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    Fire Terminology

               Fire Weather Watch - According to the National Weather Service (NWS), a fire weather watch means "conditions are favorable for red flag conditions in and close to the watch area in the next 12 to 48 hours."


               Red Flag Conditions - is a forecast warning issued by the United States National Weather Service to inform area firefighting and land management agencies that conditions are ideal for wildland fire ignition and propagation. After drought conditions, and when humidity is very low, and especially when high or erratic winds which may include lightning are a factor, the Red Flag Warning becomes a critical statement for firefighting agencies, which often alter their staffing and equipment resources dramatically to accommodate the forecast risk. To the public, a Red Flag Warning means high fire danger with increased probability of a quickly spreading vegetation fire in the area within 24 hours.


    Brush Truck Types

               Type 5 brush trucks are combination trucks and have a 500-gallon tank capacity. The maximum output of water is 50 gallons per minute and both 1 1/2- and 1-inch hoses are a minimum of 300 feet long. This type holds only two crew members.

               Type 6 differs from Type 5 in that its water tank holds 200 gallons. All other criteria for classification are identical. Type 6 brush trucks are combination vehicles also and used for wilderness rescues and brush fires.


               A water tender, also known as a tanker in some regions, is a specialized firefighting apparatus designed for transporting water from a water source to a fire scene. Water tenders are capable of drafting water from a stream, lake or hydrant. This class of apparatus does not necessarily have enough pumping capacity to power large hose lines (like a fire engine), though it utilizes a smaller pump to draft from bodies of water.  In the US, 1000 gallons is the requirement in the NFPA standards.  Some may carry up to or even upwards of 5000 gallons of water.

    Fire Engine Type

               The conventional fire apparatus (also called a fire engine, pumper and pump-ladder) may have several methods of pumping water on to the fire. The most common method is to pass water from a pump through hoses to the fire, from an array of valves. It may also have a fixed pumping "cannon" (also called a fire monitor, or deck gun), which can direct the water as pointed by the operator. The horizontal and vertical range of the monitor arrangement usually is limited and appropriate only for specific tasks.  A fire engine have an onboard water reservoir allowing firefighters to begin tackling the fire immediately. Some fire engines have been equipped with injectors for mixing foam into the pumped water stream creating a foam solution that is more effective than water alone. Some modern apparatus have included an air pump alongside foam injection to produce a compressed air foam product that further increases the efficiency of the water stream, cutting down dramatically on extinguishing time and water damage.

    Aerial apparatus

               A turntable ladder (TL) is perhaps the best-known form of specialized aerial apparatus, and is used to gain access to fires occurring at height using a large telescopic ladder, where conventional ladders carried on conventional fire apparatus might not reach.


    The name is derived from the fact that the large ladder is mounted on a turntable on the back of a truck chassis, allowing it to pivot around a stable base, which in turn allows a much greater ladder length to be achieved. In order to increase its length, the ladder is telescopic. Modern TLs are either hydraulic or pneumatic in operation.


    A ladder can also be mounted behind the cab. This is sometimes called "mid-ship" and the arrangement allows a shorter wheelbase for the truck, and also can be more stable in some conditions.


               The key functions of a turntable ladder are:

    Allowing access or egress of firefighters and casualties at height;

    Providing a high level water point for firefighting (elevated master stream);

    Providing a working platform from which tasks such as ventilation or overhaul can be executed.


               While the traditional characteristic of a  fire apparatus was a lack of water pumping or storage, many modern TLs have a water pumping function built in (and some have their own onboard supply reservoir), and may have a pre-piped waterway running the length of the ladder, to allow a stream of water to the firefighters at the top. In some cases, there may also be a monitor at the top of the ladder for ease of use. Other appliances may simply have a track way which will hold a manually run hose reel securely, and prevent it from falling to the ground