire Company, and decided they wanted Rescue 1 to build their new truck,” Bills says.
Van Horn points out that the new truck is on a Spartan Gladiator chassis and cab with a 24-inch raised roof and seating for 11 firefighters. “There is seating for the driver, officer, three rear-facing firefighters, and six firefighters in the interior walkway, all in self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) seats except for the driver,” Van Horn says. “We’ve bounced back and forth between walk-around and walk-through rescues. Our first rescue was a 1950s Ward LaFrance walk-around, followed by a 1974 walk-through, then a 1990s Chevy walk-around, the Sutphen walk-around, and now the Rescue 1 walk-through.”
Bills notes that the Snyder heavy rescue has a wheelbase of 214 inches, an overall length of 38 feet 8 inches, and an overall height of 11 feet. “It has an all-stainless-steel body with ROM roll-up doors, and a black urethane finish in all compartments and on shelving. The rescue is powered by a 565-horsepower (hp) Cummins X 15 diesel engine, and an Allison 4000 EVS automatic transmission.
The heavy rescue’s 24-inch extended front bumper carries a 16,000-pound Warn winch, and four winch receivers are on the sides, front and back of the rig to take a 9,000-pound portable Warn winch, Van Horn says. The rescue also has a Command Light LED light tower, an Onan 35-kilowatt PTO (power takeoff) generator, Whelen LED warning lighting, Whelen Pioneer LED scene lights, and a Whelen LED traffic advisor arrow stick.
Van Horn says the new rescue truck has hydraulic tools and pumps in both the L1 and R1 compartments, as well as drawers in the lower sections for Paratech struts. “In the lower R1 compartment, we also have hydraulic rams and 1-1/2-ton to 30-ton bottle jacks, heavy lift jacks, and a chain hoist,” he adds. “The L2 compartment has a tool box mounted for hand tools, a Sawzall and band saw, two electric reels, and two Paratech MultiForce heavy lifting bags. L3 and L4 carry cribbing, while L5 has the Warn portable winch, hand tools, speedy dry in pails, brooms, and shovels.”
He notes that the R2 compartment has two electric reels, a band saw, Sawzall, Paratech sheet metal cutting gun, three Streamlight rechargeable lights, extension cords, two Honda portable generators, a battery-powered fan, and Porta Power spreaders. R3 holds hazardous materials equipment and step chocks, while R4 holds two oxygen cylinders and 18 spare 45-minute SCBA bottles. The R5 compartment holds two chain saws, a rotary saw, saw blades, Halligan tools, and axes.
Behind the cab are tall compartments, accessible from each side, that hold three 4×4-inch by 6-foot lengths of cribbing, struts, pike poles, two backboards, and a scoop stretcher. Inside the cab, cabinets in the walkway hold water rescue equipment, hand tools, two extinguishers, a chain saw, a Milwaukee Tools 14-inch battery-operated rotary saw, a circular saw, batteries and chargers, first aid bags, a soft stretcher, a suction unit, ropes, gas meters, a Stokes basket, air bags, a six-foot AlcoLite ladder, and a Sked.
Snyder Fire Department’s 65 volunteer firefighters provide fire, rescue, and emergency medical services (EMS) to approximately 20,000 residents in a six-square-mile area in the town of Amherst, NY.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Ariz.-based journalist, the author of three novels and five non-fiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including the position of chief.