Keeping us safe from fires, rescues and more, firefighters are a crucial part of our daily lives. But it isn’t just the firefighters themselves who keep us safe; it’s also the fire trucks they use to fight blazes, carry equipment and reach people in need. Firetrucks come in all shapes and sizes to meet the unique needs of local communities. Read on to learn more about the different kinds of fire trucks and their uses.
While red has become synonymous with firetrucks, they may be a number of other colors, depending on where you live and the type of truck. Regardless of color, however, firetrucks all come equipped with the same essential tools and equipment to battle a blaze. Some of these include thermal imaging cameras, self-contained breathing apparatuses, a master stream or fixed deluge gun, hose lines and more.
Engine trucks, or fire hydrant trucks, are the vehicles most people imagine when they think of a firetruck. They’re typically built on commercial 4×4 chassis and can be used in both wildland and suburban settings. These trucks usually have a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs and can transport anywhere from 50 to 400 gallons of water. Some have preconnects, which are hose lines that are already connected and ready to use so firefighters can begin combatting the blaze as soon as they arrive on scene.
Ladder trucks are what most people picture when they think of a firetruck. These vehicles often feature a hydraulic ladder that can extend up to a building’s roof. Ladder trucks also come equipped with search and rescue equipment, forcible entry tools, a water tank and more. Some have turntable ladders, which allow them to go inside of a structure and access the hardest-to-reach areas.
Water trucks, or water tenders, are vehicles that supply water to the other types of firetrucks on the scene. These can be sourced from fire hydrants, lakes or other bodies of water and are sometimes used in wildland settings when the firefighters have to travel long distances to get to a blaze. A water truck can also be a tanker that delivers pressurized hoses to the firefighters on the ground.
Some fire trucks have foam systems, which are used in both wildland and urban settings to combat a wide range of situations. These can include Class A foam, which saturates materials and prevents them from re-igniting, as well as Class B foam, which is useful for incidents involving flammable liquids.
Special operations trucks are a type of firetruck designed to transport equipment that is too heavy for ladder trucks and fire engines to carry. Some of the equipment they can carry includes circular saws, cutting torches, cranes, winches, generators and wooden cribbing. Many fire departments also choose to convert vehicles like boats, helicopters and ATVs into firefighting trucks for more versatility in fighting a blaze.
A fire extinguisher is a metal cylinder that holds water or a smothering substance that, when the safety lock is released and the handle is squeezed, is forced out of the extinguisher nozzle at high pressure. Handheld extinguishers typically weigh from 0.5 to 14 kilograms (1.1 to 30.9 lb) and are designed to be easily operated by one person. Cart-mounted extinguishers are more substantial, weighing from 23 kilograms (51 lb) to more than 40 kilograms (88 lb). The latter are more common in industrial settings such as aircraft hangars and heliports.
Different kinds of fires require different extinguishers to put them out. The rating on a fire extinguisher tells you which kind of fire it is rated for. The last letter of the rating number indicates which class the fire is in, such as A, B, C, or D.
Each type of fire extinguisher is used to fight a certain group of fires, but there are also overlapping areas between classes that can be extinguished with any of them. For example, a Class A fire could be put out with either water or dry chemical, depending on the fuel being burned.
Water-based extinguishers put out Class A fires by cooling the burning material and removing the heat from it, which stops the chemical chain reaction that causes fires to continue. Foam-water extinguishers have a similar effect and are used to put out Class A, B, and Class C fires.
Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers discharge a compressed gas, which smothers Class B and Class C fires by excluding oxygen from the fire. These are often used in laboratories or food preparation areas where expensive and delicate electronic equipment might be located, since the agent will not leave a residue on delicate electronic components. Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers are not recommended for fighting cooking oil or grease fires, because the agent will make these more difficult to control by causing them to glug and splatter.
Dry chemicals are a second method of fire suppression that is effective against Class A, B, and C fires. Monoammonium phosphate, commonly known as ABC dry chemical or tri-class, is the most common of these. It is pale yellow in color and works by separating the three parts of the fire triangle, preventing the chemical reactions that cause flames to continue. It is less toxic than carbon tetrachloride, the first dry chemical to be widely used in fire extinguishers, which was replaced by the more environmentally friendly liquid chlorobromomethane (CBM) in 1969.
Most fire codes require a fire extinguisher on every floor of a home, and at least one in the kitchen. It is also a good idea to have an extinguisher in any room that might be susceptible to electrical fires, such as the garage or shed. Be sure to maintain these extinguishers as they are needed, by having them inspected and recharged annually by an approved servicer. This is especially important, as the large manufacturer of ABC extinguishers recalled over 70 million units dating back 20 years or more due to faulty seals and other problems.
Fire stations are facilities where fire fighting vehicles and equipment are stored, maintained and used by firefighters. They are also where fire fighters live and eat during their shift. They may be manned by career or volunteer firefighters, and many are staffed with emergency medical personnel who provide basic life support and transport patients to hospitals. Fire stations vary in design, but typically they contain living quarters and a garage for the fire fighting vehicle(s). There is often a parking area to accommodate vehicles when they are not being used. Fire stations are named for the fire company or apparatus they house, or in some cities based on the district, neighborhood, town or village that they serve.
A fire station’s living quarters are generally located above the garage. This arrangement arose from the use of the fireman’s pole, a long ladder that allows a firefighter to quickly descend to the garage in case of an emergency call. Many older fire stations have this layout, but it is less common in modern buildings.
Typical features of a fire station include an apparatus bay (or bays), administrative and training areas, living space and kitchens. The firefighting vehicle is stored in the apparatus bay, with the equipment and supplies needed to fight a fire or respond to an emergency in storage at the station. The administrative and training areas contain offices, dispatch spaces, and other amenities to support the daily operations of a fire department.
The living spaces for full-time career firefighters include dormitories and a kitchen. The kitchen is where the firefighters cook their meals and usually has a separate area for food prep. It is also where the firefighters sleep during their shift. Typical sleeping arrangements are bunk beds, but some departments are installing wall-beds (also known as Murphy beds) that are folded up against the wall when not in use.
Some fire stations have additional accommodations for part-time volunteer firefighters and paramedics, or for special response units, such as hazmat teams. These rooms usually have a kitchen and living space, but do not contain a bunk bed. Some also feature a separate laundry room.
Most fire stations have a living area and sleeping rooms for the firefighters on their assigned shifts. The sleeping room is the place where they will spend most of their time during their shift, so it needs to be comfortable and well-appointed. Typical amenities include televisions, stereos and music systems, air conditioning, internet access, a refrigerator and microwave. Some of the more modern stations have ergonomically designed furniture, such as desks that can incline to allow for more comfort while sitting or sleeping.
In some fire departments, the living space includes a library of reference materials and a “trophy wall” or case to display awards and other memorabilia. Some fire stations are also adapted for community events, such as pancake breakfasts by local firemen’s associations or fire buffs. Others host activities during fire prevention week or pass out candy on Halloween.
A firefighter works to extinguish and prevent fires, provides emergency medical services, rescues people and animals from dangerous situations, and protects property. Performing these duties requires physical strength, an ability to think quickly in a crisis, and excellent communication skills. Many firefighters also spend time educating their communities and engaging in outreach efforts. Firefighters need to complete extensive training to prepare for their careers.
A career as a firefighter is highly demanding and rewarding at the same time. As a firefighter, you may be called to work any time of day or night, including holidays, to respond to emergency calls. This can include brush or structure fires, automobile accidents, life-threatening medical emergencies, or false alarms. During an incident, you must be able to act rapidly, follow orders given at the scene by your superior officer, and make decisions under pressure. You must also be able to work in adverse physical locations and conditions, and operate and maintain equipment, such as fire hoses, ladders, and chemical retardants.
After arriving at a scene, you must assess the situation, select a nozzle based on the type of fire, and direct a stream of water or chemicals onto the fire. Depending on the type of fire, you may also use ladders to gain access to upper levels of buildings or assist individuals from burning structures. You must then remove smoke from the affected areas, and create openings in walls and roofs for ventilation, as well as salvage and protect undamaged materials. When you are done, you must write a report and return to the station for further instruction.
Having an education is important to becoming a firefighter, as most departments require you to have at least a high school diploma before you can test for the position. A college degree is helpful, too, as it can increase your employment opportunities in the future and help you to qualify for more advanced positions within your department.
Firefighters need to be physically fit, as they often have to perform heavy lifting and maneuver in tight spaces. They also must pass a strenuous physical examination and be drug-free before they can begin their careers.
In addition to physical fitness, firefighters must have excellent mental alertness, as they may be called to work in stressful situations that can cause emotional trauma. This stress can lead to long-term health problems, such as heart disease and cancer. The psychological toll of the job can be even greater for those who witness events such as death or serious injury to others.
A firefighter is a highly skilled professional who must possess an inquisitive and analytical mind, the courage to perform dangerous tasks under intense pressure, and a strong commitment to public service. It is also an extremely rewarding job, as you can make a real difference in the lives of your community members. In addition, a firefighter’s starting salary is typically quite competitive. This is particularly true when factoring in overtime and holiday pay.
Fire protection is the study and practice of mitigating unwanted effects of fire. The field includes the construction, manufacture and testing of protective systems and devices. It also involves the planning, design and development of mitigating systems that include compartmentalization, detection, suppression and evacuation.
When a fire breaks out, it can damage equipment and cause property loss in your workplace. It can even threaten the lives of your employees and customers. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your business has a fully functional fire protection system in place. The fire safety system you need can be either active or passive, depending on whether it takes measures to put out a fire manually (such as with a fire extinguisher) or automatically. The key to ensuring that your fire protection system is working properly is regular inspections by qualified personnel.
In addition to regular inspections, it’s important to develop an evacuation plan in case of a fire. A detailed evacuation plan helps to keep everyone safe and gives them a clear path to exit the building. It also ensures that your employees and customers know what to do in the event of a fire break out.
A good evacuation plan is also a requirement for many businesses, including some types of healthcare facilities. It’s important to create an evacuation plan that is specific to your facility and reflects the layout of your building. It’s a good idea to include a list of escape routes and exits as well as any fire safety equipment or alarms in your building.
Passive Fire Protection
Unlike an active system, a passive fire protection system doesn’t work to put out a fire but rather prevents the spread of smoke and fire. This is achieved through stationary materials that are designed to slow the flow of smoke and fire, keeping it contained within the original area and preventing it from spreading throughout the building.
Passive fire protection systems can be combined with an active fire suppression system to offer optimal fire safety. This combination is commonly referred to as an integrated fire protection system and it is usually required by building codes.
The specialized fire protection systems you may need for your business depend on the type of operations that take place in your facility. For example, a kitchen with commercialized cooking equipment needs to be protected with a sprinkler system as well as a specialized fire suppression system such as a carbon dioxide, dry chemical or FM 200 (replaces halon) system. Specialized systems are also required for libraries, some laboratories and hazardous and chemical storage areas.
It’s important to stay informed about wildfires in your area and what they could mean for your safety and the air quality in your home or business. You can use a variety of tools to stay informed, including the California Smoke Spotter app, which combines advanced smoke forecasting and mapping with community input to help you better understand where the smoke is coming from and where it’s going.
A fire accident can be devastating, causing severe physical and financial losses. It can be caused by faulty wiring, careless use of electricity or the handling of inflammable substances. Fire accidents can result in a wide variety of injuries, including burns and smoke inhalation. Injuries from fire accidents are often complex and require long periods of treatment. The victim may need surgery and rehabilitation to recover from their injuries. This can add up to expensive medical bills, loss of income and non-tangible damages like pain and suffering.
A successful personal injury claim can help victims receive compensation for their losses. A lawsuit can also hold negligent parties responsible and deter similar incidents in the future. If you or someone you love has been injured in a fire accident, consult with a competent attorney as soon as possible.
If a house or commercial building has been destroyed in a fire, the insurance company will likely assign an adjuster to review the damage and determine coverage. The adjuster will also provide an estimate for the repairs and a recommendation on cleaning or restoring salvageable items. The homeowner should save all receipts and a list of their valuables to provide to the adjuster.
The first priority in a house fire is to get out safely. It is important to avoid going back inside for any reason, even to rescue pets or belongings. The smoke, lack of oxygen and toxic byproducts can impair judgment. A person who returns to a burning home can be seriously hurt or killed.
Despite the common causes of fire accidents, each case is different. The most common cause of fire accidents is due to electrical issues. It is essential that people keep all wiring and electrical components properly maintained and follow safety guidelines for each type of equipment or appliance. This can prevent the possibility of a short circuit, which can lead to a fire accident.
Other reasons for a fire accident include the misuse of appliances or equipment, such as heaters, cooking apparatus, torches, soldering or welding gear and computers or other electronic devices. Fires can also be caused by chemicals that are capable of burning, such as industrial manufacturing chemicals and everyday household cleaning products.
Workplace fires can be catastrophic for businesses, resulting in lost revenue and damaged reputation. In addition, the legal costs and settlements can have a significant impact on a business’s bottom line.
If you or a loved one has been affected by a fire accident, contact Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. today to discuss your case with our experienced attorneys. We have the expertise needed to pursue maximum compensation for your losses. Call us now or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation. We will fight for you to recover maximum compensation and hold the responsible party accountable. We are dedicated to helping our clients get back on their feet after a fire accident. Our lawyers represent clients throughout Indiana, including in the following cities and towns:
Fire is an enigmatic phenomenon — it’s mesmerizing to watch, but can be dangerous and destructive. Fire is a chemical reaction, igniting the vapors of combustible materials such as wood or gasoline to release energy in the form of heat and light.
Humans have long used fire to provide many benefits. Before gas and electricity were invented, people relied on fire to cook, warm themselves and illuminate their homes. It was also a crucial weapon in early warfare, and is still used to clear land for farming and recreation.
The flames of a fire are made up of different chemicals, and they can take many shapes. The flames are self-perpetuating, meaning that as long as the fuel and oxygen continue to react, they’ll keep burning. During this process, the atoms in the fuel are heated until they break free from their bonds and turn into volatile gases. The gases then interact with the oxygen in the air to create more fuel molecules. This creates more heat, and the cycle continues.
While fire is a natural part of the environment, humans have greatly increased its destructive power. When uncontrolled, it can destroy buildings, cause injuries and even death. It is important to understand how and why fire occurs so that you can take steps to prevent it.
Fires can start in a number of ways, including smoking cigarettes or cooking over an open flame. If the conditions are right, a fire can spread quickly to nearby tinder and wood. A wildfire can be devastating to communities, disrupting the flow of water and contaminating air. Fires can also have a positive impact on an ecosystem, by removing dead vegetation and creating opportunities for new growth.
Whether wildfires or household fires, most of them are caused by careless behavior or faulty appliances. While there are a variety of fire-prevention tips, two are especially important for anyone who lives in an area prone to wildfires.
Keep your home safe by regularly checking flammable items around your house. This doesn’t mean you need to dig into the walls, but you should be aware of any electrical cords that have frayed edges. Also check plugged-in items like computers and TVs to make sure they’re turned off completely when not in use.
If you’re not sure where to start, the ChooseFI website has some low-hanging fruit that won’t force you to give up your lattes. Other low-cost strategies include paying down high-interest debt, reducing housing expenses (if you have kids in college, consider moving them out), and trimming unnecessary spending.
Fire trucks are the vehicles that firefighters use to fight blazes and save lives. They are specialized rigs that combine everything a crew needs to perform their important work, from the pumps and water tanks to the ladders and hoses. They feature emergency vehicle lighting and sirens to help others see them and alert them of their presence, as well as equipment like computers and two-way radios to ensure constant communication between the crew and the station.
While most of us know that a fire truck is the rig with the big ladder, few people actually know what exactly a fire truck is or what all it contains. If you ever get the opportunity, take a look inside one of these important first responders and learn about all that goes into making them what they are.
Fire Truck Facts
In most parts of the world, when you hear a fire alarm sound or see smoke billowing from a building, chances are that the local fire department is on their way to the scene. These trucks are often large red vehicles, more like four wheel drives than traditional automobiles, that you see driving down the road honking their horns and blaring their sirens as they race to the emergency scene. Whether it’s an apartment building or your neighborhood, you have probably seen these red vehicles before and wondered what they were all about.
The most common type of fire truck you’ll find in cities and towns is a type 1 fire engine, also known as a pumper or a triple combination rig. This rig is typically based on a commercial vehicle chassis that has been further modified and equipped with the specialized tools needed to carry out various firefighting tasks. Fire engine rigs generally feature a number of hoses that are rolled up and stowed when not in use, as well as a large tank that can hold hundreds of gallons of water at once.
These large rigs can also include a ladder system with multiple lengths and types of rungs, forcible entry equipment and the ability to quickly extend a portable hydraulic platform or winch system. They also contain a full compliment of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), chainsaws, hazmat gear and other unique items that are specific to each fire department’s response capability and needs.
Firefighters must be ready to go when the call comes in, so they need to be able to get to the scene in a timely manner. That’s why fire trucks usually have built-in headsets that allow the entire crew to communicate with each other while on their way to an intervention site. Some also have special seats that can accommodate SCBA, allowing the crew to “gear up” while they are still on their way to the fire.
Although red remains the most popular color for fire trucks, many departments use a variety of colors including white, yellow, green, orange and even black to identify their vehicles. Regardless of the color, however, these powerful vehicles must be tough and reliable to meet the challenges of their crucial missions. Luckily, E-ONE is a leader in building innovative, reliable and versatile fire trucks for first responders around the world.
A fire extinguisher is a metal cylinder filled with water or a smothering agent that you can deploy to put out a small flame or slow its progression until emergency services arrive. These devices are a valuable tool to have in any household, office building or business. They are used to protect people and property from the destructive power of a fire, but you must be prepared and understand how to use them. Fires double in size every 60 seconds, so it is important to act quickly. You must also know your escape route before a fire becomes too large to exit through an existing door. Fire extinguishers are designed to be used by anyone, including children and people with disabilities.
There are five different types of fire extinguishers, and each type is used to fight a specific class of fire. Classes of fire are categorized by the type of fuel they burn, with class A fires burning ordinary combustible materials such as paper, wood, cardboard and most plastics, and class B fires burning flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil and kerosene. Handheld fire extinguishers are typically marked with a numerical rating that indicates how much of a particular kind of fire it can suppress, and they feature a green triangle symbol to indicate class A fires.
Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers, which are usually marked with a red square, discharge a gas that smothers the fire by cooling it and depriving it of oxygen. The carbon dioxide emitted from these fire extinguishers is safe for humans, but you must be careful not to inhale it or touch the plastic discharge horn, which can get very cold. These units use air under high pressure to discharge the smothering agent from a small opening at the top of the cylinder.
Class D fires involve metals that can be melted or burned, including iron, steel and copper. These types of fires are difficult to extinguish because they can re-ignite even after the fire has been suppressed. A gaseous agent called halon is used in some class D extinguishers, which are marked with the red square symbol. Halon has been banned from new production under the Montreal Protocol as a result of its ozone-depleting properties, but it is still used to refill some older fire extinguisher cylinders.
A dry chemical fire extinguisher consists of a metal cylinder that contains a powdered agent such as sodium bicarbonate. When you depress the operating lever on a dry chemical fire extinguisher, the smothering agent is discharged through a hose at the end of the cylinder. During the operation, keep your hands away from the nozzle, and move the hose or nozzle in a sweeping motion over the base of the fire. Be sure to move around the fire area as it diminishes to ensure that the blaze is not reignited, and call the fire department once you have completed your work. You should also continue to watch the area until the fire department says it is out.
A fire station (also known as a fire hall, engine house or firemen’s hall) is a structure or other area for storing firefighting apparatuses such as fire engines and related vehicles, personal protective equipment, fire hoses and other specialized equipment. They frequently contain working and living space for the firefighters and support staff. A large city may have numerous fire stations, each serving a distinct district, neighborhood or town. Smaller cities and towns may have fewer, with most serving only one or two communities. Fire stations typically have administrative areas and vehicle maintenance bays. The latter are dedicated spaces with heavy-duty lifts and all utility connections required for large vehicle maintenance.
Firefighters typically work alternating 24-hour shifts. During these shifts, they sleep at the fire station and remain there until called out to an emergency. Usually, the call comes in one of four ways: telephone alarms, fire alarm boxes, “class 3” alarms or verbal alarms. The fire department dispatchers at the fire stations receive these calls and send firefighters to the scene.
The main activity at a fire station is inspection, cleaning and maintenance of the apparatus and gear. Many fire companies also hold public activities at their station, such as educational presentations for children and training drills for the local community. Some even have playgrounds for the kids, and the fire trucks are available for tours.
There are also specialized areas for disinfecting and maintaining the firefighter’s self-contained breathing apparatus, SCBA, as well as for recharging the batteries in a controlled environment. In addition, there are typically loading and unloading areas for the fire fighting agents used in emergencies, such as water and foam.
Most fire stations have living quarters that are located above the garage. This arrangement is common in crowded cities, where the firefighters need to access the fire engines quickly. A pole, called a fireman’s pole, is installed between floors at some stations, allowing firefighters responding to an emergency to descend from their living quarters to the ground floor more quickly than by using standard stairs.
Other areas of the station include administrative offices, a vehicle maintenance bay and a laundry room for washing the firefighting uniforms and other clothing. Some have a centralized, multi-purpose room for meetings and training sessions. The building may have a kitchen and dining area as well as toilets and shower facilities.
In New York City, a fire station is typically named for the primary company and its associated piece of apparatus housed there, such as Engine 7/Ladder 1 on Duane Street in Manhattan or Rescue 4 on Staten Island. Other names are derived from the districts, neighborhoods or town they serve, or from the corresponding numbers of the fire apparatus. There are over 60 stations in the five boroughs of New York City, with designs ranging from neo-classical details to modern glass and steel. Most of the older stations were designed by architects such as FDNY architect Alexander Stevens, Walter E. Parfitt, Herts & Tallant, Napoleon LeBrun and Hoppin & Koen, and were approved by the Art Commission during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.