Fire department apparatus
Every town and city has at least one fire truck and many large cities have hundreds
Second to the men and women firefighters, the most important component of fire management is fire department apparatus. For most of us, the first thing we think of when we think of a fire department is a fire truck. In fact, the big red fire truck is so ubiquitous worldwide that it's practically an international symbol of firefighting.
Every town and city has at least one fire truck and many large cities have hundreds. Fire trucks come in a variety of sizes and styles, which give fire departments plenty of options when it comes to choosing the right one or one to suit their needs. A new fire truck generally runs anywhere from $500,000 to just over $1,000,000, so it's not a purchase that fire departments take lightly.
Fire trucks are undeniably the number one fire department apparatus. Most of them have heavy duty suspensions and powerful steering components that make them easier to maneuver through narrow city streets. Sirens, horns, and flashing lights are all standard fire truck equipment.
Fire trucks are equipped with powerful pumping devices called cannons that carry vast amounts of water into hoses to extinguish a fire. Water is pumped from a fire hydrant or a standing pipe hooked up to a plumbing system. Some fire trucks carry their own water reservoir which is then pumped out of the truck and onto the fire.
They sometimes mix water with fire retardant foam which is more effective than water alone.
Ladders are another critical piece of fire department apparatus that allow firefighters to reach people in high rise buildings and houses with more than one story. There are many kinds of ladders mounted on fire trucks, including tower ladders, turntable ladders and tiller ladders. Fire trucks also carry portable ladders which can be carried by firefighters to various locations as needed.
Some fire department apparatus also includes hydraulic platforms that allow firefighters to set up high level staging areas with hoses, lights and rescue equipment.
Other fire department apparatus that play a crucial part in extinguishing fires includes floodlights, axes, hooks, cutting tools, breathing devices, tarps, blankets, stretchers, and medical rescue equipment and supplies.