Types of Fire Trucks

If you see fire trucks with flashing lights and loud sirens driving on the road, you know that they are responding to an emergency call. Fire trucks are used to fight fires and rescue people from dangerous situations like car accidents or structural collapse. They are equipped with emergency lights, hoses, water tanks, pumps and other tools that firefighters use to save lives and property. Many fire departments have multiple types of fire trucks to meet all their unique needs.

In addition to being able to haul equipment, fire trucks are also designed to safely transport firefighters to and from a scene. They have special seating arrangements and features to protect the firefighters while ensuring they have easy access to the equipment they need to do their job. Firefighters can sit either on the sides or in the back of the vehicle, depending on the type of fire truck and its configuration. Some models even feature retractable ladders that extend from the roof of the cab to reach difficult places.

The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) firetruck standards classify fire vehicles by their function and the tasks they perform. These classifications create universal terminology and standards to help firefighters find the right firetruck for their departments. Each truck has a specific gross vehicle weight rating when fully loaded and has its own set of requirements.

Ladder trucks, known as quintuples, are probably the first type of fire truck most people think of when they picture a firefighting vehicle. They have long ladders that extend to allow firefighters to climb to high locations in buildings to fight fires or rescue trapped people. These trucks are often equipped with a fire pump, water tanks, and an auxiliary power system to operate the ladder and pump while it’s extended. They may also have a platform at the top of the ladder for firefighters to work from, as well as a hydraulically operated winch for towing damaged cars or other items.

While the term fire truck can refer to any vehicle that is used to combat a fire or rescue people, most fire departments use specific terms for each model of vehicle they own. A fire engine is a vehicle that is configured with a water tank, hoses, and nozzles to fight fires. Fire engines are usually based on commercial vehicle chassis that have been modified to carry firefighting equipment.

Fire engines can range in size from a small, compact fire engine to a large heavy-duty rescue model. They are designed to support firefighters with tools such as ground ladders, a full compliment of Hurst fire fighting tools and rescue equipment, circular saws and an extensive Advanced Life Support (ALS) equipment complement.

Fire engines are usually painted red so they stand out in a crowd of other vehicles on the road, especially at night. This color choice was made because of an old belief that it would help firefighters identify their vehicles when responding to a fire or accident call. However, recent studies have shown that the color red doesn’t increase visibility as much as other colors, and some cities have started to move toward yellow or lime green firetrucks instead of traditional red.

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