Islip’s Tactical Rescue Team was formed in 1998 when the former Rope Rescue and Scuba/Water Rescue Teams were combined. At that time the team also assumed responsibility for all heavy rescue emergencies, which had previously been handled by the Rescue Squad. When it was formed, the team was equipped with a vintage 1977 GMC Step Van, which carried the Scuba gear and a converted 1987 Chevrolet/P&L ambulance/heavy rescue truck that carried the vehicle extrication and confined space/high angle equipment. The latter had previously served the Rescue Squad. When placed in service in March 1998 the teams new Pierce Quantum was outfitted to carry the extrication, scuba, confined space and high angle equipment allowing the team to carry all of its tools on a single rig. A trailer was later added to carry the lumber and equipment required for collapse emergencies. Early in 2002 the team became the first volunteers in Suffolk County to be certified in the use of chemical protective clothing (CPC). During 2003 the Islip Fire Department assumed the responsibility for one of several CPC trailers deployed by the Suffolk County Department of Fire Rescue & Emergency Services (FRES).
The apparatus currently assigned to the Tactical Rescue Team includes a 1998 Pierce Quantum Series Heavy Rescue Truck that is designated as 3-4-14, and operates from Headquarters. The team also operates a 2016 32-foot, Silver Ships vessel, designated as 3-4-26 that serves multiple purposes including fire suppression, dive and surface rescue and is capable of transporting patients with full BLS equipment onboard. A smaller 14 foot Starcraft aluminum boat is also located at Headquarters.
The members train in numerous specialties that include: Confined space emergencies, High angle emergencies, Building and trench collapse, Water emergencies including Scuba, Ice rescue, Vehicle extrication, Hazardous materials