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Fire Apparatus
Fire apparatus are the vehicles and associated equipment that firefighters respond to emergency incidents with. The apparatus and the equipment carried on them are the firefighter's tools, used to help successfully and efficiently resolve emergency incidents. In the next few pages you will see photos of fire apparatus in Wayland along with some descriptive information. During the "hands-on" practical evolutions you will have an opportunity to actually use some of this equipment and see how it is used and works.

The average person, seeing and hearing a big red truck going by with its flashing lights and the siren sounding, thinks of this vehicle as a fire engine. This may be correct, but that vehicle may also be a ladder truck, rescue truck, or other piece of specialized fire apparatus.  In the fire service language, an engine refers to a pumping engine that delivers water to put out the fire. Ladder trucks are equipped with hydraulic aerial ladders, ground ladders, and specialized tools for ventilation and overhaul operations.

The primary job of an engine company is to deliver water from the source to the fire ground and extinguish the fire. Water sources include tank water carried by the engine, the municipal water system (fire hydrants), or drafting sites, which can be lakes, ponds, rivers, or swimming pools.

The most common method of moving water on the fire ground is through hose lines. Hose lines are usually broken down into two categories, attack lines and supply lines. Typically the first apparatus to arrive on a fire scene will stretch out attack lines, which are the smaller diameter hose lines carried on a pumper. These smaller hand lines, typically 1-3/4" diameter, due to their reasonable maneuverability, can be used by firefighters on an aggressive attack to extinguish the fire. If the fire has grown beyond the point of being controlled by the smaller hand lines, most likely the firefighting operation will move to a defensive mode, utilizing 2-1/2" lines, also referred to as big lines, and master streams. Supply lines, also known as feeder lines, are the large diameter hose lines used to move water from the source to the attack pumper.

All hose has an efficient carrying capacity that allows for optimum water flow while maintaining minimal friction loss. Efficient carrying capacity is shown in gallons per minute or GPM.

Size of Hose
Efficient Capacity
1 1/2"  Attack Line
100   GPM
1 3/4"  Attack Line
150   GPM
2"       Attack Line
200   GPM
2 1/2"  Attack Line
300   GPM
3"       Supply Line
500   GPM
4"       Supply Line
100 0  GPM

The primary job of a ladder or truck company is to perform search and rescue, ventilation, and overhaul operations. Wayland's ladder truck is unique in that it is what is known in the fire service as a quint. A quint serves as both a ladder truck and a pumping engine. As the name quint implies, it has five major components; an aerial ladder, a pump, a water tank, hose, and ground ladders. Given our limited manpower here in Wayland, Ladder 1 offers us the flexibility of having an aerial ladder available immediately if needed for rescue or ventilation operations in addition to operating as a pumping engine. Wayland was the first town in the area to explore and to implement this type of apparatus. Since we have been able to prove the use of this type of resource many towns in Massachusetts have used the original specifications to design and purchase similar units.


Photo of Wayland
Town of Wayland    41 Cochituate Road, Wayland, MA 01778-2614    Tel: (508) 358-7701    FAX: (508) 358-3627
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