It’s a big, beautiful deep red beast of firefighting engineering, ingenuity and raw manmade power—just be sure to not confuse it with a fire truck! That’s right—did you know there are significant differences between a fire engine and a fire truck? But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
First? We’d like you to meet Engine 5-1, one of the flagship firefighting vehicles for the Alpha Volunteer Fire Company.
Meet Fire Engine 5-1 Of Alpha Fire Company.
Engine 5-1 is a 2005 Pierce Dash Engine that seats six, featuring a Tak-4 Independent Front Suspension, Detroit Series 60 motor, and an Allison EVS 4000 automatic transmission.
The unit carries with it 750 gallons of water and 15 gallons of Class A foam with 6 pre-connected hose lines, and once fully operational on scene, Engine 5-1 is capable of pumping in excess of 1500 gallons of water per minute and 12 gallons of foam per minute.
The unit is equipped with a 15kW hydraulic generator powering 7500 Watts of fixed and portable scene lighting, along with two pre-connected “Jaws of Life” rescue tools. It is currently serving as our primary engine at the Borough Station.
Click here to view the manufacturing overview from Pierce Manufacturing
(and to hear a passable sound-alike for Morgan Freeman as a narrator
Fire Engines Are The Workhorses Of A Fire Company (Other Than The Members, Of Course).
Fire Engines carry the hoses, couplings and internal distribution apparatus necessary to douse a fire with water. If you need water on the scene, a fire engine will be there to deliver it! A computer controlled impeller (think giant internal fan inside a high-tech tank
) can draw water from external sources like freshwater lake beds, swimming pools, cisterns and neighborhood supply lines – such as the fire hydrants you shouldn’t be parking so closely to.
The operator can divert and direct water flow through the specific hose lines as necessary on the fire scene, with high-tech relief valves build in to prevent over pressurization of any one line when another line is shut down.
So What’s The Difference Between A Fire Engine and a Fire Truck?
Because firefighting has become so specialized and demanding, the term “fire truck” has been used expansively to describe almost any vehicle used by the fire department.
When it comes to the “big beasts” you see on the roads, what makes a Fire Truck different from a Fire Engine is the inclusion of one or more additional ladders (often really, really BIG ones), plus a host of additional specialized firefighting equipment stored on the truck itself.
The fire truck
is like a huge rolling toolbox for the fire company, and is distinguished by its ladder compliment. The fire truck ladder may or may not include a basket for firefighters, but almost always includes a top nozzle to deploy water from elevated heights. Many fire trucks also come equipped with “outrigger” supports to balance the enormous weight of a fully deployed ladder.
by comparison, are the vehicles on the fire scene responsible for pumping water. They deliver hoses and water essential to fighting a fire—combining a basic triple threat combination of tank, water and multiple types of hoses available at the fire scene. And while many engines may carry a ground ladder or two, the big difference is that the Engine is there to manage water at the fire scene.
So much equipment travels on each of these vehicles, from specialty hand tools and gas powered saws, to specialized rescue equipment, on-site fans and first aid supplies, that a Truck will often be deployed with an Engine in support of the fire scene, even if the “big ladders” may not be necessary.
Fire Trucks And Fire Engines Capture The Imagination!
While we wish no one ever had to see them out in public other than in a parade — the reality is that trucks, engines, ladders, command vehicles, fire police and fire fighters are essential to the well being of the community.
One thing’s for certain—whether you’re talking about an Engine or a Truck, the general overall response (from Alpha members and the public at large is)…
that they are really COOL! Learn more about our apparatus here.