I’m Joe Osika, Chief of the Ellicott Creek Volunteer Fire Company, and I’ve been a member here for 27 years.
The community we serve– it’s a fairly diverse community. We have a lot of student housing for the University of Buffalo that sits within our district. So we do have a lot of out of town people that live here for certain parts of the year. We also have some areas where we have very busy thruway passes that go through– we have the 990 and a portion of the 290. A majority of it’s single family homes. It’s a pretty diverse area.
A lot of it’s water-wise. Ellicott Creek runs right in front of our main hall. And then we also have the Erie Canal– also known as Tonawanda Creek– which runs through parts of our district. There’s a dog park– it’s called the Bark Park– which is where people go and they walk their dogs, and the dogs can play with each other. We have a very large industrial park. You have anything from a typical office area up to a major manufacturer with a very high amount of chemicals. We’ve had some pretty big chemical spills.
The Rosenbauer apparatus is a 2016 Commander 3000 It’s a 1,500 gallon permanent pump, 750 gallon tank, it’s quite a versatile piece a apparatus for us. We can use it for anything– we have EMS equipment on it, we have fire rescue equipment on it. When we get very busy, we’re able to utilize it for other aspects.
The reason we actually purchased the Rosenbauer engine? The quality of the work, the quality of the apparatus, and just our general experiences with it.
The Ellicott Creek Fire Company in Amherst, New York was looking for a pumper to add to their fleet because they were building a second station to meet the needs of their fire district. The population of their fire district was expanding, and their ISO ratings, to stay current with those, they needed to add a third pumper. So, with them being cost conscious in mind, we were able to build them a custom fire truck that works exactly how they need it to.
This is the Rosenbauer Commander 3000. This is the driver’s area, obviously where the driver is going to operate the vehicle. All lighting controls are up here, and all the pump controls to transfer the truck over to pump operations.
This is the crew area. We have seating for four– staggered seating so that they’re not bumping knees. They do have tools in here, and flashlights, and all their portable radios. In this compartment– it’s the step compartment– it’s where we keep a lot of our adapters, 2 and 1/2 inch gates, any other kind of adapters we need.
We have two cross lays, both set up as a minuteman. We’re actually in the process of making space for our high rise packs on this side. Here’s all of our discharges, this is our main intake. In this compartment, we have a spare air pack in case the driver needs one or we need it for somebody else, EMS equipment. And we also have a forcible entry tool for gaining entry into buildings, or apartments, or into a home.
And then this compartment is where all of our hand tools are– pickhead axe, flathead axe, any of the poles they need, the pike poles and drywall hooks. In this compartment– it’s kind of a semi-catch-all– we have our hydro bag. We also have a tool box, some collapsible safety cones, a bunch of different adapters. A lot of the neighboring departments are not NST, or National Standard Threads, so we want to be sure we can match up to them. And in this compartment– it’s our rear compartment– it’s pretty much our electric cord reel run off the generator, all of our other standard cord reels if they need them, and some normal lights, and adapters.
And in this compartment is where we stored our ladders– 24′ extension ladder, 12′ roof ladder, folding attic ladder, and there are a few pike poles in here. The nice part about this apparatus is the fact that it’s the first time we’ve actually had our ladders stored inside the actual truck itself. Up top is all of our hose, our foreign supply line. This is our ventilation compartment, we have a saw, some extra fuel, generator light, this is our main fan, isometric gas. This is a transverse compartment, so does go all the way through on the bottom in case we need to change things up later on and get some larger items in there.
This is actually our high-rise pack currently, which I did discuss. We’re going to move those over to the cross-lays, which allow us to actually utilize the compartment for more hand tools. So that will be a future thing, which is another versatility of the truck– being able to move stuff around. And this compartment is basically an electric fan, we had the base for our deluges gun on top. We also have a hanger for our electric fan, we have a box of flares in case we need them out for traffic accidents. Obviously, the other side, another intake, discharges, we do have a large diameter discharge in case we need it.
And this is the officer’s seat– the officer of the truck, whether it be a lieutenant, or a captain, or a senior firefighter– he has his SCBA– or she– and also has a portable radio, and a Knox Box system because we have a lot of buildings that have key buildings where we can get to keys. And on the front bumper, we do have a front intake. A lot of times with our hydrants, we’re a lot closer we need to be so we’re able to use the front intake– 2 and 1/2 inch gate, couple of spanner wrenches. We do have a front bumper line– a lot of people call it a trash line– we utilize it for different things– car fires or dumpster fires.
If I received a call from a neighboring fire chief that would be looking at Rosenbauer piece of apparatus, I would explain to them how easy the process was, how simple the process was. How Rosenbauer is very open to customization, trying to fit the needs of the department, the quality of the work, the quality of the apparatus– pretty much why we’ve ordered another one.