Emergency & Fire Trucks
Although civilians may use the terms fire truck and fire engine interchangably, to an emergency worker, the words represent different types of fire fighting apparatus. more...
A fire engine is designed to pump water using an engine and onboard water supply, which can be replenished via a fire hydrant, water tender or any other available water source by using suction.
Engines are also known as pumpers as they are used to pump water onto fires. Their primary purpose is for direct fire suppression, and may carry many tools including ladders, pike poles, axes, fire extinguishers, and ventilating equipment. Engines are normally staffed with at least three people (a captain, an engineer, and a firefighter, and preferably with a second firefighter), to be able to effectively and safely attack a fire.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary the term fire engine was first used in the 17th century, in exactly the same sense it has now, "a machine for throwing water to extinguish fires".
On occasion, fire engines have also been used as water cannons for crowd control.
A fire truck is differentiated from a fire engine in that it has no onboard water supply. Fire trucks are instead equipped with a mix of: long ladders, hydraulic platforms, additional firefighting equipment, a variety of heavy rescue tools, extrication equipment, and other emergency gear.
The turntable ladder is the best-known form of fire truck, but there are also "cherry pickers", rescue tenders, floodlight trucks and other specialized units. A "Tiller" or "Hook-and-Ladder" truck (a semi-trailer carrying a turntable ladder), formerly much used in the United States but are becoming rarer today, requires two drivers, as it has separate steering wheels for front and rear wheels (the steering device for the rear is sometimes a tiller rather than a true steering wheel). This truck is often used in areas with narrow streets that prohibit the longer single vehicle trucks from entering.
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