Types of Fire Trucks

A fire truck is a vehicle that is specifically equipped to fight fires, rescue people and evacuate victims. A fire truck contains a water tank, a water pump and many feet of powerful hoses. Depending on the type of fire truck, it may also include other equipment like fire-fighting tools, forcible entry tools and specialty rescue gear like ropes and harnesses.

Fire trucks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but most of them feature a red body with blue stripes and a white or gold cab. Some departments use a different color scheme, and some choose not to have stripes at all. The majority of fire trucks are outfitted with audible warnings, known as sirens. These sirens typically have multiple settings that allow firefighters to select a tone and speed that is most appropriate for the maneuver they are performing. For example, on a clear road with little traffic, a firefighter might select the setting for a long up and down wail. In heavy traffic, a more rapid yelp might be chosen.

The most common type of fire truck is the ladder truck, also called an aerial or quintuple. This fire truck features a hydraulic ladder that extends from the front of the vehicle. This allows firefighters to quickly access high-rise buildings to fight or rescue people from dangerous situations. Ladder trucks can also be used to perform ventilation, which is the process of removing smoke, heat and toxic gases from a building.

Another common type of fire truck is the water tanker, also known as a pumper. These fire trucks have large water tanks and a powerful water pump that can expel water at various rates and pressures, depending on the nozzles attached to the hoses. Fire truck tanks vary in size, but they are usually able to deliver thousands of gallons per minute. Fire trucks can also draw water from hydrants, reservoirs or lakes.

Other types of fire trucks include wildland fire trucks, which are designed to handle rough terrain and are often used in rural areas. These vehicles are based on commercial 4×4 chassis and can carry firefighters and supplies, and they may be equipped with a winch to haul equipment over rugged or uneven ground.

The last type of fire truck is the command vehicle, which is often a modified SUV or pickup truck and driven by a senior member of the fire department. It is often adorned with lightbars, sirens and other specialized equipment. It is sometimes referred to as the fly car or the chief’s car.

In addition to the equipment mentioned above, most fire trucks are also equipped with a variety of firefighting tools, including thermal imaging cameras, which can help firefighters assess safe entrances and detect flammable materials in a building. Some also carry fire suppression chemicals, such as Class A or Class B foam, which saturates materials and prevents them from re-igniting. Some have a compressed air foam system, which sprays a fine mist of foam onto materials that are on fire.

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