Fire Engine

A fire engine (also referred to as a "pumper") transports crew, supplies, and firefighting capabilities to the scene of an incident.

  • 1 Warning lights

    Upper level lights, like the light bar on the cab roof, are for long distance warning. Lower level lights on the sides, fenders, and bumpers are for close proximity warning.

  • 2 Preconnect

    A pre-connected hose that reduces preparation steps once at the scene.

  • 3 Electronic siren

    The electronic siren uses a loud speaker to produce warning sounds.

  • 4 Extended front bumper

    Spacious front bumpers provide convenient access to essential tools and connections, especially in confined environments like small streets where only the front of the engine can face the scene.

  • 5 Air horns

    Air horns use compressed air to create a loud warning sound.

  • 6 Federal Q siren

    The Federal Q is a traditional electro-mechanical siren (sound is produced by an electrically driven metal rotor) that produces a characteristic “wail” sound. It’s controlled by a driver-side left foot switch in this instance.

  • 7 Pump

    The pump is powered by the diesel engine through the drive shaft.

  • 8 Master stream

    An engine-mounted master stream is capable of delivering huge amounts of water over long distances.

  • 9 Hoses

    Various diameters and lengths of hoses are stored throughout the apparatus.

  • 10 Storage compartments

    The apparatus has ample storage space for essential firefighting tools and implements.

  • 11 Exterior paint

    Retroreflective paint stripes on the sides and chevron markings at the rear are required by regulation. Retroreflective materials reflect light back to the source for high visibility.

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Inside the cab

  • 1 Road to pump switch

    The road to pump switch changes power delivery from the rear axle to the pump. Many pumper designs require movement of the apparatus to be fully stopped before pumping.

  • 2 Ignition switch & start button

  • 3 Parking brake

  • 4 Control switches

    This switch panel controls many standard functions like windshield wipers and headlights, plus apparatus specific functions like automatic mud or snow chains.

  • 5 Push button gear selector

  • 6 Air horn pull cord

  • 7 Multi-use screen

    Newer fire engines can display and control many functions digitally. For example, regulations require seat belt alerts for every seat in the cab.

  • 8 Siren control

    The siren control panel also features a public-address microphone.

  • 9 Warning lights control

  • 10 Officer speedometer

  • 11 Laptop

    Laptops can provide access to crucial information like building blueprints, key holders, utility shutoff locations, occupancy, nearest hydrants, and so forth.

  • 12 Radio

    Radios are used to communicate with dispatch, firefighters on the ground, and sometimes with other agencies for multi-agency incidents.

  • 13 Headset

  • 14 Helmet bracket

    Firefighting helmets are not safe for in-vehicle use, but must be within reach when arriving at an incident.

  • 15 Individual firefighter radios

  • 16 Seat with SCBA canister

    Some specially designed seats safely stow a SCBA - self contained breathing apparatus - canister in the seat back so firefighters can arrive prepared to the scene of an incident.

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Rear storage area

Fire engines carry a huge assortment of gear for responding to almost any incident.

  • 1 Engineer's compartment

    Couplings, nozzles, valve, concrete saw, gear bag, power tool box.

  • 2 Driver side middle compartment

    Respirator mask, firemans axe, firemans mall and hook, powertool box, bolt cutters, sledgehammer.

  • 3 Driver side back compartment

    SCBA tank and harness, ABC extinguisher, water can, smoke fan, gear bag, shovels, extension cords.

  • 4 Passenger front compartment

    Hose couplings, hoses, lockout and tag out gear (for locking and labeling circuit breaker terminals or main water valves in a building; this prevents tampering during an incident), power tool case, cords, air hose, jackhammer, wrench, pneumatic tools, jaws of life, purple K extinguisher.

  • 5 Passenger middle compartment

    Bolt cutters, fireman’s axe, jack.

  • 6 Passenger back compartment

    Shovels, hydrant bag (assorted tools for operating fire hydrants), high-rise kit (tools for operating in multi-floor buildings), CO2 can, gas-powered fan.

  • 7 Ladder

    Roof ladder, extension ladder, folding ladder. Tilting platforms make for easier ladder access.

Pump, hoses, and attachments

The pump is powered by the fire engine’s diesel motor. Proper pump operation often requires in depth technical knowledge.

  • 1 Gauges and valves

    The pump operator must monitor critical pump functions like flow (gallons per minute), pump and hose internal pressure, pressure at the nozzle, friction loss (internal hose friction which slows water flow), and head loss (the effects of gravity on water flow).

  • 2 Outlet

  • 3 Intake

  • 4 Engine control

    The engine control panel allows the operator to control the truck’s motor and monitor functions like engine speed (RPMs), temperature, and oil pressure.

  • 5 Radio

    The radio allows communication with the rest of the team for coordinated pump operations.

  • Supply hoses

    Supply hoses feed water to the pump from an outside source.

    Hard Suction 6

    hoses have metal rings integrated into the hose. This allows them to maintain rigidity when drafting from non-pressurized water sources like pools or lakes.

    Soft supply 7

    hoses are used on pressurized sources like fire hydrants. Supply lines range from about 3 to 6 inch diameters.
  • 8 Crosslay

    Hoses stored in a crosslay compartment are accessible from both sides of the fire engine.

  • 9 Booster hose

    The booster hose is a smaller diameter pre-connected line, and is usually on a reel. It can be deployed quickly and is useful for brush or trash fires and smaller incidents.

  • 10 Tank

    A common water tank capacity is 1,000 gallons. Perforated internal walls called baffles allow water to flow through the tank but also prevent excess movement or sloshing while the engine is driving to an incident.

  • 11 Attack hose

    Attack hoses range from about 1.75 inch to 2.5 inch diameters, and are the primary hoses used for most fire knockdown and suppression.

  • 12 Smooth bore nozzle

    Smooth bore nozzles focus water into a pointed stream.

  • 13 Fog nozzle

    A fog nozzle spreads or mists water to create water fog.

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