Fire Trucks – The Workhorses of Fire Departments

fire trucks

A fire truck is an amazing piece of equipment. It not only transports firefighters to the scene of an emergency, it also carries a pump, water tank, hoses and ladders. Fire trucks come in different configurations to meet the needs of specific situations and environments. Firetrucks are equipped with lights and sirens to warn people of their presence and allow them to maneuver safely through traffic.

In addition to firefighting and rescue capabilities, many fire trucks are also equipped with medical equipment. Trained EMT’s and Paramedics are often onboard to provide life saving care on the way to a hospital.

Fire engines are the workhorses of fire departments, commonly referred to as engine companies or engine pumpers. The most common type of fire engine features a pump that is capable of spraying water at rates up to 1,000 gallons per minute. Tanks sizes can range from 500 to 3,000 gallons and pumps are capable of delivering water at varying pressures depending on the nozzle, diameter and length of the hose.

The crew of a fire engine is split into two sections: the front cab holds the captain and driver, while the back section includes seats for the rest of the crew. Each seat is outfitted with special compartments that allow the crew to easily don their protective clothing and SCBA — Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus. The rig is equipped with two-way radios and computers to ensure constant communication between the crew, fire station, and emergency dispatch.

Some fire engines are built with a ladder on top, creating a combination vehicle known as a quint. These vehicles are used to access high areas in a building, for instance to reach trapped victims. Others are fitted with a water tower on the roof to deliver water at a higher volume.

A fire truck can also be equipped with a foam system for incidents where hazardous materials are present. The foam can suffocate and prevent the material from re-igniting. Many fire trucks are fitted with a number of additional accessories such as lights, nozzles, adapters and hand tools. The nozzles can be configured to deliver water at various pressures, flow rates and abrasion resistance levels. The hoses can be pre-connected, which saves time and allows the crew to start flowing water as soon as they arrive at the site. These hoses can be long and thick, with some capable of spraying water up to 1000 feet. In addition, many fire trucks are outfitted with a deluge gun — a powerful nozzle that can be used to flood or wet down a structure.

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