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Brookhaven Technical Rescue Task Force
PO Box 147
Setauket, NY 11733
In 1995 everything got started because SUNY Stony Brook was being pushed by PESH to have a regular confined space rescue team. Setauket Fire Chief Leo Debobes was Director of Environmental Health and Safety there. Since there weren't enough Fire Marshals and they didn't cover shifts back then, he asked the local fire departments, including Setauket, Stony Brook, Port Jefferson, Mount Sinai and Centereach if they'd like to get involved. So as Technical Rescue history began, it was those 5 departments, plus SUNY's Fire Marshals. Arrangements were made for all of the department's membership to get trained at the Nassau Fire Service Academy in Bethpage. The instructors were George Howard, who was a Hicksville Ex-Captain and PAPD Officer (died 9/11) and Chief John Brown from Freeport FD. We did two consecutive classes and started out with about 8 Setauket, 6 Stony Brook, 6 Port Jefferson, 4 Mount Sinai and 6 Centereach, members, plus 7 from SUNY. This was original group. Over time, Selden, Yaphank and Wading River asked to become part of the group. All the chiefs in the Chief's office signed a letter of agreement. The group was originally called it the Northern Brookhaven Confined Space Rescue Team (NBCSRT). They had no equipment other than gloves and helmets to start off. They used Nassau's gear, and then all the departments started acquiring equipment a little at a time. They drilled during the first year at Old Chemistry and the Health Sciences Center for rappelling, then LILCO's Shoreham and Port Jeff plants, the Miller Place High School, and the Centereach Water Tower. A couple of us got to also rappel from the inside roof steel at Nassau Coliseum. This was the beginning of the Setauket Fire Departments Confined Space Rescue Team (CSRT)
In 1995 the Setauket Fire Departments Confined Space Rescue Team (CSRT), used an old Fire Department van to transport its members and their limited supply of equipment. Soon after, as the equipment cache grew, an old Ford F250 4X4 maintenance truck became the dedicated vehicle for the Confined Space Trained members. In 2000, as the equipment cache grown even larger and the CSRT out grew the Ford and began using old Rescue 7, an American LaFrance Rescue, housed at the Main Street fire house it was replaced and given to, the newly created Setauket Fire Departments Technical Rescue Team (SFDTRT) and moved to Station 3 on Nicolls Road.
In 1999 Joseph DiBernardo was appointed Team Leader and was confronted with the task of meeting two new NFPA standards, 1670 and 2006 governing Technical Rescue. Such as Building Collapse, Trench Collapse, Confined Space Rescue, High Angle Rope, Vehicle & Machinery Extrication, Water & Ice and Wilderness Search and Rescue. In 1999 the Team was way on its way to meet the new NFPA standards, which went into effect in February. It was then that the NBCSRT became known as the Brookhaven Technical Rescue Task Force (BTRTF). Currently today, the SFDTRT is one of ten agencies proudly on the BTRTF. In 2007 the SFDTRT received their American LaFrance Heavy Duty Rescue that proudly serves as a fire fighting piece, a technical rescue vehicle and a FAST (Firefighter Assist & Search Team AKA RIT unit. Rescue 6, as it is known, is capable of handling Vehicle and Machinery Extrications, Collapses, Heavy Rigging, Fighting Fires, Water and Ice Rescue, Confined Space and Rope Rescue. Rescue 6 has one of the largest caches of equipment of Long Island. This includes equipment to handle the above mentioned types of incidents, as well as EMS alarms and Marine Rescues with a 12-foot inflatable boat and motor! The SFDTRT has consistently maintained a 24 member team with approximately 12 Technicians and 12 support members. When you see R6, be proud! You're looking at the Bravest of the Bravest.