Most people are familiar with the siren produced by a fire truck. Fire engines transport crew and firefighting equipment to an accident scene. 366,600 is the approximate number of home structures that receive a response from the fire department in the US. This is according to an estimation by the National Fire Protection Association.
In some parts of the country, the words "fire truck" and "fire engine" are used interchangeably. A fire truck, on the other hand, goes by the name "ladder truck" because it carries varying lengths and sizes of ladders for access to buildings, lighting equipment, and other power tools.
The first fire engine was invented in the 2nd century BC. It was then re-invented in the 1700s where it was just a water bucket on some wheels. It has advanced over time to what we have today. The modern-day fire apparatus involves a complex manufacture of numerous equipment custom made for a variety of services. These include but are not limited to fire suppression, hazardous operations, rescue, emergency medical services, etc. The vehicle is normally painted red although this may vary depending on the location.
What are Some Fire Engine Parts?
There are several components of a firetruck.
- Ladders: Ladders enable the firefighters to reach higher elevations. Interestingly, not all fire engines are ladder trucks.
- Storage compartments: Firefighters use the storage compartments for safekeeping of their possessions. There is also a similar tool compartment to hold nozzles, axes, cutters, etc.
- Hose: The hose is used to squirt water into the fire. It is connected to the fire engine wherein lies the fire hydrant which holds the water. Pumps are present to control the inflow of water.
- Elevating cylinders: Like the name suggests these work by raising the ladders higher.
- Pump: It is powered by diesel through the drive shaft.
- Warning light: The fire engine has both upper and lower lighting. The upper lights on the cab roof are for long distance warnings while the lower lights are for short distance warnings.
How Does a Fire Engine Work?
Fire engines consist of a water tanker, personnel carrier, and a toolbox. Water up to 1000 gallons is stored inside the fire engine or it is extracted from an outside source such as a swimming pool, lake or a fire hydrant. It is then expelled through hoses and water lines connected all around the water tank. There is an electronic switch that turns on the pump panel to conduct priming. Priming refers to sucking the air out of the water lines before water is obtained from an external source. The pump panel, which is a series of levers and switches is responsible for controlling the water flow.
Inside the pump is an impeller that closely resembles a rotor device. When water comes inside the pump, it hits the impeller and causes it to start spinning. The water pressure then prompts a valve to open and allow the water to hit the center of the rotating impeller. There are some red lights on the pump panel which indicate how much water is left inside the pump. The truck also has a foam system found in the main tank. Its purpose is to prevent flammable materials from re-igniting.