Compartment Corner: Verdoy (NY) Sutphen Rescue 11

Verdoy Rescue 11, a Sutphen Rescue Pumper (Photo courtesy of the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department.)

By Michael N. Ciampo

The Verdoy (NY) Volunteer Fire Department is located in the Town of Colonie, a hamlet of the town which is located in Albany County, New York. Originally, the rural area was protected by the Shaker Road Volunteer Fire Department. But, in 1944, two serious fires brought the need for better fire protection for the expanding area. Members of the Verdoy Improvement Association held a meeting with other local fire departments and the Supervisor of the Town of Colonie. Following the meeting in February of 1944, the Verdoy Volunteer Fire Association was formed and at a later date it would become the Verdoy Volunteer Fire Department. Like many things during World War II, things were very difficult to come by. Such was the story with acquiring a piece of apparatus. After weeks of searching, a truck chassis was found, and the chief at the time used his own money to place a deposit on the vehicle. When the truck was delivered, a booster tank, hose racks, and some compartments were mounted on it. During these winter months, the truck was stored at a local nursery where there was a heated building. During the summer, it was moved to a local barn. After the completion of the war, numerous veterans had joined the department and began better fundraising events such as bingo nights, square dances, paper drives, and old fashion door-to-door soliciting. Also at this time, the town formed a tax district and placed Verdoy on the tax rolls, which helped the department get on its feet with apparatus and a station.

Related Content

Currently, the Verdoy Fire Department has evolved into an “all-hazards” emergency response agency. It operates out of a new and modern fire station with numerous apparatus bays, full training area, kitchen, and rental hall areas. Its old station had to be knocked down because of FAA rules. When the Albany International Airport expanded the runways, there must be a certain distance at the ends of the runways. Thus, the demise of the department’s old station. Today it operates numerous vehicles providing fire protection and assisting the Colonie EMS division. Recently, it put into service a 2019 Sutphen Monarch heavy-duty custom pumper with a 73” extended cab with a 10” raised roof as Engine 11. It also operates the following types of apparatus: Truck 11, a 2010 Sutphen SL75 midmount aerial with a 2,000-gpm pump, 500-gallon tank and 1,200’ of 4” LDH; Engine 452, a 2004 Crimson Gladiator engine with a 1,750-gpm pump, 750-water tank and 1,250’ eet of 4” LDH; and Boat 11, a 2006 Harbor Guard/Firehawk 23 with a 450-hp V8 motor with an 800-gpm fire pump and front monitor nozzle.

Rescue 11 is a 2014 Sutphen rescue-pumper equipped with roll-up compartment doors, a Hale 1,750-gpm single-stage pump, and a 500-gallon water tank. The rig is powered by a Cummins ISL 6-cylinder engine and has an Allison EVS 3000 transmission. It has a Harrison 15-kW hydraulic generator and Will-Burt light tower. The cab has seating for eight firefighters and primarily carries the department’s auto extrication rescue tools and water/ice rescue equipment. The apparatus is painted white over red with three white reflective stripes running on the low side of the cab and then extending diagonally upward on the first compartment and running horizontally along the entire body of the rig. On the front cab doors is Verdoy Fire Department signage while the crew cab doors have a gold leaf Maltese Cross. On the upper portion of the rescue body, there is large RES11CUE gold leaf signage. The rear of the rig is has NFPA-compliant reflective safety chevrons stripes, and the rear roll-up compartment has a large reflective Verdoy Rescue 11 Maltese Cross mounted on it.

The right-side compartments on Rescue 11 have quite an array of tools stored in them, and their layout assists the department in its tactical operations. The right rear compartment is where it stores their Holmatro extrication equipment. The compartment is equipped with two roll-out trays. The top tray holds assorted blankets and tarps while the bottom tray holds spreaders, cutters, rams, and a canvas tool caddy. The middle shelf is stationary and holds hydraulic hoses and a plastic patient protection panel. The bottom tray is only a portion of the compartment, while the opposite side is broken up into two storage areas holding portable power units and extra fuel. The left side of the compartment has an extrication bracket mounted to it, and an extrication kit (glass cutter, wrenches, protective blankets) is attached to a bracket.

The compartment over the wheel-well has three storage areas. The bottom of the compartment has five heavy-duty plastic cases that are clearly labeled to identify the tools held in the bins. The tools held are DeWalt bits, blades and attachments, an Air Chisel and chisels, assorted slings and chains, and a Come-A-Long. The stationary middle shelf has an impact wrench, Rhyno Cutter, cordless drill, reciprocal saws (cordless and 120-volt), and spare batteries. The upper roll-out tray has a pick-head axe, large bolt cutter, TNT tool, pry bar, and Pakhammer 90 stored in it. The first compartment back from the enclosed pump panel has an assortment of plastic and wood cribbing stored on the floor of the compartment. The middle roll-out shelf has Holmatro stabilization struts, Sidewinder Jacks, and high-lift jacks stored on it. On the upper left hand side of the compartment, there are an assortment of air bags with protective plywood padding stored in each slot with the bag, allowing the firefighter to grab both items quickly when needed for service. On the upper right-hand side of the compartment are the air bag controls and two spare air cylinders used for lifting operations. Also, there is an electric cord and junction box mounted in the upper right-hand section of this compartment. One unique way to store items on Rescue 11 was how the department mounted a pair of high lift jacks on each side of the pump panel, allowing it to use “dead space” and carry more equipment.

When looking at the officer’s side of Verdoy’s Rescue 11 with its roll-up compartment doors open, you can truly see a well-organized and equipped rescue-pumper that assists the department’s firefighters in overall rescue operations at emergency scenes.

MICHAEL N. CIAMPO is a 33-year veteran of the fire service and a lieutenant in the Fire Department of New York. Previously, he served with the District of Columbia Fire Department. He has a bachelor’s degree in fire science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. He is the lead instructor for the FDIC Truck Essentials H.O.T. program. He wrote the Ladders and Ventilation chapters for Fire Engineering’s Handbook for Firefighter I and II (Fire Engineering, 2009) and the Bread and Butter Portable Ladders DVD and is featured in “Training Minutes” truck company videos on He also writes the back page column ON FIRE in Fire Engineering.

No posts to display