Fire trucks are important to firefighters because they provide them with the tools they need to extinguish a blaze. Fire trucks are divided into two groups: engine trucks and tanker trucks. Each has its own set of features. For example, engine trucks are typically fitted with a pump and a water tank, while a tanker truck is a type of fire truck that can carry a large amount of water to the site of a fire. Both vehicles have a cab and gripped steps, which allow the crew to move around the vehicle.
In addition to the water, engines also carry pumps, ladders, and other equipment for fighting fires. Some of these pieces of equipment are inbuilt, while others require special attachments. The engine usually comes equipped with radios for communication with other vehicles and with the backend team at the main fire department. In many cases, emergency lights are included. These lighting options are used to help with nighttime operations.
While engines are designed for basic firefighting, some are built with specialized functions, such as a deluge gun, which helps the firefighters blast a strong stream of water in a specified direction. Some engines also feature hose reels, which allow the crew to stow the hoses and water until it is needed.
Tanker trucks are often seen in wildland and urban settings. They are built with a 4×4 commercial chassis and can handle a variety of terrain. They are ideal for carrying out wet rescues, since they can transport large quantities of water. They may be equipped with a power-take-off pump, which allows the vehicle to remain in motion while fighting a fire.
In the United States, most fire engines are based on the chassis of a commercial vehicle. These trucks usually have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds. They come in various configurations, including a single-stage pump, a dual-stage pump, a power-take-off pump, and a triple combination rig. A typical Type 5 truck has a GVWR of around 50 to 400 gallons.
A fire truck can support a team of eight firefighters and has plenty of room to carry emergency equipment. Its cab is spacious enough to accommodate a 6-ft., 2-in. tall firefighter. Most models are equipped with a built-in headset, which allows for communications with other members of the team. The cab also has a flat floor and all-wheel steering, making it easier for the crew to maneuver the vehicle.
While some engines have hose reels, most come with pre-connected hoses. These allow the crew to quickly pull the hoses and water to the scene of a fire. This saves time and makes it easy to deploy the hoses, which can be anywhere from a couple of feet to more than a hundred feet long.
Fire trucks have evolved considerably since the first bucket wagon was spotted in America. Today, they have become essential vehicles for the firefighting community. In fact, fire trucks are used by firefighters in most cities and towns across the country. They have a wide range of features, such as an emergency lighting system, a telescopic ladder, and a powerful pump. In some cases, they even have a camera, which automatically turns on in low-light conditions.