Firefighting has tools, gear and vehicles designed specifically for the tasks associated with the job. Here's a primer on the apparatus in our inventory at Newton Abbott Fire Company, Inc.
The earliest and most basic piece of fire apparatus, the engine’s purpose is to pump water from a tank or other source, through hose lines carried by firefighters, to the fire’s location. It’s frequently referred to as a pumper as a nod to this function, and can be built in a variety of configurations. Tank sizes, capacity, pump panel locations, hose beds, and crew compartments can vary, but the essential functions remain the same. Engines can be connected to each other in a relay system to draw water from a distant source and deliver it to the fireground. See our Engine 1
Heavy Rescue refers to the use of specialized techniques and tools to remove injured, deceased, or otherwise trapped persons from dangerous environments where self-escape is prevented. The operations usually involve cribbing or shoring of unstable loads (such as collapsing trench walls, or a fallen building) and mechanical, pneumatic, or hydraulic equipment to apply needed force to effect removal of the victim(s). Situations calling for heavy rescue operations can vary widely, and can present unique problems for rescuers. Examples include heavily damaged vehicles, submerged or crushed vehicles, industrial accidents, “pancaked” buildings or highways, or confined space rescue situations. See our Rescue 3
Traditionally, the “Hook & Ladder” company has played nearly as long a role in the fire service as the engine. In Newton Abbott’s case, we replaced our more traditional ladder truck with a Quint in 1993. Ladder, or truck companies, are tasked with forcing entry to burning buildings, conducting a primary search for fire victims within, and effecting ventilation of superheated gases from the structure. This work occurs both inside and outside the burning building, and serves to control the fire’s behavior, aiding the engine crew’s efforts to extinguish it. They also perform overhaul work in which the amount of fire extension is determined, ensuring that the fire is completely out. Ladder trucks also come in a variety of configurations; Newton Abbott’s Quint isn’t a ladder in the truest sense, since it has five components (thus the name, Quint) which make it a hybrid engine/ladder: A tank, a pump, hose lengths, ground ladders, and an aerial device. Our aerial is a 75′ extendable “stick” that can be used to deliver water from an elevated position, or to effect entry/exit from upper-floor windows, or the roof, of any building in our fire district. See our Quint 6
The newest vehicle in Newton Abbott’s fleet is a general-purpose utility truck that is designed to carry a small crew, and an equipment load which would require too much space on any other apparatus. It is versatile, can be driven by less-experienced firefighters, and is useful for jobs that may only require one or two firefighters to perform. Examples include traffic control, pump details, generating power to traffic signals during a lengthy outage, gear transportation, and general use during any ongoing incident. See our Utility 7-1
Newton Abbott continues to provide emergency medical care and transport, when appropriate, to sick and injured persons. The majority of our calls are for EMS, as is very typical across the country. Currently, we are certified as a basic-level agency by the New York State Department of Health, EMS Bureau; patients requiring a higher level of care (advanced EMT, or paramedic) for serious traumatic or medical emergencies are transported in most cases by Rural/Metro Medical Services, who are contracted by the Town of Hamburg to provide this service. See our Ambulance.
Newton Abbott’s Chief and Assistant Chief officers are issued company-owned vehicles for command and control purposes. Perhaps one of the most misunderstood assets in the fire service, the chief’s vehicle enables rapid delivery of lifesaving skill by a trained person, and early establishment of incident command. The vehicles can go nearly anywhere, in order to be near an incident without interfering with operations, enabling the chief to quickly perform a scene size-up, develop an incident action plan, communicate with dispatch, and coordinate resources. See our Command Vehicles.