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  1. #21
    Forum Member FDNY101TRUCK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003


    We also have the 4-digit numbering system whereas the station number is 21 so followed by that is the number giving to the rig for example

    21-60 Cheif Vehicle
    21-62 Engine
    21-63 Quint
    21-64 Engine
    21-65 Engine
    21-69 Tower Ladder
    21-72 Tanker
    21-81 Rescue Truck
    21-82 Brush truck
    21-85 Duty officers pickup
    21-87 Township fire inspector vehicle

  2. #22
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Oct 2005
    Golden City 1 hour south of fort smith


    our county has a system that works really well for us. Each fire dept has a station number we have 17 dept so the number of each station go from 1 to 18 ( we don;t use 10 becuase might confuse with 10 codes) So in our county the actual fire station is the number plus two zeros like our station is 11 so our station # is 1100, then all the fire trucks in the county start with 1, and is the first out pumper. so our pumper is 1101, then comes brush trucks 1102, then tankers, 1103, ect we only have 3 fire trucks but if you have more you might have pumper 1101, 1102. then for personal all fire chiefs are 10 meaning our chief is 1110. asst chief 1111 then capt 1112 ect. SO our near by fire dept is station 1700, so this way every dept knows what trucks and personal are responding or if you want to talk to a pumper from another dept you know the number with out seeing it. same with personal. When your a mutal aid dept arriveing you can call on radio to the chief and ask for orders and you know his number. works for us may not for others .

    1700 fire station,
    1701 1st pumper
    1702 2nd pumper
    1703 brush truck
    1704 brush truck
    1705 tanker
    1706 tanker


    1710 chief
    1711 asst chief
    1712 capt
    1713...... rest of fire fighters

  3. #23
    Forum Member MEck51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    South Jersey


    4 digit system for us

    1st digit, district number
    2nd digit, station number
    3 and 4 unit type

    00-09 officers
    10-19 cheif vehicles, school cars, utilities
    20-29 mini pumpers or brush rigs
    30-34 class a pumper
    35-39 pumper tankers
    40-49 tankers
    50-54 ladders or towers
    55-59 snorkels
    can't remember 60's
    70's rescues, utilities
    can't remember 80's
    90-95 special service, I think air units
    95-98 also special service, usualy ambulances
    99 is the station

    I'll have to look up the one's I can't remember, when I do I will edit this list.

    But as an example our first due engine is 5131, district 5, station 1 class a engine 1.

  4. #24
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 1999
    Here, There, Everywhere


    Here is a question that might sound dumb but since it appears many of your departments are consolidated or regionalized by area or county...etc. Why not just assign company numbers like this:

    Engine Co. 1 is refered to as Engine 1
    Engine Co. 2 is refered to as Engine 2 ...so on and so forth.

    Ladder Co. 1 is refered to as Ladder 1....etc.

    Battalion Chiefs are Battalion 1,2,3,4...etc

    Perhaps this is too much to ask.

    After all the abuse some of us took for insisting on 10-codes I can't believe how complicated some departments have made it in just the numbering systems for their areas. I see now that 10-codes are the least of our problems in communication.


  5. #25
    Forum Member nyckftbl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    On a Hill, overlooking George's Kingdom


    Quote Originally Posted by Chauffer6
    Hmm, it seems most of the systems mentioned so far use a numbering system that has different coding assigned to different types of apparatus. Our countywide system differs in that it relies on pretty simple and common terminology.

    There are 26 departments in the county, each numbered 1 thru 26 in mostly alphabetical order (25 and 26 were added after the first 24 were already alphabetized). Thus, the first part of the unit identifier is always the department number, followed by a hyphen.

    The second part of the identifier after the hyphen is a pretty clear description of what exactly the unit is. Officers start at "1" for the Chief and go down as far as necessary for the amount of officers a particular department has. Fire station radio identifiers are "100", "101", etc. as needed. Pumpers are generally designated by their GPM ("1250", "1500", "2000", etc.) with a 1 added for each additional of the same capacity ("1251", "2001", "2002", etc.). In some cases pumpers can be designated "Tanker" if they have tanks over 1000 gallons, or "Quad" if they are a quadruple combination pumper. Aerial ladders by their height (100 footers are "99", "98", etc. because of the station numbering). Aerial platforms are "Tower". Quints can be designated either by the aerial ladder or tower ladder system if preferred, or simply called "Quint". Rescues are "Rescue", "EQ" or "Squad". Special units are given fairly clear designators, such as "Patrol" for a manpower transporter, "MP" for a mini-pumper, "ATV" for a brush truck, "Marine" for a boat, etc.

    Here are some examples for Dept 6:

    Main station: 6-100
    Substation: 6-101
    Substation: 6-102
    Chief of Department: 6-1
    Captain: 6-4
    6th Asst. Engineer: 6-12
    1500 GPM pumper: 6-1500
    A second 1500 GPM pumper: 6-1501
    1750 GPM pumper: 6-1750
    75' aerial ladder: 6-75
    Rescue: 6-Rescue
    95' aerial platform: 6-Tower
    Ford Excursion: 6-Patrol
    Brush truck: 6-ATV

    While the system isn't always perfect, it is very easy to follow and doesn't require much deciphering at all to know what type of unit you're getting, since it uses plain English for the most part.

    Im guessing your from Rockland?
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

  6. #26
    Forum Member Chauffeur6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Metro NY


    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl
    Im guessing your from Rockland?
    Was it really that obvious?

  7. #27
    Forum Member nyckftbl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    On a Hill, overlooking George's Kingdom


    Quote Originally Posted by Chauffer6
    Was it really that obvious?
    Nope, not at all! Theres a couple others on here as well.
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

  8. #28
    Forum Member Chauffeur6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Metro NY


    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl
    Nope, not at all! Theres a couple others on here as well.
    Yeah I know, this is actually my second account here because I can't remember the password for my first account.

  9. #29
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005


    In Gloucester County New Jersey we use...

    1st digit is district number
    2nd digit is station number
    3rd digit is unit number

    for Example
    My station is 7-3

    Numbering System
    Brush Trucks-5
    BLS Squad-9

    Command 730
    Engine Co 733
    Ladder Co 736
    Ulitity 737
    Rescue Co 738
    Squad 739
    Fireboat 7

  10. #30
    Forum Member firefighterkid's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Lacombe, Alberta, Canada


    Here its all about the station the truck is in.

    Station 1 has Pump 1 and Rescue 1

    Station 2 has Pump 2 and Ladder 2

    Station 5 has Pump 5 and Ladder 5

    Station 10 has Pump 10 and Pump 10A

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    Quote Originally Posted by JFRindfleisch
    Is there a vehicle numbering system out there that is uniform across the country? Our area is looking at changing the vehicle numbering system and I am looking for some input. It seems that what I have found is there is no uniformity in the way we number our vehicles in the fire service. Thanks

    There really is no uniformed national numbering system for fire apparatus. For that matter, there is no uniformed naming system for the various types of apparatus either.

    One of the best regional numbering & operational systems I've ever seen is here in the Northern Virginia area (NOVA).

    All fire-rescue jurisdictions in the NOVA region are assigned a number. The number assigned is reflected by the county each fire-rescue agency is in, plus an assigned number for the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority's fire-rescue units at Dulles and Reagan International Airports.


    Arlington County and Fort Myer Army Base Fire Departments; 100 series

    Alexandria Fire Department; 200 series

    Airport Authority; 300 series

    Fairfax City and County and Fort Belvoir Army Base Fire Departments; 400 series

    Prince William County, Manassas, Manassas Park, MCB Quantico; 500 series

    Loudoun County; 600 series

    This numbering system works great, because you can tell where a company is from just by their number alone, and there is no confusing a department's engine 1 with another department's engine 1. Engine 401 is Fairfax County, Engine 101 is Arlington County, and so on. Plus there is a standardized naming system for area apparatus so you know that rescues are heavy rescues, towers are towers, quints are quints, trucks are sticks, engines and wagons are engine companies.

    The NOVA area also operates on a Mutual Box System and has an SOP to standardize alarm assignments.

  12. #32
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    footville wi USA

    Default why

    hey JR one thing to remember is that the rock county fire officers dont govern you guys its your police and fire commision or fire district rcfoassn really cant tell you to renumber your trucks ....... just my 2 cents
    engine 163 to command .. tell engine 165 we got it they can take up and return

    engine163 to county fire SEND ME EVERYTHING

  13. #33
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Outside Philadelphia


    It seems like there are still a LOT of Companies/Depts still using the all number system. In Montgomery County, PA, we use PLAIN SPEAK.
    ex. Station 27

    Eng 27, Eng 27-1, Eng 27-2, etc..
    Quint 27
    Ladder 27
    Rescue 27
    Marine 27, Marine 27-1

    Most of the Companies in the county have switched over with the exception of a few officers in the LOWER end that think they are all that. It used to be an all number system.

    Why did we switch, its a no brainer, eay to understand, engine, ladder, rescue, etc...

    All those still using numbers think of this: Plain Speak is the only accepted NIMS compliant talk. The only way Depts are going to get funding in the near future is to be NIMS compliant. You want the $$, it might be worth it to give Plain Speak a shot!!

  14. #34
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Eastern Central Kansas


    In my county where I live, they have a number assigend to each department. 1-13. So engine 33 is department 3 at station 3, or engine 332 is deparment 3 station 3 reserve. Or truck 51 is department 5 at station 1.

    So if it is a 2 number combo, the first number indicates the deparment and the second indicates the station. For a 3 number combo, the first is the department, the second the station, and the third means that it is a reserve.

    Also, we use the designators, engine, truck, quint, rescue, hazmat, boat, brush etc...

    Before that each apparatus had a specific 3 number id, with no uniformity.
    FF I
    FF II
    Hazmat Operations

    The light at the end of the tunnel has been temporarly shut off due to the current work load. The Mangement

    When all else fails USE DUCT-TAPE!!!

    My views posted in this fourm are my personal views only and do not reflect on any agencies that I am afiliated with.

  15. #35
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Penn Valley, Ca


    In one of these discussions I have never seen the "California way" or what they do in the counties around here. So here goes

    First two digits: district number
    Second two digits are a series indicating what it is.
    00 - Chief of department
    01-05 Divisions usually
    06-09 Specialized battalions usually
    10-19 Field Battalions
    20 Fire Marshal
    21-29 Fire Prevention People
    30-39 Pickups, light equipment usually
    40-49 Squads, Rescues, etc usually - CDF uses it for dozers
    50-59 Trucks and heavier equipment usually - sometimes pickups
    60-69 Smaller 4wd engines
    70-79 Smaller 2wd engines
    80-89 Large engines
    90-99 Water tenders

    The larger departments that don't need a lot of outside help have gone to numbering such as Truck 2, engine 89, etc. these days. The smaller rural ones and CDF are basically the ones that retain the system I used above any more. And when you go responding in Engine 5982 you are supposed to say "Engine 5982" so there is no confusion about what it is.


  16. #36
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Berwyn Heights, MD, USA


    Prince George's County, MD uses
    first 1 or 2 digits as station number (47 or so stations)
    engines and ambulances receive another digit, as there may be several from a station. e.g. Engine 11, Engine 12, Ambulance 98, 99. Engines get 1,2,3, Ambulances get 9,8,7

    Station 1 (Hyattsville) has (don't quote me!)
    Engine 11
    Engine 12
    Truck 1
    Rescue Squad 1
    Ambulance 19
    Ambulance 18

    Station 11 (Branchville) has
    Engine 111
    Engine 112
    Ambualnce 119

    All radio calls use the plain english resource type plus the number, though the ambulance and engine numbers for the two digit stations are unique.

    This is very similar if not exactly the same as Montgomery County, MD

    I think it's similar to the other jurisdiction in the Metropolitan Washington, DC, Council of Covernments - except, of course, DC itself. The COG jurisdictions each have a numerical prefix to add to the jurisdictional numbers, but still use the plain english resource type before the number. In VA they use these prefixes all the time, in MD & DC they never use them. In fact, they use an entirely different mutual aid numbering system between PG and MoCo, though this should change.

    So for the COG area (5.5 Million people, Many hundreds of resources)

    Resource Type, in Plain English
    N1= Jurisdiction
    N2 & N3 Station No
    N4, if used, Resource Number

    Washington DC simply numbers their engines 1-33, their trucks 1 (closed) through 16, and their Rescue Squads 1-3.

    My Vote for 'National Standard':
    [Plain English Jurisdiction][Plain English Resource Type][Local Numbering System] or:
    "Anytown Engine 1234 to Thatcounty Truck 1..."

    Speaking of which, should it be "Me to you" or "You, this is Me"?

  17. #37
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana


    Have seen a number of identification systems as I have moved around quite a bit in my 27 years.

    The all-number systems work well but can be very confusing initially. One of the best system in a combo number-letter-number system.

    Initial number represents the department designation.

    Letter then represents apparatus type or department rank.
    Example from the county system used in my last department in northern VT:
    C- Chief
    K - Captain or Lt.
    E - Engine
    T - Truck
    W - Tanker
    R - Rescue
    B- Brush
    etc, etc ...

    Last number represents vehicle number

    Example: 4E1, 4W1, 4T1, etc ....
    On the radio you would actually say the word ... "4Engine1 is responding"

    Personally I like not to repeat the number as it cuts down confusion if the radio operator clips himself ... example maybe a fleet that looks like this ...
    4E1, 4E2, 4T3, 4W4, 4R5, 4E6, 4W7, 4B8, etc etc....

    Department on am on now simply ses Engine 1, etc, etc.
    There is no multi-department/county/regional numbering system.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 09-03-2006 at 10:56 PM.

  18. #38
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Burnsville, MN


    Back when I was in Monterey County, Ca, we had a similar numbering system to that mentioned above.
    wxyz - wx was the department number, yz was the type of apparatus by type. Z was the determanant for the first out, second out, or station it ran out of.

    01-09 chiefs
    10-19 type 1 engine
    20-29 type 2 engine
    30-39 type 3 engine
    40-49 type 4 engine
    70-79 ladder
    Can't remember the specialty aparatus, but I think 60-69 was rescue.

    I really liked the system. Easy and straight forward.

  19. #39
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking Crazy Here...

    Unit numbers in are county are crazy. Every unit in the county is a truck. Even if its a engine, rescue or tanker. They are all trucks. In the city there is a county number and a city number. They look like this.

    Station 1 Engine Co.1 (CountyT2132) Ladder Co.1 (CountyT2133) Rescue Co.1 (CountyT2151) BC 31 (CountyT2131) Hazmat 53 (CountyT2153)

    Station 2 Engine Co.2 (CountyT2135)

    Station 3 Engine Co.3 (CountyT2136)

    Station 4 Engine Co.4 (CountyT2137)

    Station 5 Engine Co.5 (CountyT2138) Ladder Co.2 (CountyT2134)

    Station 6 Engine Co.6 (CountyT2140)

    Station 7 Engine Co.7 (CountyT2142)

    The number system in are county was made in the 60s, so we have been using them for a long time.


  20. #40
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 1999
    Berks County, PA


    Ours is much like the Montgomery County PA system outlined above. We used to have digits designated to types of apparatus, but we outgrew that system as new types of specialized apparatus and more of certain types came in service. So, now the apparatus is designated in plain English, with station numbers and suffixes to identify unit locations and individual units. For example...

    Our station has just engine, tanker and a squad unit, and it's station number 42, so we have Engine 42, Tanker 42 and Squad 42.

    One of our neigboring stations has two engines, a rescue, a squad unit, and one of the county spill trailers, and it's station number 67, so they have Engine 67, Engine 67-1, Rescue 67, Squad 67 and Trailer 67.

    Another neigbor has an engine, a tower ladder, a squad unit, and two brush jeeps, and it's station number 70, so they have Engine 70, Tower 70, Squad 70, Brush 70 and Brush 70-1.

    The type designations are mostly simple, intuitive plain English, including Engine, Tanker, Brush, Rescue, Squad, Boat, Car, Trailer, and Traffic. The aerial unit designations have gotten out of hand, and are probably going to be streamlined sometime in the not-too-distant future. Right now, they include Truck, Ladder, Tower, Quint and Aerial, but I expect that's going to be reduced to one or two designations over the next few years.

    I recommend a plain English system of some kind, as it is simple and allows for maximum flexibility. Except for the rampant proliferation of aerial device designations, ours works very well.


    I do not recommend you follow our officer designation system under any circumstances, because it makes no good sense at all. For some reason, which no one can adequately explain because it's simply idiotic, the officers are still designated by station #s and sufixes only, as they have been for approximately the last 40 years:

    Chief: xx-10
    Assistant/Deputy Chiefs: xx-11, xx-12, xx-13
    Captains, Lieutenants, Foremen, Sargeants, etc.: xx-14, xx-15, xx-16, xx-17, xx-18

    xx-19 and xx-20 denote Fire Police captains and Lieutenants in some parts of the county, while other companies use xx-19 as another in the xx-14 through xx-18 series and xx-20 for safety officers. In short, these suffixes can (and do) represent anything and everything depending on where you are.

    If that's not bad enough, Fire Marshalls (FM-xx) and Fire Commissioners (FC-xx) have their own special designation scheme, for no better reason than that allowing this avoided messing with the closely-guarded, divinely-bestowed officer suffixes (note intense sarcasm here). Some merged/consolidated departments have outgrown this system entirely (more officers than the system can accommodate at all) and been given special exceptions to use altered suffix systems.

    This whole thing is becoming a complete mess in which nobody really knows what any particular suffix (except maybe "-10") really means. Dispatchers have more or less just started recognizing any number that's thrown at them as an officer of some kind, with lower numbers outranking higher numbers, and presumably figuring that local authorities will sort it out if somebody oversteps their bounds. This is what happens when you give a fraternal organization called a "County Fire Chief's Association" final say in parts of your county radio procedure. For your own good, don't do this. Ever. Please.

    Hopefully, the plain English version for officers (Chief xx, Assistant xx-1 Assistant xx-2, etc.) will be implemented sometime in the near future, and we'll be rid of this stupidity once and for all.
    Last edited by bobsnyder; 09-11-2006 at 02:24 PM.

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