Fire Engine

These fire engines are all ‘Russian’ around.

  • A fire engine is an automobile dispatched and used by an emergency department, in particular the fire brigade, primarily to put out fires.
  • ‘Fire engines’ are also known as ‘fire trucks’, ‘fire wagons’, ‘fire apparatuses’ and ‘fire appliances’.
  • Fire engines are typically used to transfer fire fighters and their equipment – ladders, hoses, first-aid supplies, rescue equipment and breathing tanks among other things – from the station to the emergency site.
  • Flashing lights and loud sirens are generally found on a fire engine, and these help to make its presence known, so that other vehicles move out of its way during an emergency.
  • Long extendable ladders are generally found on fire engines, to provide a fire fighter with extra height, and they often have hoses attached.
Fire Engine, Truck, Vehicle, Red, America, Cambridge, Dormant, Emergency, Invention, AutomobileFire Engine
Image courtesy of Dave Conner/Flickr
  • Most fire engines are trucks designed for urban use, however some apparatuses are designed specifically for marine, rural and airport purposes.
  • Fire engines generally carry from around 1000 to 3785 litres (264 to 1000 gallons) of water, although some hold less, while others hold more; however the majority of water that urban trucks use is sourced from a hydrant.
  • A fire engine can be expensive to produce, with commercial pricing ranging from $350,000 to $1.5 million or more, depending on the purposes and features.
  • Greek inventor Ctesibius is said to have invented one of the earliest forms of a fire engine in the third century BC, though buckets of water were commonly used to fight fires in the middle ages; and from the 1600s, fire trucks of various kinds were invented, and by the 1800s, a pressure steam pump had been invented and was drawn by horses for fire use.
  • Fire engines are commonly coloured red, and this is generally attributed to the colour’s bright nature, which makes the truck stand out among other vehicles.
Bett D, Fire Engine, 1996,,
Fire Engine, 2016, Wikipedia,
Fire Truck History, n.d, Auto Evolution,
Revermann S, Fun Facts for Kids about Fire Trucks, 2016, Modern Mom,
Why Are Fire Trucks Red?, 2016, Wonderopolis,
Young C, Fires, Fire Engines, and Fire Brigades, 1866, Google Books,


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