Types of Fire Trucks

Firefighters have a tough job that requires the right tools to do their jobs. These tools include self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) which is worn by firefighters as they work to protect themselves and others from smoke inhalation while extinguishing a fire. They also wear protective gloves, goggles and helmets to keep themselves safe from the flames. The fire truck is the vehicle that carries all of this equipment to the fire scene.

There are many different types of fire trucks. They differ in the size, capability and configuration of their engines. The creation of national engine type standards and terminology, such as NFPA 1901, allows for more uniformity in fire apparatus throughout the country. This helps with mutual aid support as fire departments know what fire truck to request in order to get the help they need.

Most fire trucks are built on commercial truck chassis and offer a balance of power, maneuverability and affordability. They are equipped with the essential firefighting capabilities that firefighters need to perform their duties, including water tanks, pumps and hoses. They may also be equipped with firefighting nozzles, foam and front discharge as well as rear controls and booster reels.

Often, a firetruck will be fully equipped with additional specialized equipment such as Hurst tools, ground ladders, a full complement of forcible entry and rescue equipment, a complete advanced life support equipment compliment and more. Some fire trucks will also be equipped with a pumper tank, which is used to draw water from hydrants and other sources for use at the fire scene.

Many fire departments choose to customize their trucks with unique markings and paint colors that distinguish them from other fire trucks in the area. The colors are designed to be easily visible in low lighting conditions as they travel to the fire scene. The design of a firetruck is carefully considered to maximize crew member safety and minimize the amount of space needed to store and operate the equipment.

Typically, the firetruck’s cab will hold the captain and driver and the rest of the crew will sit in the back of the truck. Special seats allow firefighters to don their SCBA air tanks while in the cab, which is helpful to save time at the scene by not having to leave the truck to do so. In addition to SCBA, firetrucks often carry a large supply of supplies such as food, tools and additional gear. They are also equipped with a radio communication system to ensure that the crew members can communicate with each other and dispatch as necessary during an emergency. They may also be equipped with lights to help them navigate during bad weather or poor visibility.

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