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    Default Apparatus naming standard

    Is there a standard to which all FD's must follow that correlates to what that apparatus is called???

    We recently had to redo the decals on our aerials to read "Truck XX". As well, dispatch is now calling them "Truck XX".

    After several conversations with FF's and Chiefs, most don't like it, and think it's silly. From what I understand, it was done to follow some "guideline standard" of naming apparatus's, that would be understood by any and all those involved with an incident, nationally. In other words, so there wouldn't be any confusion on what rig was what.

    Some said it was from the NFPA, and others said something else, but it was considered mandatory to rename/call any ladder/aerial a "Truck", and we did.

    Personally, I find Ladder or Aerial to be more fitting, than "Truck". To most of us, a "truck", would fit the bill of "Engine" or "Pumper".

    So, is there a "National" or "Other" organization that controls the naming of apparatus's, or not.

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    Nope, either fortunately or unfortunately, there isn't a national standard.

    Most of the departments in our area call their aerials, no matter if a platform or not, "Truck." Go to northern Virginia, and they're called Truck (aerial) or Tower (self explanitory). Very regional when it comes to apparatus designations.
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    Dont think there is a standard but we call our units what they are
    engine
    brush
    tanker
    rescue
    ladder
    tower, etc.
    it helps keep any confunsion to a minimum especially when taking another unit for mutual aid
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    Hmm, my 105" Pierce TL runs as a "Truck" at some calls, an "Engine" at other calls....and once in a great while a "Squad".

    My 1750gpm E-One pumper runs as a "Truck" at some calls, an "Engine" at other calls....and once in a great while a "Squad".

    On the side of each of them, it says....Point Pleasant Beach Fire Department.

    Our apparatus get assigned their tasks based on the call.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    Personally, I find Ladder or Aerial to be more fitting, than "Truck". To most of us, a "truck", would fit the bill of "Engine" or "Pumper".
    What planet are you on?

    I have been all over the USA. East. West. North. South. Been in big cities and small towns. Seen metropolitan fire departments, County-controlled departments, Federal departments, and departments that control themselves. "TRUCK" has always been reserved for a piece of apparatus with an aerial device (excluding squrts or other devices not designed for the regular climbing of personnel.....)
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    Buff is right, if someone says "I need a truck" or "send a truck" they would expect a vehicle with some sort of climbable aerial device.

    I've never heard anyone call an Engine or Pumper a "truck" unless its just a generic term for any piece of fire apparatus in an informal conversation. And in that case its something like "how many fire trucks do you send to this..." or "Could you bring down a fire truck to ABC day care to show the kids on tuesday" etc etc.

    But never ever have I heard anyone say the word "Truck" is better suited to describe an Engine or makes them think of an Engine.

    Perhaps the only thing close to universal in the U.S. Fire Service is the words "Engine" and "Truck". You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who wouldn't give you an apparatus full of water, hose, and a pump if you asked for an Engine. And you'd most definitely get something full of ground ladders and an aerial (possibly with some hose and a pump) if you asked for a truck.

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    Easy boys.... (nameless & FWDbuff)

    To most of us, a "truck", would fit the bill of "Engine" or "Pumper".
    Clarification.....

    As in a fire "TRUCK" would be considered an engine or a pumper, by the window lickers. I didn't say that we, or anybody else called engines/pumpers, a "TRUCK".

    Otherwise, I'm on planet Earth. But I have been thinking about hitting Uranus. (enter smiley face here)

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    What planet are you on?

    I have been all over the USA. East. West. North. South. Been in big cities and small towns. Seen metropolitan fire departments, County-controlled departments, Federal departments, and departments that control themselves. "TRUCK" has always been reserved for a piece of apparatus with an aerial device (excluding squrts or other devices not designed for the regular climbing of personnel.....)

    Well, you haven't been far enough South I guess. In this parish a fire truck is still a fire truck. Only one department in the parish has an aerial, and that's only as of the beginning of this year. Before that there were none. So, yeah, when we're responding someone's going to the station "to get the truck" and we know it's an engine.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc View Post
    Well, you haven't been far enough South I guess. In this parish a fire truck is still a fire truck. Only one department in the parish has an aerial, and that's only as of the beginning of this year. Before that there were none. So, yeah, when we're responding someone's going to the station "to get the truck" and we know it's an engine.
    I'm not talking about the use of the work "truck" as a noun, when being used when referring to a vehicle (as in "load the boxes on to the truck".) It is the same as using the word "car" when referring to an automobile.

    In this instance, I am referring to the use of the word "truck" when being used as a verb, I.E. "Truck Company."
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    I'm not talking about the use of the work "truck" as a noun, when being used when referring to a vehicle (as in "load the boxes on to the truck".) It is the same as using the word "car" when referring to an automobile.

    In this instance, I am referring to the use of the word "truck" when being used as a verb, I.E. "Truck Company."
    That's not a verb as used. If anything it's an adjective (describing the noun "company"). Now if you truck your boxes down the road, that would be a verb form.

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    Yeah, thats what I said, an adjective.
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    As I said above....my pumper is often assigned Truck 1 or Truck 2. And yes, it does truck work.

    No aerial on it, just ground ladders. But with all the trees and wires around here...it's not that often that aerial access is available anyway.
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    Bones, so the designation of the rig changes from call-to-call?
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    Yes. For most of our calls, which are alarms and other minor issues, the first arriving piece is designated Truck 1. It gets to the scene and sends their crew in to investigate. The 2nd due piece gets assigned Engine 1 and stands by at the nearest water source. As the situation dictates, they will normally be moved up to the scene to assist.

    We won't have the pumper arrive 5 minutes before the aerial and sit at a hydrant while no one investigates.

    We went to this system 4 or 5 years ago and it has been working very well for us. We have had some odd looks from people when the aerial has laid the 5" supply line and has the preconnects coming off it while the pumper is sitting in front with it's ground ladders gone.

    And yes, there are times when the aerial is designated Truck 1 and pumper Engine 1 regardless of the response order, but they are few.
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    so whats the piece called when its sitting in the bay?

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    Thanks for the info guys. I wasn't sure if there was a standard (Nationally) or not.

    From my newby eyes, and all the things I see on other threads that talks about how the NFPA pushes their "guidelines" on equipment, I figured that they would have had something to say on what the apparatus's were called.

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    Bones,

    I'm very open minded about thinking outside of the box, but I must say, that seems really...well, wierd.

    When responding on automatic of mutual aid, how are the the rigs designated?
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    nameless, the vehicles are identified by the county wide number scheme.

    Station #, vehicle type. ex- my first out 1000gpm + pumper is 4201. Station 42, 01 for 1000+gpm pump. 03 is a rescue, 05 is an aerial device, 06 is a boat, 07 is a utility vehicle, 09 is a personnel transport (vans). 02 is for under 1000gpm pump.

    So in the bays, I have 4201 (1750 pumper) and 4205 (50' Teleboom).
    Other station - 4301 (1750 pump), 4305 (100' TL), 4311 (1500 pump).

    Don't really agree with that numbering system, but it's what the County (and we know counties never do anything wrong/stupid ) came up with.


    BoxAlarm, depends on who calls. Town south of me has our 100' aerial and my pumper coming in as Trucks. They also call the next town over and get 2 vehicles from them as Engines. Town north of me gets the same 2 pieces (initially) but normally have the 100' as Truck and the pumper as Engine.

    Out of the box thinking....ya, a bit. It took some getting used to, but we feel overall that it has helped. Yes, all of our guys train on truck work and engine work. Are they as proficient as a big city guy that runs on a truck all the time or an engine all the time? Probably not. Then again, with our call volume, they are not going to be at that level anyway. Are they trained well enough on both "sides"? Come on down, we'll drill with anyone.

    Last night, around 9:30pm we had a call for an alarm in a condo. I was IC. First vehicle showing up was my pumper, they were assigned Truck 1 before they arrived. What that means to them...officer goes inside with his interior team, which is "irons" man and "can" man. 2 guys in the back take those positions, grab their necessary tools and know to meet the officer at the front door. They know they are going in to investigate the alarm. 2 other guys on the truck know they are "roof" and "ovm". As there is no immediate hazard seen, 1 will do a 360 of the building, other will get ready to throw ground ladders.

    2nd vehicle was the 100' aerial. 3rd vehicle signed on right after them, so the aerial was assigned Truck 2. 3rd vehicle was assigned Engine 1. Truck 2 crew knows to come up to A side and due to what was being found with alarm, standby. Roof man went to alarm panel (which is on outside of building).

    3rd vehicle arrived and as engine 1 knew to stop and stage at the hydrant on the corner.

    All of this is accomplished by simply stating "4201 - Truck 1", "4305 - Truck 2", "4205 - Engine 1" on the radio. And that was it. We have been able to greatly reduce our radio traffic. And guys know what is expected of them, what is expected of their crew, and what to expect other crews to be doing.

    It's nice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    All of this is accomplished by simply stating "4201 - Truck 1", "4305 - Truck 2", "4205 - Engine 1" on the radio.
    THAT helps explain things! Thanks....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Station #, vehicle type. ex- my first out 1000gpm + pumper is 4201. Station 42, 01 for 1000+gpm pump. 03 is a rescue, 05 is an aerial device, 06 is a boat, 07 is a utility vehicle, 09 is a personnel transport (vans). 02 is for under 1000gpm pump.

    So in the bays, I have 4201 (1750 pumper) and 4205 (50' Teleboom).
    Other station - 4301 (1750 pump), 4305 (100' TL), 4311 (1500 pump).
    I am so confused. This is exactly why plainspeak has been mandated by NIMS. Plus, add in the fact that it is simple, direct, and to the point.

    Again, I challenge- what is so wrong with "Engine 42"
    "Rescue 42"
    "Ladder 42" (or Truck!)
    "Utility 42"
    "Marine 42"
    "Engine 42-1"
    "Squrt 42"

    Let's say there is a large-scale incident in Philadelphia, and you guys are dispatched to be part of a Task Force to go and stage in Camden. Wouldn't it be nice, if I, as the Staging Sector Officer, knew what apparatus you had coming in? ("What the hell is a 4201? I need a squrt to head over to Philly to assist with mass decon......Is 4201 a squrt?) "Camden Staging to Ocean County Squrt 42, you and Burlington County Engine 27 are going to join Task Force 2 and head to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia."

    I need a Rescue for the collapse task force.....What the hell is a 12-2-24? That was my high school locker combination. "Camden Staging to Burlington County Rescue 13, you are going to be assigned to collapse task force 2."

    "Staging to 1103.....I need a ladder to join Task Force 2.....Whats that? You are a Utility Unit towing a boat? Disregard.....Staging to 8675309....I need a ladder for Task Force 2.....Whats that? You are a popular song?...Disregard....Staging to 123456.....I need a ladder to join Task Force 2......Never mind.....

    Or....

    "Staging to Camden County Ladder 17......Join Task Force 2 upon your arrival at staging."
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    i have worked at 4 different departments and have seen 3 different ways to have this done. the easiest and best is "truck" XX or "engine" XX. call them what they are and their station # or unit designation (ei. squad 1 may not be housed at station one but it is the 1st battalions or divisions heavy rescue squad)

    KISS is needed for standardization.

    calling a pumper 3324 or 2773 or 1915 is just confusing when at large incidents with multiple agencies... what ends up happening, you say on the radio "Chuck-town Engine 2773, come over to the east division". unless a county, region, or state adapts the set up idea it is not standard.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffmedcbk1
    KISS is needed for standardization.
    Your right, and the reason for starting this thread. With everything else being standardized and/or required, why hasn't anybody taken this on.

    It shouldn't take brain surgery to change the calling of "2115" to Engine or Truck (aerial/ladder) 2115.

    But as I said originally. We had to change our aerials to trucks, because of some standard that was set in place. I know it's not at the state level because some career and volly stations that use ladder or aerial on their rigs.

    If it isn't a national standard, why not make it one???

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    We're about to change the standard in our fire district. Apparatus have always been named with a 2 letter prefix indicating the department, i.e., Paincourtville apparatus would be PF-whatever, Napoleonville would be NF-whatever, etc. So in our department, the apparatus are:

    PF-2= Engine
    PF-3= Engine
    PF-4= Mini-pumper
    PF-5= Engine
    PF-6= Engine
    PF-7= Rescue truck.

    In case you haven't spotted the problem, unless you're very familiar with our department, if you hear PF-6 on the radio you don't know if it's an engine or a rescue truck or what. Adding to this confusion is the fact that PF-whatever can also be an individual, i.e., my callsign is PF-1, my assistant chiefs are PF-8 and PF-9, and all officers and firefighters also have a PF-number. So in addition to not knowing what type of apparatus something is on the radio, you don't even know if it's an apparatus at all. Confusing.

    The 5 departments in the parish have finally all agreed that to be more compliant with NIMS standards and to eliminate some of this confusion, we will renumber our appratus. So now we'll have a 2 digit number for all apparatus with the 1st digit indicating the department and the 2nd digit indicating the apparatus, i.e.:

    PF-2 becomes Engine 32
    PF-3 becomes Engine 33
    PF-4 becomes Service 34 (it's a mini-pumper but it's outfitted and responds as a service unit for rating purposes)
    PF-5 becomes Engine 35
    PF-6 becomes Engine 36
    PF-7 becomes Rescue 37

    So now you just have to know that a 3-numbered apparatus is a Paincourtville apparatus. Following this logic, individuals will be assigned a 3 digit number, i.e., I would be Chief 301, my assistant chiefs would be Chief 302 and Chief 303, etc.

    There's been a little resistance from a couple of departments but after a couple of poor attempts I think we've found a numbering system that's fairly simple, expandable, and less confusing. Overall everyone likes the latest system and we will probably start using it soon.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    Your right, and the reason for starting this thread. With everything else being standardized and/or required, why hasn't anybody taken this on.

    It shouldn't take brain surgery to change the calling of "2115" to Engine or Truck (aerial/ladder) 2115.

    But as I said originally. We had to change our aerials to trucks, because of some standard that was set in place. I know it's not at the state level because some career and volly stations that use ladder or aerial on their rigs.

    If it isn't a national standard, why not make it one???

    FM1
    Just what we need, NFPA now telling us what we can and can't call our fire trucks. That would be just great. Thanks

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    FWDBuff, I understand your confusion. I'll tell you how it has worked in the past when we have left county for large incidents. Departments are requested by County Coordinators, who know exactly what vehicle is in every firehouse in their county. When the request for apparatus comes in, it goes through the County (when it gets to a level as you are describing) and the requesting agency does know exactly what they are getting. The County then dispatches appropriate units to a staging area. Once at the area, you are assigned to a task force or some other unit as the county determines. You are then assigned your area/operations as a group. So, all of our County naming/numbering no longer applies as you are task force 1/rescue group 1/etc. The names of the units making up that group don't matter.
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