Archive 2008 - 2019

The New Rescue 1

by Ken Henderson

The Coca-Cola truck donated and refurbished by HFD has been Rescue 1 since 1997and it has seen better days. The well-equipped new replacement is now in service and has already made a positive impact.  Training continues on a regular basis as the crew of Rescue 1 gets familiar with all the capabilities of the new vehicle.  Drilling on setup of an array of rescue tools builds routines that are so necessary during responses to actual accidents.

A description of the truck is “a rolling toolbox.”  A ladder truck has a specified purpose as do the engine companies. Rescue 1 has to be the Jack of all trades.  The problem solver when unconventional issues arise at the scene. Will the Jaws of Life be needed since a passenger is trapped in a car?  Water rescues require another set of gear. Will a 10-20 ton vehicle need to be lifted using high pressure air bags?  The scenarios can be endless.  With safety first, responders also must know their limits and the limits of the equipment.  In those very unusual cases the district technical support team may be called to assist at the scene.

At a recent training, fire fighters in full gear were practicing various cutting and rescue procedures using an old Cadillac donated by Hometown Auto. From time to time discussion among the crew shared experience and techniques for rescuing passengers from a car crash. Knowing how various cars are built helps knowing how to take them apart. This discussion approach was fascinating to listen to which included a check list approach as to what you do first, second and so on.  Often the fire fighters work in conjunction with EMTs who are also responding to crashes. Check on the occupants, check for gasoline leaks, be aware of the electrical systems in the car, stabilize the vehicle to avoid more problems, keeping victims as calm as possible since the rescue can get noisy and above all act with safety first for all persons at the scene.  Who knew it takes all this planning to respond swiftly and effectively?  They do an awesome job!

One last area is mission creep.  The crash /fire scenes get more complicated year after year with greater expectations of the responders. How can responders “know it all?” But the level of difficulty keeps increasing. Firefighters on occasion share their vexation that there isn’t always a clear-cut solution to everything they come across. Of course, ongoing training is key and appropriate equipment needs to be in place.  We’re very fortunate to have a dedicated and well-prepared fire department and our support of them is crucial for their continued success.  Executing with skill and teamwork allows them to take on the challenges they face.  I sleep better knowing they will respond at a time of need.  Hope you do too.  Thanks HFD.

Comments (3)


JEAN MORRISSEY | 2019-06-11 11:01:01

I have no doubt that our fire department is first class. I want to thank those men and women who serve our community everyday keeping us and our property safe. But can we have the conversation as to why we are (I think) the only town in the area with a volunteer fire department?

Bill Littlefield | 2019-06-11 07:43:15

For as long as I can remember our Fire Dept. has been the envy of surrounding Depts., even those with full time fire fighters. This vehicle is just one more step to maintain our outstanding performance. Thanks to all of our firefighters, from the hearts of Holliston.

Henry Dellicker | 2019-06-08 10:10:25