What is the difference between a truck and an engine?
Engines are the most common type of apparatus on the Springfield Fire Department. Engines are equipped with a fire pump and water tanks of varying capacities. These vehicles also carry a large amount of fire hose in various diameters. Engines also carry an extension ladder, a straight roof ladder, and a folding attic ladder.

Engines carry enough self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units for each crew member, hand tools for forcible entry, rescue and ventilation tools and emergency medical car equipment, including an automated external defibrillator (AED).

The crew of an engine company consist of a company officer (captain), apparatus driver (equipment operator) and one to two firefighters. At a fire, the main function of an engine company is to extinguish the fire as quickly as possible utilizing water streams generated from the fire pump on the engine.

Engine companies also respond to medical emergencies, which make up a majority of our calls.

Ladder trucks or truck companies are strategically positioned around the city to respond to fire calls, motor vehicle accidents, medical emergencies and service calls. These large trucks consist of a hydraulically operated aerial device, usually 100 feet in length, many with platforms for safety, fire suppression and rescue operations. These platforms can hold up to 4 people. A truck can be utilized to reach up to six to eight stories of high-rise buildings. Trucks can also be utilized to deliver master water streams on a fire of up to 1,500 gallons per minute.

Trucks carry a wide assortment of equipment including a full compliment of hand-raised ground ladders, ranging from 10 to 35 feet in length. Several power saws are carried for forcing entry and ventilation. Trucks carry salvage covers that are used to cover undamaged furniture and fixtures during firefighting operations. Additionally, trucks carry hydraulic extrication equipment, commonly referred to as the "Jaws of Life", which can be sued to extricate victims trapped in vehicle accidents or collapse situations. Engines carry enough self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units for each crew member, emergency medical car equipment, including an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Currently, engine companies are housed at Fire Stations #1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.

The crew of a truck consists of a company officer (captain), apparatus driver (equipment operator) and one to two firefighters. At a fire scene, truck companies perform a multitude of duties including forcible entry, search and rescue, ventilation, salvage and overhaul, master water stream operations and with its aerial ladder, the truck provides access to upper floors of a structure. At some fires, it may be necessary for a truck to perform all of these duties, while at others, only some of them.

Currently, truck companies are housed at Fire Stations #2, 3, 6, and 10.

The Springfield Fire Department also operates two rescue units, based at Fire Stations #1 and #8. The truck contains hydraulic extrication equipment, power saws, hand tools utilized for forcing entry and rescue. Rescue trucks contains self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) for each rescue specialist assigned to the units. In addition, they contain ropes and harness equipment for high-angle rescue, salvage equipment, emergency medical equipment, and an automated external defibrillator (AED). Rescue 1 also has a water pump, a full load of fire hose and a water tank for fire fighting capabilities.

Typically, the rescue specialists are responsible for the removal of victims from areas of danger or entrapment.

Rescue 1 is equipped with a company officer (captain) and at least 3 rescue specialists. Rescue 8 is equipped with 2 rescue specialists.

Fire FAQ

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1. What do the different colored helmets represent?
2. Why did a fire engine come when I requested an ambulance?
3. Why do I frequently see a fire engine at the grocery store?
4. How do you manage to organize the chaos at a fire?
5. What is the difference between a truck and an engine?