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"Squad 33" Unit History


​In some parts of the US, squads are medical units or fast response vehicles. A squad here is defined as "a small group of people having a particular task". In this case our squad truck is a rescue squad. Youngstown Fire No. 1 Squad was organized at Station 4 back in November of 1939. They were given a new Seagrave K dedicated rescue vehicle. The truck was outfitted as a utility vehicle with a power plant, spotlights, floodlights, a pump, a small amount of hose, ladders, first aid kits, mops, buckets, brooms and rags. As the years progress they continued to have the "squad" designation and their importance as a specialized unit grew. In 1949, two firefighters on the squad were killed while responding to a false alarm on the North side of the city on Christmas Day. In 1959, the squad received a new "Detroit" style Seagrave Sedan and were relocated to the new downtown fire station. When the department purchased two way radios in the 60's, the fire department used some of the designations to avoid confusion with the police department\'s units. Engines were 1-19, ladders were 20-29, Chiefs cars were 31 and 32, the "squad" was 33, the command unit was 44 and medics were 55, 56 and 57. Over time, everyone just called it "Squad" 33. A name that has stuck since 1939. In the early 80's the squad was given the department's 1970 American LaFrance Pioneer I pumper. This began the move from the squad being a dedicated rescue to more of a combination unit. In 1987, the squad received a new 1979 Mack CF pumper. In 1987, they received a Pierce Dash 1250gpm/500 gallon pumper. In 1992 under the direction of Chief Hector Colon, the squad unit was assigned a 1992 International S/Pierce heavy rescue with a small pump. In 1999, the squad collided with a school bus while responding to a call on the East side and was rebuilt. This rescue lasted until 2002 when the Squad truck was replaced with a 2002 Pierce Enforcer Rescue Engine. A truck they still use today. On March 5, 2011, the squad was involved in a roll over accident causing major damage to the rig. It was rebuilt and returned to service. Today, the squad carries the department's primary set of rescue and extrication equipment, foam, cribbing, technical and other specialized rescue equipment as well as general fire suppression tools. Rescue Squad 33 also typically handles the Zodiac boat for river emergencies. Squad 33 was relocated in October 2018 to Station 3 on the city's West Side. After a short time, the unit began responding on the radio as Rescue 3. There it serves double duty as both the citywide rescue unit and the North West engine. 

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