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  1. #41
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    Default our system

    We have a countywide system which numbers each department, 1-99. The apparatus rolling from each department has its name, and the station number, followed by further designation if need be. For example, we have one truck called Ladder 25. Our engines are Engine 251 and Engine 253 (the engines were Engine 1 and Engine 3 before the county system was in place). Our rescue is Rescue 25. Van is Van 25. Chief's car is Car 25A. Asst Chief is Car 25B.

    Plain english makes the job easy. The further distinguishment between units is cake, every dept gets their own system. We say Engine 251. Another company in the county, Station 23, has engines 23-101 and 23-102. Doesn't matter, though, because all we need is an engine from Station 23 or Station 25.


  2. #42
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    In our county each township, city, or district has a series designated. For instance my department is in the 500's. The police also are 500's but use the lower numbers. The fire departments use the higher numbers. Like 560 for the Chief, apparatus start at 561 to 566 at the main station. The lower numbers begin with the main pumpers. Most of the county departments have 1 or 2 pumpers so 563 starts with the tankers. 565 and 566 are the brush rigs. Station 2 has just a tanker/pumper and is designated 573. Officers, other than the Chief start at 559 and goes down the line to members who are assigned radios into the 540's. Each enity follows pretty close to that but it's not exact. Where I am a carreer firefighter we use the old Engine numbering system, Engine 1 from Station 1 and Engine 2 from Station 2. Yet, Ladder 1 and Rescue 1 are assigned to Station 2. Tanker 1 is at Station 1 as well as Brush 4, the old brush truck was Engine 4 for some reason, and the reserve truck Engine 3. Go figure. Now the city between my two departments used to call everything "Trucks" you just had to know which truck was a pumper and which a ladder. Now they designate them with "Engine" or "Truck", the truck now being the Ladder Company. The first three engines are assigned to a station with matching numbers, Engine 1 out of Station 1 so on and so forth. Engines 4 and 5 are the reserve pumpers. They kept the numbers they used in the past so Truck 7 is still the ladder but assigned to Station 2. So I guess in the end it dosen't matter as long as you get an engine, a tanker, a rescue, or a ladder when you need them.
    Last edited by LtTim556; 10-18-2006 at 12:30 AM.

  3. #43
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    Each piece of apparatus designated with its own number around here, with a few small exceptions

    Car 1 (Chief), Marine 1, Medic 1 (Flycar), <---The exceptions
    Engine 2, Rescue 3, Truck 4, Tanker 5, Engine 6, etc...
    Ambulances refered to by Company name and then "ambulance"
    EX: Company A Ambulance to base, we're en route.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by RLFD14
    Dave, how does this system handle more than one truck-type from the same station? IE, Engine 2 is the engine at Station 2, so what do you call the 2nd engine from Station 1?
    Stn 1. E1, Truck 1, medic 1, rescue 1.
    Stn 3. E3, Med 3.

    Reserve engines are , E10, E20, E 30, E 40 etc, pretty straight forward.

  5. #45
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    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
    MABAS Division 8 in northern Illinois uses the following scheme:
    First number (or two if double-digit)=FD
    Second two digits=type of apparatus and apparatus number. Some FDs corrolate apparatus number with the station number

    01-39=engine
    40-49=rescue (squad)
    50-59=truck
    60-69=grass or utility rig
    70-79=tanker/water tender
    80-89=ambulance (although many FDs use this for specific officer identification, such as capt and lt)
    90-99=chief officers

    So,
    8=North Park
    Engine 5 is 805

    5=Cherry Valley
    The truck at station 1 is 551

    14=Northwest Fire
    Tanker 1 is 1471.

    Almost everyone makes the Chief X91...891, 591, 1491, etc.

    The only exception is Rockford, the largest paid dept, which refers to its companies soley by type and number ("Rockford Engine 10").
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

  6. #46
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    We use a county wide 4 digit MABAS system. The first 2 digits are the county department number. The third is the station number and the fourth is the apparatus type.

    The apparatus are designated as follows:

    1 & 2 Ambulance
    3 & 4 Engines
    6 Commander and Supervisors
    7 Specialty and Brush
    8 Tanker/Tender
    9 Aerial

    I'm not sure about 5.

    So an ambo from station 1 is 1911 with the second out 1912.

  7. #47
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    [QUOTE=FFFRED]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

    [QUOTE]

    What happens if a department operates more than one engine, ladder, etc?
    LT/EMT Wright
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    All opinions expressed are solely of my personal opinion and in no way reflect those of my department. This is for those of you who use a large stick to stir excrement.

  8. #48
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    In our county, the Sherriff's Office (who is responsible for dispatching) assigns call signs for every unit in the county.

    Iowa uses a numbering system for each county assigned alphabetcially 1-99. In most counties, the SO will assign numbers to their sherriff vehicles using this county number.

    Here, they have expanded it to all emergency services...as does many other counties.

    Dallas County is county number 25, so numbers start at 25-1, for the sherriff, and proceed on. Our ambulances just happen to be assigned 25-91, 25-92, 25-93, and 25-94 respectively. The county I used to work in numbered units similarly, but added the call sign "Adam" for ambulances. For example, one of the units I ran in was assigned "Adam 90" or "Adam 44-90"...44 being the county number for Henry County.

    Fire Departments start at 100, and progress from there. So one town is 25-100 to 25-199, the next town is 25-200 to 25-299...etc.
    Jack of all trades, master of none.

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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxfire16
    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED
    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
    What happens if a department operates more than one engine, ladder, etc
    What do you mean...my dept has 200+ Engines and 140+ Ladders...Start at No. 1 and go up from there? Where is the problem?

    FTM-PTB

  10. #50
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    Problem is FFred if you run a lot of mutual aid (automatic or requested) it becomes very confusing to the IC to hear "Kentville Engine 1" and "West Kentville Engine 1" and "...... Engine 1"

    In your situation, that it rarely an issue, but to us in the styx, it's a very common situation. There needs to be an easily identifable system which quickly designates department or company/truck type/truck desgination so that the IC and quickly identify multiple units that may have similiar names.

    One thing that a former department of mine did was they never repeated a number. So we had 4E1, 4E2, 4E3, 4T4 .. etc. So if you only caught the last digit because of a radio clip, you still knew what unit was calling.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator
    Problem is FFred if you run a lot of mutual aid (automatic or requested) it becomes very confusing to the IC to hear "Kentville Engine 1" and "West Kentville Engine 1" and "...... Engine 1"

    In your situation, that it rarely an issue, but to us in the styx, it's a very common situation. There needs to be an easily identifable system which quickly designates department or company/truck type/truck desgination so that the IC and quickly identify multiple units that may have similiar names.

    One thing that a former department of mine did was they never repeated a number. So we had 4E1, 4E2, 4E3, 4T4 .. etc. So if you only caught the last digit because of a radio clip, you still knew what unit was calling.

    Most operations that I'm either familiar with or have heard about are regionalized...obviously if you guys have developed a system for all the departments that are dispatched by the same agency one could easily just assign them Engine Numbers. At one time Brooklyn had and Engine 1,2,3,4.... just as Manhattan did. When the City and thus FDNY merged together they just added 100 and then another 100 to Brooklyn and Queens so Engine Co. 1 in Brookly is now Engine Co. 201. And there still is an Engine Co. 1 in Manhattan. This allowed for Manhattan and the Bronx to add Engines as they saw(no Engines from 97 up to 150) fit as it created no more Engines Until Engine Co. 151-168 for Staten Island and Brooklyn and Queens start at 201 to 332. All with a few openings created by random skips or disbandings like 56, 11, 203, 215 etc...

    Your Kentland Engine Co. 1 should be Engine Co. 1 and West Kentland Engine Co. 1 could be Engine Co. 2 and so on and so forth in lieu of Engine 10-188 or 1425 or whatever coded numbering system one could develop. If your entire county or parish or whatever is all under the same dispatch...just assign all the companies a number begining with 1 and progress up to wherever you need to go.

    Obviously 10-codes are the least of everyones worries.

    FTM-PTB

  12. #52
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    Default numbering system

    Here in Penobscot County, Maine the county devised a system several years ago. Station Numbers 11-99.
    Then ie: chief 0
    pumper 1-3
    tanker 4
    ladder 5
    brush unit 6
    utilty 7
    rescue 8 (non transporting)
    ambulance 9
    We are station 71 chief is 710, engine is 711, tanker is 714, brush truck 716, rescue is 718

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED
    Most operations that I'm either familiar with or have heard about are regionalized...obviously if you guys have developed a system for all the departments that are dispatched by the same agency one could easily just assign them Engine Numbers. At one time Brooklyn had and Engine 1,2,3,4.... just as Manhattan did. When the City and thus FDNY merged together they just added 100 and then another 100 to Brooklyn and Queens so Engine Co. 1 in Brookly is now Engine Co. 201. And there still is an Engine Co. 1 in Manhattan. This allowed for Manhattan and the Bronx to add Engines as they saw(no Engines from 97 up to 150) fit as it created no more Engines Until Engine Co. 151-168 for Staten Island and Brooklyn and Queens start at 201 to 332. All with a few openings created by random skips or disbandings like 56, 11, 203, 215 etc...

    Your Kentland Engine Co. 1 should be Engine Co. 1 and West Kentland Engine Co. 1 could be Engine Co. 2 and so on and so forth in lieu of Engine 10-188 or 1425 or whatever coded numbering system one could develop. If your entire county or parish or whatever is all under the same dispatch...just assign all the companies a number begining with 1 and progress up to wherever you need to go.

    Obviously 10-codes are the least of everyones worries.

    FTM-PTB
    I understand what you are saying, but I don't think you understood my question. It is simple for each department to use the system you are suggesting if they only operate one of each apparatus (engine, ladder/tower, squad, etc.). What happens when they have two engines?

    Even large county departments like PG use a numbering system based on what station/department the apparatus is assigned.

    In the FDNY the apparatus are numbered, and not the stations.
    For example: Engine 1 and Ladder 24 (FDNY) are housed at the same station, but do not have the same number.

    MOST of the system described here have the stations numbered, with the apparatus assigned the number of the station.
    For example: Station 6 could operate: Engine 6, Engine 61, Ladder 6, and Rescue 6
    Last edited by loxfire16; 11-13-2006 at 05:12 PM.
    LT/EMT Wright
    I A C O J
    LOXLEY WARRIORS
    All opinions expressed are solely of my personal opinion and in no way reflect those of my department. This is for those of you who use a large stick to stir excrement.

  14. #54
    Forum Member Chauffeur6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxfire16
    MOST of the system described here have the stations numbered, with the apparatus assigned the number of the station.
    For example: Station 6 could operate: Engine 6, Engine 61, Ladder 6, and Rescue 6
    Or...you can use the system we do. Similar idea, departments are numbered (amount of stations they might have is irrelevant and not factored in). But instead of saying Engine 6, we use the pump capacity. 6-1750 = a 1750 GPM engine. Or ladder height. 6-75 = a 75' stick. Anything else is given plain English descriptions or acronyms, such as 6-Rescue or 6-ATV. If you have two 1500 GPM pumpers, one is 6-1500 and the other 6-1501. There's really nothing to "dechiper" except the Dept #, and as a bonus you know EXACTLY what type of truck you're getting, right down to the pump capacity or aerial height.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxfire16
    I understand what you are saying, but I don't think you understood my question. It is simple for each department to use the system you are suggesting if they only operate one of each apparatus (engine, ladder/tower, squad, etc.). What happens when they have two engines?

    Even large county departments like PG use a numbering system based on what station/department the apparatus is assigned.

    In the FDNY the apparatus are numbered, and not the stations.
    For example: Engine 1 and Ladder 24 (FDNY) are housed at the same station, but do not have the same number.

    MOST of the system described here have the stations numbered, with the apparatus assigned the number of the station.
    For example: Station 6 could operate: Engine 6, Engine 61, Ladder 6, and Rescue 6
    Ahh 10-4 Loxfire16...I see what you are saying now.

    I recall a large dept I think in Ohio for whatever reason a few years back completely overhauled their number system from something like ours to something like PG countys. Where the Ladders were stripped of their identity and numbers and were given new numbers identical to the Engine in quarters with them.

    Didn't make sense to me when I read it then and still doesn't today but if that is what makes their boat float then good for them. Don't know what that cost to switch over the dispatch computers, the appratus door markings. lables, forms...etc. or what it did operationally for them.

    Personally I never understood numbering by "station" or house as if a department has twelve firehouses with twelve Engines and five Ladder Co.s And the Ladders are in quarters with Engines 2 ,6,7,8 & 11 I don't understand why one wouldn't number them Ladders 1 thru 5...but again there is no coded info neccesary to call for an Engine or a Ladder so it isn't a problem.

    I seem to recall DCFD years ago actually assigned Letters to their Ladders as Hook & Ladder F or J...etc. But there is no code in Ladder C,D...etc.

    Now for us during the early 1900s into the late 70s the FDNY had what were refered to as second sections and there was even a third section in one Engine. If you had two sections they were refered to as Engine Co. 91-2 or in verbal parlance (Nintey-One-Two) or 50-2. Or 103-2. But in other cases they actually opened entire new companies and had multiple Engines in the same house, like E82 E85, L31 and TCU712 which was the FDNYs brief experimentation with coded identifications...today there is one house with two Engines 264, 328 and L134. But each company is numbered as its own...the reason we aren't numbered 1-200+ with no missing in between is space that was created for expansion and a few disbandings along the way.

    Now a system as you descibe really isn't coded...Engine 6 and 61 isn't a big departure from E91 and 91-2.

    Both much different than Units 822 and 1453...but I digress...it just seemed a bit complicated for the people who claimed 10-codes needed to be done away with.

    Numerous persons clammored for the end to 10-codes a few months back...but it would seem 10 codes are the least of our problems when I need an enigma machine to determine your local call sign for Engine Co. 16.

    Either way I'm not loosing sleep over it.

    FTM-PTB

  16. #56
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    My County has setup a standard numbering system, which most departments use but some have taken their own liberties with it. About 2/3 of the County are dispatched by the County, the rest (like mine) have our own dispatching (Thank God).

    All vehicles/officers are designated with a 4 digit code. First 2 digits are the station number. The County listed all the stations alphabetically (as best they could) and numbered them...I am 42.

    All officers have a 0 for last digit. The third digit is for what rank. Chief's are 0, Deputy/Assistant's are 1, Captains 2, Lt's 3 and 4. So, our Chief is 4200, our Captain is 4220, etc.

    Vehicles last digit is determined by the type. (I don't remember all the codes as we have never used some)

    1=1000+gpm engine
    2=500-1000 gpm engine?
    3=Rescue vehicle
    4=Transport vehicle
    5=Aerial
    6=Boat
    7=Service Vehicle (lights/generators/fire police/etc)
    8=Brush?

    The third digit is used when more than 1 of those vehicles is in the same station.

    My 50' Teleboom is 4205 (station 42, 1st vehicle of that type, 5=aerial)
    My 1750 engine is 4201.

    Nearby station has ....4001, 4011, 4021 - all are 1000gpm engines from the same station.


    You can have mutual aid coming in from anywhere in the County and have an idea of what is showing up. It's not perfect, but it works.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  17. #57
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    That sounds really complicated to remember. In our county, most every dept still uses truck 1, truck 2, etc. We use 100 numbers. 101 is 1st pumper, 102, 2nd. Our 1st squad is 106 then 107. Its better than others around here.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by RLFD14
    Dave, how does this system handle more than one truck-type from the same station? IE, Engine 2 is the engine at Station 2, so what do you call the 2nd engine from Station 1?

    Our county has the same station numbering.... for instance my township has 81 through 84 reserved. Even though there are not 4 stations. We have 3, with room to have another. Anyhow, we really dont break it down the same.

    In station 81 we have Engine's 81 and 83, tankers 83 and 84, Rescue 81, Squad 81, and Brush 81. In station 82 we have Engine 82, tanker 82, squad 82, brush 82 and 83. Station 83, wich is right beside 81.... is mostly storage.

    But when the call comes through, its "Squad 81-1, or Squad 81-2. Engine 81-1, 81-2,81-3." So the county uses the Main station number then the truck. Even though Engine 81-2 comes out of station 82... the county dont keep track of that.

  19. #59
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    OH ya.... I was also at a department... station 22 that numbered there trucks in order Engine 1,2 tanker 1,2 brush1, first responder 1.

    so engine 1 was 2201, engine 2 was 2202, tanker 1 was 2203, tanker 2 was 2204, brush 2205, first response 2206

  20. #60
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    Give each station a number, Then each truck becomes that number. If there are duplicate apparatus like two engines place another number after it.

    My fire company:
    Station 32

    Apparatus:
    Engine 32, Engine 32-1 (if there were more engine it would be 32-2, 32-3, 32-4)
    We dont have a ladder but it would be ladder 32 if we did.
    Rescue 32
    Marine 32
    Utility 32
    Chief 32, Deputy 32, Assistant 32

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