Fire Engines are a special type of vehicle, that are generally now custom built for each particular customer to best meet there operational requirements. Several basic designs exist which are then customised with a vast range of options. The old trucks with a basic box body and a demountable ladder and a pump with a few hoses have now been superseded by sophisticated machines with hydraulic ladders and multiple hoses and pumps with a whole host of special rescue gear to under take jobs other than fire fighting under the new remit of Fire and Rescue.
Types of engine
- Steam fire pump - 1800s - pulled by hand
- horse drawn fire pump - 19th century
- Turntable ladder
- Works fire engines - usually a LCV or Land Rover based vehicle used by companies with a high fire risk as a rapid 'first' response till the local fire brigade arrives. Steel and chemical works and other large factories had there own vehicles and retained fire men. (often a legacy from the war).
- Rescue vehicles - kitted out for specialist rescue work: - Road traffic accidents, under water, confined spaces, high level aerial rescue etc.
- Decontamination units
- Hydraulic platforms - are a cross between an industrial Cherry picker and a turntable ladder. usually designed to perform upto 5 major tasks.
- High mobility platforms - a vehicle fitted with several inter-changeable 'bodies' to perform various tasks: - high volume pump, decontamination unit, foam unit etc
- Airport crash tender - specialist high speed response veicles fitted with powerfull water canons and foaming agent adaptive tanks. Some of the biggest are built by Oshkosh.
- Fire brigade quad bike for events and off road areas like parks. used for rapid respone with a small high pressure hose & small tank of water.
- off road fire engines - often Unimog based for fiting moorland and forest fires or rescue in remote areas, or winter conditions in mountainous areas