Different Types of Fire Engines and Their Uses

Different Types of Fire Engines and Their Uses

When thinking of a fire engine, the image of a large, brick-shaped, red truck may come to mind. However, fire engines come in many different forms. Not all fires are the same, which means they require different types of engines to fight them properly. For example, a house fire will require an engine with very different capabilities than an engine used to fight a raging forest fire. To account for the different needs, fire engines have different sizes, tank capacities, hose lengths, and number of occupants. Currently, there are seven main types of fire engines. While such engines have many differences, their category depends mainly on their sizes. To learn about the different types of fire engines and their uses, continue reading.

Types 1 and 2

Type 1 and 2 fire engines are the largest types. They respond primarily to structure fires in developed cities. Because extinguishing a structural fire requires a constant stream of water, the ability of these larger engines to transport substantial water pumps and up to 500 gallons of water is ideal.

In addition to huge water pumps, engine types 1 and 2 can also carry ladders, which are often necessary to effectively fight fires that take place in tall buildings and rescue anyone trapped on the upper floors.

Types 3 and 4

Fire engines Type 3 and 4 are known as mid-sized engines, with maximum vehicle weights of 26,000 lbs., and typically respond to wildland fires. Such engines offer a high level of mobility due to their smaller size, which is often necessary to navigate rugged forest terrain. In addition to mobility, these engines also have a large water capacity—1,500 US gallons for Type 3 engines and 1500 US gallons for Type 4 engines—which is beneficial for extinguishing large forest fires.

Types 5, 6, and 7

Engines Type 5, 6, and 7 are the smallest types of fire engines. Like Type 3 and Type 4 fire engines, they primarily respond to wildland fires. However, engine types 5, 6, and 7 have much smaller configurations, which allows them to navigate rough wildland terrain more quickly and easily.

Due to their speed, these engines typically act as the initial attack on wildfires to help ward off the spread of flames until larger engines can arrive. To ensure optimal mobility, requirements for these wildland fire engines indicate that they can’t surpass a maximum gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 lbs. for Type 5 engines, 19,500 lbs. for Type 6 engines, and just 14,000 lbs. for Type 7 engines.

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