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Apparatus Index

Fire Engines

type I
The engine must have at least pump 1000 gpm, and have the following compliment: 400 gallon tank, 1200 ft. 2 1/2" hose, 400 ft. 1 1/2 " hose, 200 ft. 1" hose, 20 feet of ladder, 500 gpm Master Stream, and Minimum 4 people.

type II
Type 2 must have at least a 500 gpm pump, a 400 gal/tank, 1000 ft. 2 1/2", 500 ft. 1 1/2", 300 ft. 1", 20 feet of ladder, and Min. 3 people

type III
Type 3 must have at least 120 gpm pump, a 500 gal/tank, 1000 ft. 1 1/2" hose, 800 ft. 1", and Min. 3 people. It is almost always 4x4.

type VI
Type 6 must have at least a 50 gpm pump, a 150 gal/tank, 300 ft. 1 1/2", 300 ft. 1", and Min. 2 people. It is almost always a 4x4.


Fire Trucks

Also known as hook and ladder trucks, ladders, towers, aerials. These speciallized vehicles have a hydrolic ladder that usually extends to over 100'. A ladder truck also has to carry at least 115' of ground ladders, two of which must be extension ladders. They are basically the rolling tool box of the fire service.

rear-mount trucks

mid-mount trucks

tiller trucks


A quintuple combination pumper or quint is a fire service apparatus that serves the dual purpose of an engine and a ladder truck. A Jack of all trades but master of none. A quint has a minimum pump capacity of 1000gpm, an aerial ladder with a permanent waterway affixed, at least a 300 gallon tank, 40 cubic feet of storage space (although it seems more like half that), 2 extension ladders, 1 roof ladder, 1 attic ladder, 800 feet of 2.5 inch or larger diameter hose, 400 feet of 1.5 inch or larger hose, plus various tools and a partridge in a pear tree.


The term Squad is mainly used in the fire service to differentiate a specialized unit. At FDNY their squads are on a modified engine and carry tools more like a truck. They are part of their Special Operations Command and respond to all working fires and to any other technical emergency such as HAZMAT or extrication calls.

The most widely known Squad is Squad 51 from the show Emergency based on LA County's use of a squad. There, a squad is a pick up truck with a utility bed staffed by two paramedics. They also carry a wider array of specialized tools but have no water tank or pump. Primarily they are used to run EMS calls.

Squads are used in departments across the country in various capacities. They are also often referred to as Rescues.

Heavy Rescues

A heavy rescue vehicle is a type of specialty firefighting apparatus designed to provide the specialized equipment necessary for technical rescue situations such as auto accidents requiring vehicle extrication, building collapses, confined space rescue, rope rescues and swiftwater rescue.


HAZMAT (Hazardous materials) units are staffed and equipped to deal with solids, liquids, or gases that can harm people, other living organisms, property, or the environment. In other words, Methyl-ethyl bad s**t.


Aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) is a special category of firefighting that involves the response, hazard mitigation, evacuation and possible rescue of passengers and crew of an aircraft involved in (typically) an airport ground emergency.

Command Vehicles

These are the rigs driven by battalion chiefs and higher in rank. For a funny video see the fire SUV.


A water tender is a specialized firefighting apparatus designed for transporting water from a water source to a fire scene.


Air tanker generally refer to fixed-wing aircraft used to combat wildfires.


Helitack refers to "helicopter-delivered fire resources." Technically, to be a helitack helicopter it must have the capability to insert personnel on the ground to attack the fire but this term commonly applies to all firefighting helicopters.

Air Ambulances

An air ambulance is an aircraft used for emergency medical assistance in situations where either a traditional ambulance cannot reach the scene easily or quickly enough, or the patient needs to be transported over a distance or terrain that makes air transportation the most practical transport.


A fireboat is a specialized watercraft and with pumps and nozzles designed for fighting shoreline and shipboard fires. Also hydrocopters, rigid-hulled inflatable boats, fanboat and even hovercrafts are used in fire, rescue and medical emergency situations.

"The Three Forty Three" is FDNY's newest fireboat and is currently the largest in the country. It has the ability to pump 50,000 gallons per minute.


An ambulance is a vehicle for transportation of sick or injured people to, from or between places of treatment for an illness or injury, and in some instances will also provide out of hospital medical care to the patient.

Other Countries
This is how they do things across the world. 
Antarctica, believe it or not.
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