List of Equipment for a Fire Apparatus

Written by rick chaney
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List of Equipment for a Fire Apparatus
Fire apparatus equipment includes life-saving devices and tools for extrication and firefighting. (Fire Hoses on a truck image by Jim Mills from

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has standards that fire brigades must follow. One of the standards is the equipment that is on each type of fire apparatus. The precise list of equipment for a fire apparatus varies, depending on the apparatus type, the department and the region.

Medical Equipment

Medical equipment is carried on various types of fire apparatus including engines, ladder trucks, patrols and medical vehicles such as ambulances. Basic life support medical equipment includes a trauma box or bag. This kit contains dressings, bandages, blood pressure cuff, stethoscope and other items to start treating a patient.

Other medical equipment includes an obstetrics kit (O.B. kit) and airway management items that include oropharyngeal airways, laryngoscope and oxygen.

Fire apparatuses also carry a backboard to immobilise patients with a suspected spinal or cervical injury.

Some fire apparatuses also carry advanced life support medical equipment. The advanced life support equipment consists of a defibrillator that can monitor a patient's heart rhythm and deliver an electrical shock to a non-beating heart. Intravenous solutions and a drug box are also apart of the advanced life support medical equipment.

Extrication Tools

Extrication tools are carried on fire engines, ladder trucks and other rescue fire apparatus. Some of the extrication tools include a pickhead axe, Hayward claw tool, pry bars, crowbars and a jumbo bar, which is a heavy and longer crowbar.

A fire apparatus also carries a pneumatic power chisel. The chisel uses the regulated air from a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). For situations when hand tools are not enough, a fire apparatus also carries the Holmatro spreaders, also known as "the jaws." The spreaders connect to a Holmatro power unit and then the firefighters can use the device to cut away the vehicle to extricate the patient. Some fire apparatuses are equipped with the Maxiforce Air Bag System. This tool can be used for lifting, moving, bending, spreading and prying. It is capable of lifting a vehicle so that the fire personnel can free a victim trapped underneath. Another tool is the rotary saw K-1200, sometimes referred to as "K-12." The K-12 can cut through metal, wood, asphalt, concrete, plastic and other materials.

Other Tools and Equipment

A blower is another piece of equipment that some fire apparatuses carry. Firefighters use the blower to remove gases and smoke from buildings. Chain saws are also carried on the apparatus. The chain saw is mainly used for ventilation operations when firefighters need to cut holes in a roof.

Other equipment includes hose wrenches and spanners; utility shut-off tools; sprinkler head shut-off tools; sledgehammer; round, square and scoop shovels; hand saws; and bolt cutters. Brush tools that are on fire apparatus include a brush hook, Pulaski and the McCloud. These tools are used to clear brush and construct firebreaks. Various types, sizes and lengths of rope are also carried on fire apparatus. They include a lifeline, equipment line and drop line. Ladders that are on fire apparatus include straight ladders, roof, extension and collapsible ladders.

Fire Extinguishers

For small fires, a fire apparatus carries four types of fire extinguishers. The first type is for class A fires, the air-pressure extinguisher. It is a 2 1/2 gallon water cannon. The second is the carbon dioxide extinguisher used for class B and C fires. The third is a dry chemical extinguisher that is used for class B fires. The fourth is the dry powder fire extinguisher used for general fire extinguishing.

Hoses, Fittings, Nozzles and Valves

Depending on the apparatus, hose sizes that are carried include 3/4-inch, 1-inch, 1 1/2-inch, 1 3/4-inch, 2-inch, 2 1/2-inch. 3-inch and 4-inch. The hose lengths that a fire apparatus carries will vary. The fittings that a fire apparatus is equipped with include double male, double female, reducers, increasers, siamese, wyes, strainers, caps and plugs. The common sizes are 1-inch, 1 1/2-inch, 2 1/2-inch and 4-inch. Spray and straight stream nozzles are the basic types of nozzles that are on fire apparatus. The nozzle sizes range from 1 inch up to 2 1/2 inches. The most common valves are the pressure reducing valve, four-way valve and the keystone valve. The NFPA has set standards that regulate the fittings, sizes and nozzles to ensure compatibility throughout the fire service.

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