What Are Different Types of Fire Apparatus?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 13 December 2019
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Firefighting is a field that requires the use of many types of tools and equipment. Firefighters use various types of fire apparatus equipment, including ladders and a hydraulic platform. They also must wear protective gear that can be considered a type of fire apparatus. Trucks and other specialized vehicles are also a vital part of the equipment necessary for firefighting.

Ladders used as firefighting equipment include a turntable ladder and a tower ladder. The turntable ladder is fixed upon a rotating turntable, which enables the firefighter to rescue victims trapped inside a tall building that would otherwise be out of reach. An aerial ladder platform is similar to the turntable ladder, although it does not rotate.

A fire engine or fire truck is the main vehicle used to transport firefighters to the scene of a fire. The vehicle is equipped with flashing lights and an extremely loud siren to warn drivers and pedestrians of its presence. The fire engine will include a rescue pump platform, distinctive hoses, and large-capacity water tank. In the United States and a few other countries, fire engines are commonly bright red.


One essential type a fire apparatus called a utility is a device used to transport the firefighting accessories needed by the firefighters. Firefighters wear hazardous materials suits, which also are considered a type of firefighting apparatus. This specially designed suit offers protection from hazardous and volatile materials. It may be made of a very strong polypropylene substrate material for long-lasting durability.

Not all fire trucks are large. Some are designed for fighting brush fires and have a much smaller. These vehicles are known as wildland fire engines. Off-road fire trucks like these can operate more efficiently on coarse terrain than the larger fire engines.

Not all vehicles used by the fire department are used for firefighting. Crisis response vehicles are another type of fire apparatus, not equipped with hoses and ladders, but used for transportation. These vehicles are used to transport cardiopulmonary (CPR) specialists to accident scenes. A fire apparatus used for parades and other community events is often referred to as a ceremonial truck.

A mobile water supply apparatus extends from a fire truck and is used to extinguish fires at ground level. This type of fire apparatus feature a pump, although some smaller models do not have one. An operator of this type of apparatus must be certified.


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