Fire trucks come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and differ in the amount of water they carry and the type of equipment they have. Some models come with deluge guns, thermal imaging cameras, and self-contained breathing apparatuses, and some even have floodlights. The water tank capacity varies widely among the types of fire trucks, though all models contain at least two firefighters. Firefighters also rely on a fixed deluge gun and fire hydrants for their water supply.
Tankers are large trucks with a pump, hose, and water tank. Hoses are usually attached to the truck, and firefighters can use a variety of types of hoses to combat the fire. Some engines feature hose reels, which make it easy to deploy and store. The tanker can also carry thousands of gallons of water. The water tank contains several tanks, which are equipped with valves that open and close quickly to ensure a consistent water flow and prevent damage to the surrounding area.
Fire trucks began to evolve in the 19th century. During the Colonial era, firefighters were required to keep buckets of water on their front stoop to put out fires. These bucket brigades were originally geared for a bucket brigade, and the city of Philadelphia procured a hand-pumped fire engine in 1719. This hand-pumped engine was constructed by Joseph Jencks, and arrived in Philadelphia a few days before New York’s two London-built engines. In 1905, the Knox Automobile Company introduced a modern fire engine, the Knox.
In addition to the firefighting equipment, most emergency vehicles are equipped with audible warning systems that allow others to spot an approaching fire before they can see the vehicle. While the traditional type of sirens still exist, electronic sirens are used more commonly. These devices are more difficult to spot in densely populated areas, but they are generally louder. And while Type I fire trucks are still used today, many types of specialized equipment are also included on them.
Ladder trucks are equipped with telescopic ladders. While these ladders aren’t hydraulically operated, they can reach high places. The turntable at the back allows the ladder to pivot, which makes it easier to spray water where it is needed most. In addition to the ladders, these trucks also carry ventilation equipment and forcible entry tools. Whether the ladder is hydraulic or manual, it will be equipped with the equipment required for the job.
Other equipment on fire trucks includes breathing apparatus. These are essential public safety equipment. Firefighters carry a portable air tank filled with breathing gasses that help them fight fires. Among other things, they have radio systems that help them communicate with the backend team at the main fire department. For instance, a firefighter may need to communicate with a fire department on the other side of town. Using a radio is one of the most important things a firefighter can do.
The final stage manufacturers of fire trucks must test each type to show compliance with k)(1)(B) and k)(1)(C) of the California Vehicle Code. In addition to that, each type of fire truck must have a full emergency stop in a Straight Line or Curved Stop. The test report must be compiled in a plain language manner and contain a summary of the performance test results. Additionally, the manufacturer must make this test report readily available to the public upon request.
The Type 1 fire truck is the most common type of fire truck in use today. It is equipped with all the necessary NFPA equipment to tackle structural fires. It is also referred to as an engine company. It is designed to arrive first and support structural firefighting. A Type 1 pumper has at least a 300 gallon water tank and a 50-gallon booster pump. A Type 2 fire truck has many of the same specifications as a Type 1 truck, but is primarily used to respond to suburban area structural fires.
Fire trucks have undergone several transformations throughout their history. While some types have survived, others have fallen out of favor. Standard fire trucks are used in a variety of situations and still have essential equipment. A fire engine also carries a limited water supply and a fire department’s personnel. It has two-way radios and emergency lights. There are several different types of fire trucks, including ambulances and special emergency vehicles. And there are still some types that haven’t lost their appeal.