The mission of Fuller Hose Company #1 is “to operate an engine company in support of the preservation of life and property from and during fires and emergencies in the Borough and Township of North East. This company shall also provide special operations support for Erie County and surrounding regions, as well as operational support for state and federal agencies, by maintaining trained and certified Rescue Intervention, Water Rescue and Scuba Teams.”


As an engine company, our job is to directly attack the fire upon arrival at scene. With our two, highly versatile engines, water tanker truck and brush fire / highwater vehicle, we bring water and the fire hose to the scene to extinguish the fire. The term is a historical one; in the early days of the mechanized fire service, the water pump aboard the vehicle fighting the fire was once powered by a steam engine.

RIT (Rapid Intervention Team):

RIT is a designated crew of specially trained firefighters that will serve as a standby rescue team for personnel and be available for the immediate search and rescue of any missing, trapped, injured, or unaccounted-for firefighter(s). The objective and function of a rapid intervention team (RIT) is to locate and rescue lost, trapped, and/or injured firefighters on the fire ground when firefighters face mayday conditions. RIT members require more than basic rescue techniques and training, so they may be able to intervene and operate under dangerous conditions, at a moment’s notice, if the need arises. RIT skills were originally developed to protect North East firefighters. Our mutual aid partners began asking us to respond to support them and today, Fuller Hose is formally listed with Erie County as RIT for 10 departments in Erie County and we are “tapped out” every time any of those departments are called to respond to a fire situation within their respective service areas.


Fuller Hose provides rapid response for motor vehicle accidents, water rescue & recovery, searches, rope, and woodland rescues, throughout Erie County, Pennsylvania, and Chautauqua County, New York. Our Utility / Special Operations vehicles, 216 & 219 , are designed to carry the personnel and specialized equipment necessary to support a wide variety of rescue situations.


Due to the unique geographic area of North East we have partnered with the United States Coast Guard and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to assist as the primary other government agency (OGA) for all search and rescue cases along the shores of Lake Erie, from shoreline to international waters; from Presque Isle Bay to the Port of Barcelona, New York, representing 28 miles of shoreline and, using an average of 16 miles to the Canadian border, an open water area of 441 square miles.

For all these calls, Utility 219 responds with the diver and water rescue team gear, towing our inflatable rescue craft, Boat 215. Outside the City of Erie, The North East Fire Department operates a SCUBA Team, which is one of only two volunteer teams tasked with recovery efforts in Erie County.

We are a member of the Pennsylvania Voluntary Rescue Service Recognition (VRSR) Program, which recognizes those emergency services that can safely and efficiently perform rescue operations and have met all the standards as established by the was prepared by the Rescue Task Force of the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council (PEHSC) under contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (Bureau of EMS). Fuller Hose became a VRSR Basic Rescue Company in 2017 as an emergency service that can safely and efficiently perform rescue operations on the highways of Pennsylvania. We became a VRSR Type 3 Water Rescue Team in 2018, as a Swiftwater/Flood Management emergency service that can meet the highest standards in Pennsylvania, for water rescue and flood evacuation services.