A new light duty rescue vehicle to support water rescue activities was delivered in September of 2020 to replace a 21-year-old used ambulance. The officers and commissioners worked together for over a year to design a light duty rescue that would serve to not only pull the air boat in all weather conditions but would also provide storage space for all of the water rescue equipment, transport a crew of 5 and be used as a rehab area for cold water rescues.
The light duty rescue started out as a drawing on a white board and progressed from there. The aluminum crash tested body is mounted on a 2019 two door cab Ford F550 4X4 chassis to keep the unit short when there isn’t much room to retrieve the boat onto the trailer. The body of the unit is comprised mostly of storage compartments but does have space where three rescuers can be safely seated and belted. The body also has a desk top area and both heating and air conditioning. All the compartments were designed to hold specialized rescue equipment such as a floating stokes stretcher, rope reels, personal flotation devices, dry suits, and many other water rescue items for both cold and warm water rescue scenarios. The fire company air boat is used on several local bodies of water including Saratoga Lake, Round Lake and both the Hoosic and Hudson Rivers.
The light duty rescue was outfitted with high intensity LED scene lighting, a front bumper winch, and automatic tire chains. The unit can also be used for scene safety at fires or at motor vehicle crashes. The water rescue unit and the air boat are stored at Station 2 on George Thompson Road which positions it in the center of the response area for water rescues and carries the radio designation of M-11-3.