Meeting the needs of a volunteer fire department needing to do more with less, and in the end getting more.

Author: Dave Mangus

Dave MangusThe Ellicottville FireDepartment (EFD) contacted Empire Emergency about three years ago, seeking a solution to an evolving problem that the entire Volunteer Fire Service is currently grappling with: the challenges of a dwindling roster.  EFD faced the reality of needing to do more with less, but thanks to Empire’s ability to design custom fire apparatus, they ultimately gained so much more.

A long-time customer with a Rosenbauer Tower in its truck bay, the EFD had a good idea of what was required but needed expert input to customize and execute fire apparatus equipment that would suit their growing needs. Again, looking at doing more with less, EFD sought to successfully consolidate two pieces of fire apparatus into one: meshing a pumper and heavy rescue into one multi-use vehicle.

Rosenbauer Rescue Truck for Ellicottville Fire Department

Empire and Rosenbauer, one of the world’s leading fire truck manufacturing companies, enthusiastically accepted this challenge.  But this project did present some concerns — specifically accommodating adequate storage and compartment space. When consolidating a heavy rescue and a pumper into one, a lot of essential equipment comes into play, and it all needs its specific place. The tools of the trade, even if used only once or twice a year, are all critical and must be readily accessible in custom fire trucks.


Understanding the manner and urgency in which EFD responds to fire and rescue calls, we designed a truck to its unique specifications, optimizing compartment space by decreasing the number of the seats within the cab. We maximized compartment layout by using the Rosenbauer EXT body, which offers an integrated shelving track within the large extrusions forming the body compartments and complete customizing capabilities. The EFD Rosenbauer EXT Rescue Pumper is designed as a 4-man cab. For ease of use by the officer and driver, a multiplex electrical system and screens were installed on the apparatus, making for a user-friendly operator environment. Knowing the weather challenges of Western New York State, and especially Ellicottville, where snow can fall quite heavily, we incorporated hot dipped galvanized frame rails onto the chassis to allow for lifetime corrosion protection from harsh wintertime road treatments such as road salt and liquid chloride solutions.

The fire apparatus body is where most of the customizing came into play. Designing a truck utilizing the Rosenbauer Heavy Duty EXT body (with its life-time transferrable warranty) allowed us to build exactly what EFD needed in a Rescue Pumper. Compartmentation was optimized by incorporating Rosenbauer Safe Scene, which allows access into the upper portion normally not reachable from the ground.  Best-fit placement for cascade system air bottles also optimized the limited space. Electrical and hydraulic reels were mounted in coffin compartments and extended down through side compartments, for more usable storage space. Toolboxes and boards, slide shelves and trays were all integrated into the apparatus layout to ensure adequate storage for all essential equipment.

Empire Emergency met, accepted and overcame EFD’s challenge!  Today, the department is running its Rosenbauer Rescue Pumper as a first out apparatus handling the majority of fire and rescue calls. It was designed and expertly executed to meet their demands, and EFD actually has more compartment space on the new truck than they did previously with two! Our goal as emergency vehicle outfitters is to provide our customers with a truck that functions exactly as it was designed to do.  And when our customers are happy, then we’re happy, too!

The Empire Emergency team would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Chief Ed Fredrickson, and Assistant Chief Rob Germain for their hands-on involvement in seeing this project through to its completion.

Truck Features:
  • Rosenbauer Commander Cab
  • Cummins ISX15 Liter 600 HP Motor
  • Allison 4000 Transmission
  • HDG Frame Rails
  • Multiplex Electrical System
  • Whelen LED Warning Light Package
  • Akron Scene Star Scene Lighting
  • Command Light, Light Tower
  • Harrison Generator
  • Rosenbauer EXT Body w/ Safe Scene Steps
  • C-Tech Storage Module
  • 1500 GPM Waterous Pump
  • 1000 Gallons of Water
  • Speedy Dry Hopper
  • Hydraulic and Electric Reels
  • Portable 10,000# winch
  • Through Tank Ladder Storage

Empire Emergency is your trusted provider of highly-customized emergency vehicle installations that ensure the effectiveness and safety of the men and women who protect and serve our communities. Empire’s emergency vehicle upfit solutions enable fire, police, and rescue teams of all sizes to perform quickly, efficiently, safely, and secure in the knowledge that their equipment is both expertly installed and inspected with meticulous attention to detail.

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