The Village Board of Colonie on September 21, 1931 gave approval to organize a volunteer Fire Department. At a special Board session held in the Village School thirty of the fifty residents present enrolled in the new company. Twenty more were expected to sign up at the next meeting. Nordin J. Shambrook was elected the first Chief and Edward J. Skinner was elected President of the Fire Company. The first piece of equipment was a 600 gallon Ahrens Fox Pumper, ordered by the Board at a cost of $6,700. The original name of the Company was Killian Van Rensselaer Fire Company. The original active member list of sixty was reached by the end of 1931 and the charter was closed.
During 1932 the Company formed a First Aid Unit, established a Ladies Auxiliary, joined the Hudson Mohawk Volunteer Fireman’s Association and purchased a squad car. The Fire Company was incorporated in 1934.
In 1935, the Fire Company purchased a new squad car to serve as an ambulance and hose carrier. Two years later, in 1937, the name of the Company was changed to the Colonie Fire Company, Inc. The Fire Company and Ladies Auxiliary Annual Dinner was held in in 1940 and has continued as the Annual Installation Dinner since that time.
In 1941, the Fire Company purchased a 1937 hearse which was converted into and became the first ambulance in the Town of Colonie. At that time, the Fire Company Rescue Squad served the entire Town of Colonie. The years after World War II saw the purchase of a Ford Chassis Pumper and a Jeep high pressure pumper was acquired for its maneuverability and efficient firefighting in grass and small fires. This same year also saw the Fire Company organize a youth band which has provided our community’s youth with summer musical training and enrichment over the past 33 years.
During 1950 the Village Board purchased a new 750 GPM Autocar Pumper. The year 1956 saw the Company organize its first Fire Police Unit which has served the Company and the community over the years by directing traffic at emergencies, patrolling the Village on Halloween, and serving at the direction of the Village Board.
In the 1960s the Village board purchased two 1000 GPM Mack Pumpers, a fire prevention jeep, a salvage truck, and a new Jeep firefighter As the 1960s closed. the Village Board approved the purchase of an American LaFrance combination pumper and 100′ aerial ladder truck.
Over the years since 1941, the Fire Company Rescue Squad, through donations from the public, has purchased a number of new ambulances to serve the community. The first of these new custom made ambulances was purchased in 1947. in 1956 the Company purchased a custom-built S&S ambulance with a Cadillac chassis and continued to buy this type of vehicle through 1973. In 1975 the Fire Company introduced a new service to the residents of our community when the first group of Firefighter Paramedics began providing Advanced Life Support Pre-hospital Care. It was in 1977 that the Company placed in service a larger, truck-type ambulance to provide the Fire Company EMT’s and Paramedics with room and equipment necessary to furnish the latest procedures in Pre-hospital Emergency Care.
During the 1970′s the Fire Company introduced a number of new pieces of firefighting equipment. In 1975 one of the old Mack Pumpers was replaced with a custom-built 1500 GPM Maxim Pumper equipped with a large diameter electric hose reel carrying 1000′ of 3 inch hose. By 1979 the other 1960 Mack Pumper was retired and another custom-built 1500 GPM Maxim Pumper equipped with two large diameter hydraulic hose reels, each carrying 1000′ of 3 inch hose was put into service. This pumper has a top-mounted pump panel to provide the operator with greater visibility of the fire scene. In 1979 the Company placed in service a new Rescue Truck designed for fire rescue, salvage, vehicle extrication and other rescue situations.
In 1983 a new Jeep 4 wheel drive Mini-Pumper was purchased with a 500 gpm pump. The unit was placed into service as Engine 407. This was our third Jeep specifically designed for off-road brush fire use. The vehicle is small enough to be utilized on small bike and foot trails.
In September 1993 we took delivery of twin Pierce Lance 1500 gpm 6 man enclosed cab pumpers. These were placed into service as Engine 405 and Engine 406. Each vehicle has a foam proportioner system, carrying 50 gallons of foam. The pumper each have a 750 gallon water tank, and 1575′ of 4″ hose.
In 1995 a consolidation agreement was reached between Midway FD., Colonie Fire Company, and Fuller Road Fire Department, after a full year of interdepartmental discussion. This agreement provided that Colonie Fire Company would sell it’s existing aerial ladder truck, and build a heavy rescue truck that would serve not only the Village of Colonie, but the above two neighboring districts. Aerial ladder service to the Village of Colonie would be provided by both Midway and Fuller Road Fire Departments. This agreement would afford consolidated training opportunities, as well as cost savings by eliminating the duplication of special apparatus between all three departments in the future.
September of 1998 brought us a new rescue truck, Rescue 2. This unit is a Pierce Lance 10 man enclosed cab, with two elevating light towers, a four bottle air cascade system, and dual Hurst Power Plants. The truck carries a full compliment of air, hydraulic, and electric rescue equipment, including air bags, air shores, air tools, 6 Hurst tools, and 5 power saws. The truck provides its own electric power with a 35 kw on-board generator and two gas powered portable generators. Rescue 2 is also equipped with an A-Frame and 6 ton winch.