1. #1
    Chief 50
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Numbering of Apparatus

    Our county is looking at renumbering apparatus to address the issue of units which serve multiple applications. Also, there are those who feel it best to simply say in plain english what a particular unit is. Currently, we use a numbering system.
    Your unit number is your company number, then a second number which shaws the type of unit. 1-9 are officers. 11-19 are engines. 20-29 are tankers. 30-39 equipment trucks. 40-49 rescue trucks. 50-59 ladder trucks/towers. 60-69 brush units. 70-79 ambulances. 80-89 special units. So
    an engine from company 12 would be 12-11.
    With the advent of units such as engine-rescue, Pumper-Tankers, mini pumpers, etc. This gets very confusing. Our ambulances use a 70 series number on the fire radio, and a three digit number on the EMS radio.
    We would like to change to a system which is simple, easily understood, and basicly is in plain english. For example. Co. 12's Pumper-Tanker would be called Pumper-Tanker 12. Co. 12's Engines if they had two would be Engine 1-2-1 and Engine 1-2-2. I would like to hear how other regions number their apparatus. No sense in reinventing the wheel. Please either leave me info here, or email it to ffmedicmo@aol.com Thanks. Mo

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our county does it this way...
    Station number followed by two digit unit number.


    Officers: 60-Chief, 70 Deputy, 80-Captain, 90-99 lower officers and fire police.

    Engines: 61-65
    Ladder 69
    Tankers 71-75
    Field trucks/Light Trucks/Support Units 81-85
    Rescue Engine 68
    Fire Dept Rescue Truck 89

    An engine from station 33 would be 33-61.

    Officers: 50-Chief/Captain, All other officers use letter suffix after 50. (Asst Chief would be 50a).

    Ambulances: 51-54
    EMS based Rescue Trucks: 56/57
    Rescue Ambulance: 55
    Support units: 58/59
    Marine units 5 (this is a suffix number added to the 2 digit staion number) ex. marine 495.

    A rescue truck from station 49 would be 49-56.

    This system does not allow for expansion currently. My squad has used up all the available numbers allocated by the county.

    A suggestion that we have tossed around is plain text identifiers.

    This would allow you to have as many engines as you wanted and not have to worry about using up all allocated numbers. Engine 33-1, Engine 33-2 instead of 33-61, 33-62 etc. Rescue 49 instead of 49-56. For mutual aid calls its easier if you dont have to think of what type of unit it is by the number..so its easier to understand that engine 33-1 is my second due..not 33-62 which I have to know is an engine. Now the next company who gets a second ladder will not have a number for it.

    Your rescue pumper could be "Rescue Engine XX" instead of coding it with a number.

    [This message has been edited by e33 (edited November 05, 1999).]

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    For our paid department and the Pheonix Fire Automatic Aid System we use a very simple and easy to use system. Agencies are assigned series of numbers based on their size.

    Guadalupe has 240 - 249. So everybody knows that Engine 241 is a gusadlupe engine company. Units are designated in plain talk. ENgine, Ladder, Rescue, Utility, Battalion, Car, etc.

    I think this system work well.

    Alan Romania, CEP
    IAFF Local 3449

    My Opinions do not reflect the opnions of the IAFF or Local 3449.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In Jersey it varies from county to county, but Gloucster Co. has district numbers followed by a station number then the appararus number.
    22-31 is district 22, station 3, engine 1
    officers for thid would be 22-301 chief and so on threw the officers.
    1-3 are engines
    4 are tankers
    5 are power wagons or brush units
    6 are arial pieces
    7 are utilities or cascades
    8 are rescues
    9 are squads
    Other examples are 22-35 is our power wagon, our district tower is 22-46(district 22, station 4 , and piece 6.
    The squads may vary slightly from the 9 for if there are multiple squads in the town that are not combined. 22-89 is a seperate squad from 22-91. And station 22-4 has a squad as part of the station numbered 22-49. It sounds difficult, but no more than trying to understand your system.

    David DeCant
    Originally Mantua,NJ
    Presently Lindenwold,NJ(I'm not a member of any of this District's dept's.)

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Shortly after I started we went from individual numbers...612, 620, etc to the plain English. (The EMS units were all 670-something) The units are (now) id'ed by type and station; Eng1, Eng 1-2, Tanker1, EMS1, Eng 3, EMS3, CFR2, CFR3, CFR4, etc. We spent a lot of time in rookie school learning which vehicles were which/where...seems like plain English is easier/more abbreviated. Of course, if you have a whole lot of apparatus, it could still be a mouthful.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In my area, it works two ways:

    1) The city numbers their units with a plain English description and a number, like Engine 56, Medic 13, Truck 30, Rescue 1, etc. The numbers are, as far as I know, just the numbers of the units, and have nothing to do with where they are.

    2) The county has station numbers. So, for example, the local volunteer station #28 would have Engine 281, Engine 282, Ladder 283, etc. The first two digits represent the station, the last one represents the unit. (Duh.) I find that makes more sense, as it lets one know immediately where a unit is coming from.

    Peace, and stay safe.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our County is very similar to DED1645:

    4 Digits
    1st two digits indicate the department.
    ie 11 for Barberton
    Third digit is the station number.
    ie 2 for Station 2
    Last digit is the type of unit.
    1-2 are Medic/Ambulance
    3-4 are Engines
    5-6 are Rescue/Utility/Special
    7 is grass unit
    8 is a tanker
    9 is an aerial

    Ex. BFD Engine 2 is 1123.

    If you have more than one type of apparatus at a station like a tanker you can use the second station designator even though it is responding from the main or only station. BFD Tower 1 (an engine with a snorkel) is numbered 1119, the Ladder truck (a quint) is numbered 1129. The Tower was purchased before the ladder so it got the first 9 designation and the Ladder got the second even though they respond from the same station.

    The only number that really matters when responding mutual aid is the last digit. That tells the IC what type of device that department considers it to be.

    Only one department has more than 10 stations and their department identifier is 6 so they use the middle two digits for their stations. But they don't participate in the county system very often.

    The plain English set up resulted in Tankers being called pumpers and pumpers with 1000gallons of water being called tankers. What one department calls a "Rescue" another department calls a Medic or ambulance. The number system works well.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In our county in Colorado we have more than a dozen departments. Each one is numbered from 1-13. Each department uses a standard numbering with the exception of 2 departments that have only 2-3 trucks who still use Engine 1 or Truck 1 etc.

    Officers: Chief is always 01 such as 101, 501, 301, 1201
    Officers and investigators etc are 02-29 and paramedics and ems are 90-99.

    Engines 30-39 40-49
    Brush Trucks/SCATS- 50-59
    Heavy Tenders- 60-69
    Forestry Tenders- 70-79
    Ambulances and Rescues 80-89

    This works very well and allows mutual aid units to know what is enroute to them.


  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In our area, each department has a company number ranging from 20 to 30. Surrounding counties have other series numbers, i.e. 1to 10, etc. Then each piece of apparatus is called what it is for that company. For example, we run:
    Wagon 23, Truck 23, Tanker 23 etc. and the next company would be Wagon 24, Engine 24, Tanker 24, etc.

    This seems to work for us. It immediately tells you what type of apparatus is responding to your call.

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our system covers a region of 35 +/- towns and about 75 departments -- roughly a quarter of Connecticut.

    Each department is assigned a number (i.e. Station 90)

    For the few departments that run multiple stations, each station is assigned a preceding digit to their dept number (Station 190, 290)

    Each radio unit is given an english designation plus a number --
    Car -- Officers (Car 90, 190, 290, 390, etc)
    Engine -- Engine 190
    Engine-Tank -- ET 190, ET 290
    Ladders -- Ladder 190
    etc, etc, etc.

    We have specific requirements for what is classed as what -- An engine has a 750+ gpm pump and 500 gallons; an ET has 750+gpm and 1000+ gallons; A tanker has <750gpm pump + 1000+ gallons, etc...with the catchall of if it doesn't fit anywhere else, it's called a Service.

  11. #11
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest


    My county currently has two systems:

    The part of the county I live in uses plain english (Engine, Rescue, Truck, Tanker, Brush, etc.) along with station numbers. I prefer this. So, for example, with our Quint, Ladder and Engine, we have: Truck 57, Truck 57-1, and Engine 57, respectively. A neighboring company has two engines, a tanker, a rescue, and a brush, so they have: Engine 56, Engine 56-1, Tanker 56, Rescue 56, and Brush 56.

    The other side of the county uses our old system of pure numbers, except that aerials are called "aerial". These go like this:
    -1, -2, -3 are engines
    -4 is a rescue
    -5, -6 are brush
    -7, -8 are tankers
    -9 is anything else (people haulers, utilities, etc.)
    So, if my station were on that side of the county, we would have (same order as above): Aerial 57, Aerial 57-1, and 57-1. Our neighbors would have (same order as above): 56-1, 56-2, 56-7, 56-4, and 56-5.

    County-wide, we use the same numbers for officers:
    -10 is the Chief
    -11, -12, -13 are Asst. Chiefs
    -14, -15, -16, -17 are Capts. & Lts.

    We have (allegedly) been working toward a unified county-wide radio SOP. As you might imagine, this process has turned into a political 3-ring circus, complete with clowns and children posing as chief officers. It's really quite disgusting...I hope things work out better for you in this respect than they have for us.

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Here are the ideas for two different counties in PA.

    Both counties us a 3 or 4 digit system (depending on the station number), with the first 1 or 2 numbers being the company number.

    Lehigh county uses this system for the last two numbers.

    Fire units
    01-09 -- Officers. 01 is always the chief. 09 is always the highest ranking fire police officer. (captain or chief, depending on terminology at that station.)

    11-19 -- Pumpers

    21-29 -- Tankers

    31-39 -- Ladders / Towers

    41-49 -- Rescue

    51-59 -- Squad trucks. 52 is reserved for fire police vehicles.

    61-69 -- Brush trucks

    71-79 -- Mini / Attack pumpers

    91-99 -- Special Services vehicles ie. Haz-mat, RIT, etc.

    EMS units
    01-09 -- Officers, 01 being highest ranking

    81-89 -- BLS ambulances

    91-99 -- ALS ambulances and units.

    In Northampton County it goes like this
    01-09 -- Emergency management coordinators

    11-19 -- Pumpers

    21-29 -- Ladders / Towers

    31-39 -- Tankers

    41-49 -- Rescue, Squad, Brush, Fire Police, etc.

    51-59 -- Fire officers

    61-69 -- Just about anything. Extra fire officers, forestry trucks, Extra EMS officers, etc.

    71-79 -- EMS officers

    81-89 -- Ambulances

    91-99 -- Fire police officers

    Of the two systems, Lehigh county's works a bit better, a little less confusion then the Northampton county system.
    Hope it helped.


  13. #13
    Sparkill Fire dept
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Here's a fairly easy system, no score card needed to keep track or a list to remember what series of numbers mean what.

    Rockland county NY.

    All Depts are listed alphabetically by number

    Example>>> Anytown Fire Dept. is Dept. 1
    Bakertown Fire Dept. is Dept. 2
    Charletown Fire Dept. is Dept. 3
    And so on
    Zebratown Fire Dept. is Dept. 32
    OK so far?

    The chief is number # 1 , Asst. is # 2 , continuing down the line officers
    So Dept. 32 chief is...... 32-1

    The apparatus goes like this>>>

    If its a 1000 Gpm engine its 32-1000 (stated as "thirty two one thousand" in service)

    If its a 1500 Gpm engine its 32-1500

    If you have 2 of the same Its 32-1501 (stated as "thirty two fifteen o one" in service)

    Tower = 32-Tower

    Ladder = 32-100, 32-75, 32-105 etc.

    Rescue = 32-Rescue

    *** unit who establishes Incident command becomes .... 32-Command

    This system allows the incident commander to know exactly what the capability of the apparatus responding is (helpful on mutual aid calls)
    It works for us since 1950's. Incidently New York state All counties are numbered Rockland is "44" So County Coordinators are 44-1, 44-2 etc. Here is a web page of one of our Dept's (Hillcrest - Dept.6) >>> http://www.hillcrestfd.org/ to show some examples

    Sparkill FD - JRM31333@aol.com

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Boy, you guys make it real hard for everyone. In my county each department has a number. For example my station is company 45.

    the engines are 451 and 452
    My truck is Truck 45
    Brush truck (4X4) is BX45
    Brush truck (2 wheel drive) Brush 45
    Tower truck would be Tower 45
    Heavy duty rescue squad would be rescue squad 45
    Ambulance is 459 or 458, 457
    Medic units are medic 1 to 12

    Chief Officers are the following:
    Chief 45
    Assistant Chief 45is 45A
    Deputy Chief 45 is 45B

    Captain and below have no radio names.

    Keep it simple. We are a combination system with a paid fire chief. His radio name is the Fire Chief. We have 47 firehouses with ambulances, medics. Each firehouse has it own Chief Officer's. If the fire is in your first due area then those officer's would be in charge. Thanks good topic.Mike

  15. #15
    Firehouse.com Guest


    This is how it goes in our county:
    There are 12 stations 1-12
    1= engines
    4= brush/truck/special service
    Example co 6 with 2 engines, tanker, rescue,truck and brush would be
    Engines 61 and 61-1, tanker 62, rescue 63, brush 64 , truck 64. The old forefathers in the county didnt want to drop the unit ID when we switched years back
    Neighboring counties are plain english
    Example Co 32 has 2 engines, 1 truck and a squad so they respond as Engine 32 and 32-1, truck 32 , squad 32 The county has it set up as either you are an engine or rescue not both or a tanker or engine. We make our own boxes systems so we should know what we want if engine 32-1 is a rescue pumper then we note it under the engine and rescue catagories on the box assignments

  16. #16
    Firehouse.com Guest


    WOW !!!!
    Talk about accountability nightmares.
    who's on first??
    Our department protects a community of about 115,000 and about 45 sq. miles
    We have 7 stations with 1 or more units.
    STATION ONE has:
    engine 1,quint 1, rescue 1, brush pumper 1
    STATION TWO engine 2 and airport 1
    STATION THREE engine 3
    STATION FOUR engine 4 and quint 2
    STATION FIVE engine 5
    STATION SIX engine 6
    STATION SEVEN engine 7 and brush pumper 2

    no to hard, and for the officer of each unit, they have a call sign with two digits. engine companys use 6 plus the unit number.
    ex. eng 1 - 61
    eng 2 - 62
    eng 3 - 63
    other units have other prefixes QT-1,- 71
    and so on.

    [This message has been edited by smokeater (edited December 30, 1999).]

  17. #17
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Might as well get ours in. Our county has 6 different districts and each of them get a number in the 100s. Ours happens to be 200. Then:
    201-219 - personnel, including chief,officers, etc.
    The 20s are pumpers - ours happen to be 222, 223 and 227
    The 30s are tankers - ours are 234 and 236
    The 50s are brush units
    The 60s are utility or equipment.
    Works for us.

  18. #18
    Rick Bond
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I've been connected with several departments around the country and i've seen some numbering systems. You must remember K.I.S.S.
    keep it simple stupit. When the Sh-- hits the fan you don't want to be searching for numbers. Heres what i've seen that works.
    Each station gets a differant number.
    Station 1
    Engine 101, 102, 103
    Ladder 104
    Tanker 105
    Brush 106
    Rescue 107
    Squad 108
    Utility 109
    Chief 1
    Asst Chief = 112, Capt= 113
    Lt & Engineers 114 - 119
    Members start at 120 - ?
    Station 2
    Engine 201 ---------ect.

    You must remember that a system like this only works if everyone in the county agrees to number their station the same way.
    good luck.


  19. #19
    Firehouse.com Guest




  20. #20
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In Bucks County, Pa there are 63 Fire Co's. Below is one example of how the Station and Rigs are numbered. Bucks Co. operates a 911 Central Dispatch.

    Warminster Township F.D operates three stations.
    They are assigned Station 90, Station 91 and Station 92.
    The Fire Chief is designated as Chief 90. The Deputy is Deputy 90.
    Battalion Chiefs are designated as
    Battalion 91 and Batallion 92.
    Station 90 operates E-90, L-90 & R-90
    Station 91 operates E-91
    Station 92 operates E-92.

    Just another example.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Opinions expressed are mine and not reflective of the position of any organization I belong to.

    [This message has been edited by FallsFirefighter (edited January 04, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by FallsFirefighter (edited January 04, 2000).]

  21. #21
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Wow! There are some confucing systems out there!

    Alan Romania, CEP
    IAFF Local 3449

    My Opinions do not reflect the opnions of the IAFF or Local 3449.

  22. #22
    pvfr fyrfyter
    Firehouse.com Guest


    our system seems pretty simple to me. there are three parts to a vehicle #. the first is its town or station #. the second part is its radio type. the third factor is only used if you have multiple items of the same type in one station.
    my example is my own station:
    my town is #6 alphabetically so all radio id's start with 6
    the following system is used county wide so everyone knows what each id is for.
    01 to 09 are dept. officers(usually assigned with handheld radios)
    10 to 19 are ambulances or rescue squads( title is determined by equipment carried but both have the primary responsibility for patient transport)
    20 to 29 are grass(brush) units (typically 4X4 pickups with skid units
    30 to 39 are pumpers(engines) for those departments that have units owned separately by town or rural district boards town units usually start with 30 and rural with 35.
    40 to 49 ar tankers (generally the higher the number the larger the tank)
    50 to 59 are trucks (ladders, platforms, snorkels)
    60 to 69 are utility or equipment vehicles (some areas call them heavy rescues, cascade units, etc.)
    anything over 69 is free use for the assigning dept. including additional officers above that first ten and also extra handheld units.
    hope this might help.
    if you have questions give me an e-mail at:

  23. #23
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Broward Co. FL used the plain languange designation for the apparatus, ie. Engine, Ladder, Squirt, Rescue, etc. The numbering was determined by when the station was opened, ie. first station is Station 1, 30th is Station 30, etc. If additional apparatus of the same classification is assigned to a station or division, a prefix is added, ie, Engine 163, Training 363, Rescue 152, etc.
    The plain language designations and the chronological numbering dovetailed with the Med radio designations for EMS units and was rather easy to adapt to. It also made for smoother indentification in multi-agency responses. I hope that is not too confusing.

  24. #24
    fayette dist #1
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In our county each station has a hundred number. For example we're Station 200.
    The officers are 201(chief)-212(Lieut.)but numbers 206-210 are reserved for trucks. 216-299 are firefighters.

  25. #25
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our district is one of 9 agencies in a county with two dispatch centers. We recently changed our system to meet what our new communications group is implementing.

    Each agency will be numbered 1-9 and will use three digit numbers. Our number series is 8. 800 to 809 are for district officers. 81 numbers will represent the station which is presently 3 with potential to grow to 9. The third digit designates the specific unit. We also use plain english to clarify.
    Engine 810 is a class A pumper.
    Engine 811 is a fast atack engine
    Brush 810 is a brush truck.
    Fire 810 is the top ranking officer.

    This allows for wide diversity, but uniformity by assigning all equipment in the stations to a number that matches other stations.

    We have only been doing this for 6 months, but it is working well so far.

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