By Tom Tompkins – October 2015
In 1941, the town of Shelburne built a fire station to house their newly-ordered 1941 Buffalo pumper. While much of the department’s early history is shrouded in mystery as no records were kept before its reorganization December 3, 1942.” So began a brief piece about the Shelburne Volunteer Fire Department in a booklet published in conjunction with the Shelburne Museum for Shelburne’s bicentennial in 1963. Were it not for entries in the annual town reports and the occasional remembrance from a long-time resident, we in the twenty-first century would know nothing about our local firefighters before WWII.Like many small communities, Shelburne residents likely relied upon the help of neighbors, the “bucket brigade,” to fight fires in the early days. Most homes had a dug well or cistern from which water could be drawn in an emergency. Research has failed to find any record of there having been a local firefighting organization or town-owned equipment until well into the 20th century, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a group of men hadn’t loosely organized themselves into a fire brigade prior to then. The SVFD at one time was in possession of two, wheeled chemical “engines” that could be drawn by men or presumably a horse to the scene of a fire. Just where these came from is a mystery, speculation being that they may have been used at Shelburne Farms. Patented just after the turn of the century, these large extinguishers contained water into which a quantity of alkaline soda powder had been dissolved. Upon the opening of a vial of acid held at one end of the tank, the mixture became pressurized with carbon dioxide gas, allowing it to be forcefully expelled from a nozzle at the end of rubber hose kept coiled in a wire basket at the top of the apparatus. The tall, wooden-spoked “wagon” wheels flanking the tank would have made the apparatus maneuverable over the rutted, gravel or dirt roads of the era.
The documented history of the SVFD begins with the annual town meeting of March 6, 1923. Prior to that gathering, one or more townspeople had petitioned their local government to see if money could be voted for the purchase of suitable equipment for fire protection. Voters approved the expenditure of $500 at that meeting and a “fire committee” was appointed consisting of B. Harris Maeck, W. H. Bacon and Henry Harrington. Mr. Maeck, a local businessman, served as spokesman for the committee and appears to have provided some of the cash necessary to get the town’s new firefighting service started. However, this either didn’t occur immediately or took place in stages, as voters appropriated another $500 at the next town meeting, held March 4th, 1924.
At some point following the initial meeting, a new, Ford Model “T” one-ton truck chassis was purchased from Hinesburg Ford dealer Mead and McKenzie for the sum of $500. To this was added the following equipment:
- A “chemical outfit”, tanks and hose for another $500.
- A fire truck whistle for $15.
- Two ladders for $16.80
- Two fenders for the truck, soda, lanterns, bolts, oil, white lead paint, hardware and transportation charges amounting to $49.78.
A. F. Shattuck was paid $20 for painting the truck, T.J. White received $12.00 for his labor and Shelburne Farms provided $40.99 in supplies and labor. The latter was apparently donated, as was $25 from Mrs. S. B. Harmon. As of November 27th of that year, $119.40 was still owed on bills, this amount being provided by Mr. Maeck.Lacking a town-owned building in which to keep the new fire truck, arrangements were made for it to be stored in a barn behind the Shelburne Hotel (now Shelburne Inn) on the main road through the village. L. D. Bettinger, owner, was paid $125 for the first year’s storage of the apparatus. His involvement with the early department and responsibilities for the upkeep of the truck aren’t clear, although records indicate he was either paid or reimbursed for gasoline and maintenance expenses. A photograph of the Inn exists, probably taken in the 1930s, which shows gasoline pumps out in front.
In his annual report on behalf of the fire committee for the year ending January 31st, 1925, Mr. Maeck noted that the acid used up to that point had been given by the Shelburne Creamery and that Mrs. Harmon had paid for the soda used during a fire at her house, in addition to the donation. He went on to tell residents that their new truck had already responded to six fires and estimated the value of property saved at $10,000 or more. He noted that another $150 in accessories had been purchased since the beginning of the year and delivery of them was expected soon.
We don’t know precisely what Shelburne’s first fire truck looked like, but have a general idea. The Ford chassis would have come cab-less, none being offered by the factory at that time. Although several aftermarket types were available, it’s doubtful one was purchased. A chassis came without rear fenders, but those were apparently added immediately. In the rear of the truck we believe were mounted horizontally one or two chemical tanks, essentially the same as the wheeled units mentioned earlier. In a 1975 interview, long-time Shelburne resident Charlotte Tracy was asked about how they carried water in the truck. She responded, “well, they had a tank. There was a tank on that truck, on that first little truck.” It may be presumed that the two wooden ladders were mounted along one or both sides of the truck with two or more lanterns hung from the sides. Fire trucks of this vintage often had a bell mounted above the windshield, but no mention of one appears in this case. Research indicates that exhaust-operated “whistles” were sometimes used on fire apparatus, rather than a mechanical siren. We know a pair of 14-quart pails and a half-pint pail were added late in 1924. Several hundred Model Ts were outfitted with American LaFrance chemical outfits–presumably by the manufacturer, so Shelburne’s “homemade” engine was certainly in keeping with some others of that era. While it’s common to picture a fire truck being painted entirely red, the original black of the “T” chassis might not have been changed. However, we know that something got painted (or re-painted) some color.
Who drove the fire truck and who rode along on the running boards or ran alongside it are unknown. However, it’s likely that B. Harris Maeck was active in the new department from the start as his name appears on the first roster of the reorganized department years later, in 1942. While it might be argued that the purchase of one truck doesn’t a fire department make, the term is used in the 1925 town report and therefore appears to indicate the establishment of a town-recognized volunteer fire department in Shelburne by that time.
A crow bar and its holder were purchased in the Spring of 1925 along with a 6-foot length of hose and coupling. By its short length, one wonders if it saw use in the filling of the tanks with water. Additional purchases at this time were for a hose reel, two axes, a pike pole and two extinguishers with holders. One of these was of the soda type typically found mounted to the wall of business establishments of the time. Made of brass, It operated on the same principle as the large chemical tanks. The second was a “Foamite” extinguisher which produced a lather-like foam under pressure, found to be much more effective in fighting fires of flammable liquids by smothering them.
Obviously, a lone chemical engine manned by a few volunteers would have a limited effect in a major blaze, and thus the annual report for the year ending January 31, 1926 shows that the Burlington Fire Fighters Association was paid $50 for their services at a fire in town.
The purchase of new accessories and supplies for the fire truck had resulted in some indebtedness to B. H. Maeck, who apparently had loaned money for these items himself. It appears Mrs. B. C. Marsett may have held an earlier fundraising dance to generate money for the fire department, but we know for certain that on February 3rd, 1926 one was put on. Lechner’s Orchestra was hired for the event, lemons and sugar for lemonade and plenty of wafers were purchased as refreshments. $55 in advance tickets were sold, $54 received at the door and $17 in donations made. This went a long way toward paying off the note plus accumulated interest, townspeople finally voting to pay off the remainder of the debt at the 1930 town meeting.
The town meeting held on March 4th of that year is noteworthy for another reason, for it was then that voters empowered the selectmen to purchase new “motive power” for the fire truck. This was to enable it to respond to fires outside the village. Apparently, the Ford T chassis was incapable of negotiating the hills in town, at least with any speed. Unfortunately, the $400 cap placed on the purchase probably wasn’t adequate to buy anything more powerful in new condition. As it turns out, Howard Peterson ended up being paid just $200 for the exchange of the fire truck chassis. According to the account in the 1963 bicentennial booklet, the replacement chassis was a Cadillac make. Such a small sum would hardly purchase even a well-used chassis of such quality, so we must assume it went only for the garage man’s labor. Peterson operated the “Shelburne Garage” on (old) Route 7 (now Webster Road) and likely had some dealings with the local Cadillac dealer. Just how the town came into possession of a different, presumably used chassis is a mystery, but with one small clue. Truman Webster, noted Shelburne historian maintained that the town’s original fire truck was built upon the chassis of a Simplex town car donated by the well-to-do Webb family. Could the donation of a luxury automobile no longer needed be the source of the replacement chassis? Although no record to support this theory has been found, the story is a plausible one.
Whether the conversion really enabled the chemical engine to reach outlying areas isn’t known, but long-time Shelburne resident Al Cole recalled seeing the firemen pushing their revamped truck up Route 7’s incline north of the village. In all fairness, the graveled road may have been tricky to negotiate, especially when wet or muddy. In fact, tire chains might have been a needed accessory year-round for such a heavy vehicle. It does appear that the replacement chassis, whatever it was, had the advantage of an electric starter, as payments for battery charging and replacement began to show up in town reports. There is also a record of F. E. Deming being paid $37.50 for a fire truck siren, we presume to replace the original “whistle.”
The alkaline soda used by the apparatus appears to have been purchased 112 pounds at a time for $5.60. It’s not clear how long the creamery continued to supply the needed acid, but by 1933 it was definitely being purchased. One can only speculate about the source of the water to fill the tanks. The truck most certainly would have been faster in an unloaded state and we assume the tanks could not be stored full of the water and soda solution during cold weather. So, it may have been necessary to rely on private water supplies, both for the initial attack and subsequent refills. A public well topped with a hand-operated pump existed in the village near the barn where the truck was stored and may have served as a source of water in instances where the tanks were pre-filled.
By 1937, there apparently was some concern over the condition of the town’s fire truck. One of the items voted upon at a special town meeting held September 27th of that year regarded the reconditioning of the apparatus. It was decided to leave the decision up to the selectmen and to set a limit of $500. At the same meeting it was voted to ask the selectmen to investigate the feasibility of obtaining group insurance to protect the volunteers on the fire engine while it was being used at a fire. It doesn’t appear that anything came of this, however.
Several things occurred in 1938 that may have started townspeople thinking about the replacement of their old truck. Once again, Burlington’s firefighters were paid $50 to help at a fire. A larger than normal amount was spent on truck repairs and the Shelburne Hotel changed hands following the death of its owner.
At the town meeting held March 7th of 1939, voters turned down a proposal to contract with Burlington for fire protection. This decision was reversed in a special town meeting held May 31st. That year saw the Burlington Fire Department being paid $130 to assist at two fires.
At the end of 1940’s town meeting held March 5th, new hotel owner James Corey was given a rising vote of thanks for his excellent care and courtesy in operating the fire truck. It would appear that he was in charge of its operation and, in fact, would later become chief of the reorganized fire department.
Shelburne was growing and a group of citizens was pursuing the construction of a public water system to serve the village. In addition to supplying plentiful water, such a system with its fire hydrants would reduce the cost of fire insurance for those served, provided a suitable pumper truck was available. Therefore, it was no surprise that at the town meeting of March 4th, 1941 townspeople voted to authorize the selectmen to purchase the fire equipment necessary to meet the requirements of the Insurance Underwriters.
Records show that James J. Corey had been paid $175.00 for “storage of fire truck; gas, battery for 1940” and $170.75 would end up being spent on “storage and expense” in 1941. With a new fire truck in the works, it was obviously time for a better arrangement. Therefore, with the help of a $1,000 donation from Dunbar Bostwick the town built, in 1941, a new building behind the Town Hall to serve as a dedicated fire station and town garage. The new facility housed the two fire trucks, town plow and truck and featured overhead doors. It cost $3,833.13 to build and assisting in its construction were:
- Allan F. Bacon
- Chester Miner
- Leon Miner
- James Noonan
- Edward Quinlan
- Francis St. Peter
- Russell St. Peter
- Clayton Shortsleeves
- Charles Stebbins
- Herrick Thomas
- H. J. Foley wired the station and Bert Wilde painted it.
Ordered in late 1941 (reportedly November), the new fire truck was a 500 GPM pumper made by the Buffalo Fire Equipment Corp. on a GMC chassis. Due to government wartime priorities, it wasn’t delivered until early in 1942, at which time the town paid $3,152.20 for it. The fire truck’s GMC chassis was purchased from “FitzPatrick Garage” (Fitzpatrick’s) for $707.70. A total of $2,444.50 was then paid to the Buffalo Fire Appliance Corp. in two separate payments for the conversion/outfitting of it.
During 1941 the Town paid $128.40 to the Fabric Fire Hose Co. for 150 ft. of hose and two nozzles, $24.79 to C. B. Maxwell for two 2-1/2 in. nozzles and $45.00 to the Burlington Fire Dept. for two sirens for the fire system. However, this latter expense was also an entry under ‘receipts’ in that year’s Town Report, so apparently the sirens were later returned or resold when a large one was donated by a wealthy resident.
Insurance for the new vehicle cost the town $106.65 for 1942.
The firemen must have been proud of their new Buffalo fire engine and determined to keep it looking shiny. A payment was made to Strong Hardware Co. in 1942 for “sponge, simonize and chamois for fire truck.”
Once they had a facility to call their own, the volunteer firefighters were busy. Twelve monthly meetings were held between January 31, 1942 and January 31, 1943 (it appears a misprint in the town report placed this a year earlier). Average attendance at these was 18 members and there were 30 squad meetings “for drill or work.” Ten fire calls were answered and “the fire company collected and turned in 100 tons of scrap iron and salvage” (for the war effort), plus sponsored the skating rink. The volunteer members reorganized the department on December 3, 1942, after which written records were kept. Thus began the tradition of holding a monthly meeting, training or work detail on Thursday evenings.
Volunteer members in 1942 were:
- Robert Bacon, 2nd. Lt.
- Wentworth Bicknell
- Keith Byington, 1st. Lt.
- Joseph Catella
- John Clark
- James Corey, Chief
- Walter Coleman
- Earl Hedges
- Ramon Lawrence
- Harris Maeck
- Leo J. Monniere
- Stanton Muzzy, Sec.-Treas.
- Loyal Nash
- John Noonan
- Joseph Noonan, Driver
- Raymond Noonan
- Dennison Rice
- Fred Roberts, Steward
- Clayton Shortsleeves, Jr.
- J. Lynwood Smith, Captain
- John Stewart
- Edwin Strong
- Charles Taplin
- Henry Tracy
- Edward Wilson
The following appeared in the 1942 Town Report:
…we now have a well organized volunteer Fire Dept., and as a result of having better fire protection, fire insurance rates have been greatly reduced.
A siren was donated to the Town by Mr. Derrick Webb, and has been erected, on a tower, on the northeast corner of the schoolhouse roof. This siren is used as a warning for blackouts, as well as a fire signal. The cost of this siren was $435.00.
The motor-driven siren emitted a wail that slowly rose and fell in pitch. The total number of cycles during an activation gave the firemen a rough indication of where in town to respond. The alarm was activated by putting a pin in the appropriate hole for the number of cycles desired and pulling a lever. Three cycles indicated the emergency was in the village or toward Burlington; six that it it was south of the village; nine that it was in Shelburne Falls or points east and twelve that it was on Shelburne Point. Mrs. Dorothy Cole’s classroom was directly below the siren and she remembers having to pause in her instruction for the duration of the alarm. Uninformed students tended to interpret the number of rise and fall cycles as being indicative of the severity of the emergency, becoming more excited as the alarm continued. Since the fire station was nearby, children whose desks were near a window or who had a teacher who was understanding would also watch the fire engine rush out with the fellows hanging on for dear life.
You might be wondering how a resident would report a fire or other emergency. In the early years, it may be presumed that a call would have been placed to the Shelburne Hotel, since it’s front desk would theoretically always be staffed. Perhaps individual calls would then be made from there to alert those volunteers who had telephones or a runner sent out to bang on the doors of those living nearby. In 1942, a dedicated phone was installed at the Hotel for emergency use only and residents were given the following instructions in the town report: “In case of fire, phone Burlington 31, give your name and the exact location of the fire. The siren will be turned on and the truck will start right out.”. Eventually, a phone was installed at the home of SVFD secretary Stanton Muzzy, a disabled man who operated his own printing business there. After activating the siren, the information he received on the emergency would be relayed via a phone at the fire station to the volunteers arriving there.
The volunteer firefighters became employees of the town following the town meeting of March 25, 1942. A motion was made by Chief James Corey that all members of the Town Fire Department be exempt from their poll taxes of $5.25 each. This motion was lost. A motion was then made by B. H. Maeck that the Town pay $1.00 to each fireman for every fire attended. This motion was also lost. A motion was then made by the Rev. J. L. Smith that the Town pay $1.00 per year to each member of the Dept. as a salary so that they would be able to take out accident insurance of 500.00 and that the salary of $1.00 each would be enough to cover the claim that they are a paid fire department. This motion was carried. Beginning in 1945, the “salary” of each fireman was increased to $10.00 per year, where it remained for some time.
Joseph Noonan took over as fire chief in May of 1943. Shelburne’s original fire truck, the chemical engine, was finally sold on August 9th of that year for the sum of $50.00. We unfortunately don’t know who purchased it or where it ended up, but by then it was presumably rather the worse for wear and certainly obsolete after almost twenty years of service to the town.
The construction of the initial phase of a public water system in the Village had been completed in December of 1940 and as the firemen practiced with their new Buffalo pumper some of the 60 residents who funded the public water supply weren’t happy. Whether they mostly considered it a waste of precious water they were paying for or were upset about drops in the pressure isn’t clear, but the following appeared in the 1944 Town Report: “In response to the direction of the voters in town meeting in 1944 we, the Water Commissioners, have prepared an ordinance for the use of the hydrants and water supply by the Shelburne Fire Department.” It went on to set limits on the use of the water system by the firefighters, but claimed it was “no reflection on the present excellent Fire Department.” It should be remembered that at that point municipal water was being supplied by a single artesian well on the school grounds and paying for water was still something new for Village residents.
The “club room” was apparently added onto the south end of the original fire station in 1945. That year’s town report indicates 1,403 hours were put in by the firemen as “labor on club room” and the town paid $1,136.14 for “lumber, cement, wire, etc.” The new addition featured a fireplace and created a nice space where the firefighters could relax and socialize.
Equipped with their new pumper, we presume Shelburne firefighters began assisting at fires in neighboring towns on occasion. However, after considerable discussion at the town meeting held March 5, 1946, it was voted that “…all moneys received by the Shelburne Fire Dept. for attending fires be turned over to the Town Treasurer for credit to the Fire Department.” One might read into this that the money had previously been kept by the firefighters and spent as they saw fit. At any rate, from this point forward reimbursements began showing up in the annual reports, primarily coming from Charlotte.
The simple phone number “31” remained in use for reporting emergencies until 1951, at which time it became 3-3111.
The old Buffalo fire truck had to work hard. The 1955 Town Report saw the Fire Department wanting to purchase a pickup truck with a front end pump to carry some of their ever-increasing gear. The old truck was greatly overloaded, they acknowledged, pointing out: “it now carries 250 gallons of water, 1200 feet of 2-1/2″ hose, 600 feet of 1-1/2″ hose, 10 Indian pumps, a portable gasoline pump, 3 10′ sections of 4″ suction line, 2 ladders, nozzles and as many as 10-12 men. This amounts to an approximate weight of 5 tons on a truck chassis that is rated at 1-1/2 tons. Is it any wonder that we have to go up Irish’s hill in low gear?”
For the better fire protection of Shelburne, 1956 saw the addition of a new (1-1/4 ton ?) 4-wheel-drive International auxiliary truck, plus two Scott Air Paks and a Scott Inhalator, donated to the department by the Red Cross. A 1956 special appropriation of $3,000.00 was spent as follows: new truck $2400.30; equipment of truck such as siren, red light, etc., $145.68; new tires for the old truck $217.60. The balance of $236.42 was used for misc. equipment such as spot lights, one hundred fifty feet of 1-1/2 inch hose, a hose nozzle and other small equipment on the pickup. The truck never received the front-mounted pump, however, so it appears the portable gasoline pump previously carried on the Buffalo was simply transferred. This new truck became known as the original “Truck 3.” When it was eventually replaced in in the 1970s, this truck went to Shelburne Farms. The International is remembered as running quite roughly until it warmed up, requiring repeated application of the manual choke as it bucked its way down the road. The pickup carried a “resuscitator,” which delivered measured bursts of oxygen through a mask. Predating the use of CPR, this was used in an attempt to revive those who had stopped breathing, for example, after suffering a heart attack.
The 1958 town meeting saw the fire department requesting the set up of a reserve for the eventual replacement of the Buffalo fire truck. While still in fair condition after 16 years, they felt it would unquestionably have to be replaced in another few years. Members felt the suggested sum of $2,000.00 a year deposited in a savings account might avoid the necessity of a bond issue or a large tax increase when a new truck had to be purchased. “This procedure worked well and quite painlessly for School Department buses,” it was noted. The article was passed.
By the time the fund was used, $6,375.68 had accumulated in it.
The nation had conducted a salvage drive for the war effort during the second half of 1942. Fireman B. H. Maeck was chairman of the Shelburne Salvage Committee and the fire department collected and turned in one hundred tons of scrap iron and salvage. It is said that the firefighters helped to remove the cast iron heating systems from Shelburne Farms, which is why there is no heat in some buildings there to this day. In any event, funds received from the scrap drive had been invested and covered $900.00 of the cost of uniforms purchased by the department in 1959. An open house was held later in the year, perhaps in part to show off the new dress uniforms.
At town meeting March 7, 1961 the following was submitted to the voters of the town:
The Selectmen of Shelburne and the Fire Department both feel that this is the opportune time, due to the insurance underwriters twenty year policy, to mention the fact that 1961 is the year for the purchase of a new fire truck.
However, no action was taken by the voters. Despite that, the department went ahead and purchased a 1961 Maxim pumper at a cost of $11,504.32. Needless to say, this caused some concern, as seen in the following excerpt from the annual report:
It has been noted that while the need for a new fire truck was apparent there was no record of a town vote authorizing its financing out of the 1961 budget. Also, no record of competitive bidding for its purchase was found. It is our recommendation that all future acquisitions of capital equipment be made on a competitive basis (auditors’ report).
Money raised by the Department that year was used to install a tile floor in the club room and purchase 500 feet of hose for the new truck. The new Maxim became Engine 2, a designation it retained for decades until finally being sold to someone in Canada for use as a show truck. It is fondly remembered as being a reliable workhorse with a pump that could easily exceed its 750gpm rating.
Sometime in the early 1960s, possibly 1963, a new electronic transmitter alarm system was purchased and installed to augment the siren on top of the school. Firefighters now had an AC-operated electronic device, jokingly referred to as a “squawk box” in their home that would emit a loud tone in the event their services were needed. No longer did they have to rely upon the chance hearing of the fire siren or perhaps a phone call to bring them to the station.
SVFD’s next engine was purchased ten years later, for around $35,000. It arrived in February on a day when the high temperature was ten degrees below zero. As it had an open cab, the fellow who drove it up from Middleboro had to keep stopping for hot coffee. A 1971 Maxim with a 1,000gpm pump and 1,000 gallon tank, Engine 4 was quite similar in appearance to it’s older sister. Unfortunately, this piece of apparatus proved to be a poor investment. Apparently, the owners of the company had a gambling problem and were skimming off the profits to support their habit. The firefighters soon discovered that corners had been cut in its manufacture and the new truck handled poorly, with little power and especially bad brakes. Mallets Bay, Colchester, Winooski and Milton departments reportedly purchased Maxims around the same time, and all but Shelburne’s ended up blowing their Waukesha engines. Badly rusted after just ten years, the body was redone by Middlesex before the truck was finally sold.
A replacement for the aging Truck 3 came in the form of a 1972 Dodge Power Wagon. SVFD purchased a 4WD Dodge truck chassis and right afterward Middlesex Fire Equipment built it. When this was replaced by Rescue 4, Utility Truck 3 went to the Charlotte FD.
Until the spring of 1974, Shelburne did not have its own tanker truck in which to transport water to and from the scene of a rural fire. This changed with the purchase and conversion of a used, 1962 Ford heating oil delivery truck from Crosby’s Garage. It was retrofitted to carry a 1,500 gallon portable pond. While many small departments used converted oil trucks, it was not an ideal situation because of inadequate baffling inside the large tank. This could lead to a loss of control should the load of water, denser than oil, shift suddenly such as when rounding a corner at high speed. While such a dangerous occurance was fortunately averted during the time the truck served in Shelburne, after it had been sold to another department a firefighter was killed when it rolled over on a call.
Engine 6 (later renumbered to 3) was a 1979 Middlesex pumper built on a Duplex chassis. It had a Detroit Diesel diesel engine and a Darley 1500 GPM pump. Like a former tanker, it was sold to the Pinecrest Fire Department in Jacksboro, TN. It went to Pinecrest in February of 2000, being replaced by Engine 2. The Middlesex was the first of Shelburne’s engines not to be of the open-cab design. It was said that the fire chief had requested an open cab in previous purchases, believing that it gave better visibility when approaching the scene of a fire. The cab of the new Middlesex was enclosed on three sides and protected the responding crew to a certain degree from rain, snow and biting wind.
Marine 4 (originally numbered 1) is a 1990, 16-foot Zodiac with a fiberglass hull and 60hp oil-injected outboard motor. Originally purchased with a smaller motor, it is trailered and can be used on Shelburne Pond, Lake Champlain or other bodies of water to assist in rescue or other marine tasks.
Squad 4 (also known as Rescue 4) is a 1991 E-One Commercial heavy rescue on an International 4-door diesel chassis. It was originally supplied with a gasoline-powered chassis which proved to have inadequate power. It is equipped with extrication and rescue equipment and carries a large number of reserve air bottles for the SCBA.
The long-serving Buffalo was replaced by a 1991 E-One Protector pumper. This new Engine 1 was driven up from Florida and arrived on Feb. 2nd. Emergency One was owned by a company called Federal Motors and Federal built the chassis. The truck featured a 1250gpm Hale pump, 750 gallon tank and a FoamPro 1600 foam system. It seated four and was the first of Shelburne’s engine to have a fully-enclosed cab. It served the department until 2012 and was sold to a refurbishing company.
The current Tanker 5 is a 1995 E-One Commercial tanker/pumper on an International 2-door diesel chassis. It carries 1,800 gallons of water and has a 500gpm Hale pump with FoamPro 1600 foam system. It carries a 2,500 gallon portable pond as well as a gasoline-operated portable pump.
Utility Truck 6 was a 1-ton truck that was originally a military ambulance at the Plattsburgh Air Force Base. The Town acquired two of them when the Base closed in the early 1990s. The second one was still used by the Town Recreation Department as of 2010. In 1997, the Fire Department asked the Town for one of the ambulances and had Giroux’s Body Shop in Hinesburg remove the ambulance body, put on the Reading utility body and paint the truck. U6 was sold to A. E. Phelps Fire & Rescue in Crown Point, NY during the winter of 2003-2004.
Current Engine 2 is a Vermont Fire Technologies (V-Tec) rescue pumper, built on a 1999 American LaFrance Eagle chassis. It has a 1,500gpm pump and 1,000 gallon tank, with a CAFS (compressed air foam system) retrofitted to it. It is equipped with pre-connected hydraulic, air and electrical lines for use in extrication, as well as a 10KW diesel generator. It can seat 6 in its air-conditioned cab.
Current Engine 3 is a 2004 KME mini-pumper on a Ford F-550 4-wheel-drive diesel chassis. It has a Hale 500gpm pump with a 250 gallon tank and FoamPro 1600 foam system. It was purchased in order to get into areas that a full-sized engine can’t.
Current Engine 1 is a KME pumper delivered in early 2012. It has a Waterous pump.
Current Marine 1 is a former DOD ordnance-disposal craft that had been converted to a fishing vessel prior to its purchase by the department in the latter part of 2012.