The Different Types of Vehicles Used by Firefighters

The Different Types of Vehicles Used by Firefighters

At the scene of a fire, it isn’t unusual to see several vehicles all bearing the mark and title of the local fire department. Each one has a special task to perform and, in many situations, it takes more than one vehicle to get the fire extinguished. Depending on the area the department services and the number of calls they expect to see, it is possible for the group to have multiple versions of several types of fire trucks. Here are several examples of the different vehicles used by firefighters:

Traditional Fire Engines/Pumper Trucks

The most recognizable of all vehicles used by firefighters is the fire engine. Usually painted red, the truck holds more than just a couple hundred gallons of water. If the water runs out, the hoses can easily be hooked up to a water source close by and the vehicle will continue to pump the water out to the hoses. Lots of equipment is placed inside of the vehicle and it is easy to access as the group pulls up to the burn area.

Ladder Trucks/Arial Trucks

All fires don’t take place on the ground. In some situations, firefighters need to reach up high to gain access to the fire or even people inside of a structure that need to be rescued. In these situations, the ladder truck is the best vehicle for the job. The ladder rests at the top of the truck and it can be extended to any length to reach the desired location. Some of these trucks also carry along their own water source. Control of the ladder is handled by someone inside the vehicle.

Brush Trucks

Brush trucks are used in areas that would make it tough for a regular truck to get through. These rugged vehicles can carry water, firefighters, and their equipment despite uneven terrain or remote locations. It is possible to use various models of trucks to create a brush truck if one isn’t available or can’t be ordered. Current prices on used brush trucks can be found at websites such as Many departments find that they save money by purchasing used vehicles instead of new models.

Custom Made Trucks

Not all fire trucks come with standard features. According to the Lancaster Eagle Gazette earlier this year the fire department received three custom-made fire trucks. Each one takes approximately one year to make, but it is supplied with all of the features that the department needs to get the job done efficiently.

Fire departments are always looking for ways to update their equipment and processes to ensure that they reach emergency sites as efficiently as possible. This means looking at how new vehicles can benefit the group and learning more about which vehicles are the most cost-effective when it comes to the department’s needs. In some situations this means looking into used and refurbished models. Despite the fact that they have already been out on multiple emergencies, most with a little updating, service and maintenance will continue to run smoothly for many years to come.


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