At Wayside Fire Company we operate three pieces of apparatus. A ladder truck, an engine, and a heavy rescue truck. Below you can see what each apparatus looks like and what they are useful for!
A fire engine is a vehicle designed primarily for firefighting operations. In addition, many fire departments/fire services often employ their vehicles for various other uses including emergency medical services and rescue purposes. The primary purposes of a fire engine include transporting firefighters to an incident scene, providing water with which to fight a fire, and carrying other equipment needed by firefighters. A typical modern vehicle will carry tools for a wide range of firefighting and rescue tasks, with common equipment including ladders, a self-contained breathing apparatus, ventilating equipment, first aid kits, and hydraulic rescue tools.
Heavy Rescue 36-2-85
A heavy rescue vehicle is a type of specialty firefighting or emergency medical services apparatus. They are primarily designed to provide the specialized equipment necessary for technical rescue situations such as traffic collisions requiring vehicle extrication, building collapses, confined space rescue, rope rescues and Swiftwater rescues. They carry an array of special equipment such as the Jaws of life, wooden cribbing, generators, winches, hi-lift jacks, cranes, cutting torches, circular saws and other forms of heavy equipment unavailable on standard trucks. This capability differentiates them from traditional pumper trucks or ladder trucks designed primarily to carry firefighters and their entry gear as well as on-board water tanks, hoses and equipment for fire extinguishing and light rescue. Most heavy rescue vehicles lack on-board water tanks and pumping gear, owing to their specialized role, but some do carry on-board pumps to broaden their response capability.
A turntable ladder truck is perhaps the best-known form of special purpose aerial apparatus, and is used to gain access to fires occurring at height using a large telescopic ladder, where conventional ladders carried on conventional appliances might not reach. The name is derived from the fact that the large ladder is mounted on a turntable on the back of a truck chassis, allowing it to pivot around a stable base. To increase its length, the ladder is telescopic. Modern telescopic ladders are either hydraulic or pneumatic. These mechanical features allow the use of ladders which are longer, sturdier, and more stable. They also have pre-attached hoses or other equipment.