Types of Fire Trucks

A fire truck is a crucial piece of apparatus, providing firefighters the tools they need to fight fires and save lives. Whether they’re hauling ladders, water tanks or rescue equipment, these trucks are vital to protecting people and property. Fire trucks are often red, but they can also be yellow, green or white. They may also be equipped with a fire suppression system, which uses pressurized tanks to extinguish flames. Some fire trucks are equipped with a boom, which extends from the truck to reach high-rises or other tall buildings.

While the term “fire truck” can refer to any vehicle that helps fight fires, most people think of engine trucks when they hear this word. This type of firefighting vehicle is usually the first to arrive on the scene, and it carries all the necessary equipment for its role. It typically has room in the cab for between 4-6 firefighters and their gear. Depending on the department’s needs, this gear can include tools to mitigate hazardous materials and effects technical rescue operations, as well as equipment for brush fires.

Some engine trucks are equipped with foam systems, which use compressed air to deploy chemicals onto flammable substances. These systems are useful in incidents involving flammable liquids, such as gasoline or oil. Firefighters can choose from two different types of foam: Class A and Class B. Class A saturates the liquid to prevent it from re-igniting, while Class B vaporizes and disperses the material into the air, which extinguishes the flames.

Other common types of fire trucks are tower trucks and ladder trucks. Ladder trucks are the vehicles most people picture when they think of a firetruck, and they’re typically red. They can extend up to 40 feet, which gives firefighters access to upper stories of buildings to fight fires or rescue trapped people. Ladder trucks can also be equipped with ground ladders and a fire hose to provide additional capabilities at the scene. Ladder trucks that also have an onboard pump are sometimes called tiller-quints.

Tower trucks, on the other hand, have a boom that can extend from the front of the cab to access hard-to-reach areas. These vehicles can help fight fires in skyscrapers and other tall structures, as well as extinguish blazes in the roof of buildings that are too high for firefighters to climb.

Water tenders are another common type of fire truck that can be found in rural areas where water hydrants are not readily available. These specialty fire vehicles transport large amounts of water to the scene so firefighters can continue battling a fire even when the nearby hydrant is empty.

A special operations truck is a highly specialized firetruck that’s intended to transport equipment for technical rescue incidents. This type of apparatus can feature circular saws, cutting torches, winches, generators and wooden cribbing for stabilizing objects. Because this type of equipment is considered too heavy to transport on ladder or engine trucks, it’s usually hauled by a special rescue truck.

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