Fire apparatus, fire engine, or fire truck, is a vehicle designed to assist in fighting fires by transporting firefighters to the scene and providing them with access to the fire, water or other equipment.

In many areas, the terms fire engine and fire truck represent different types of fire fighting apparatus. In New Rochelle fire engines carry a pump, hose and water other departments refer to them as pumpers or as triple combination pumpers. The term “triple” goes back to the days of horse drawn apparatus, each apparatus only carried one of the 3; the steamer was the pump, the hose cart carried the hose and they hoped they would find a fire hydrant for water when they got there. Today’s apparatus carry all 3. New Rochelle’s Ladders and tower ladder are often referred to as “trucks” (engines, while built the same are not considered to be “trucks”). The term “truck” also goes back to horse drawn carts that carried ladders were called trucks. Another term was “hook and Ladder” because they carried hooks to pull down or open up buildings and they still do. The difference between a ladder and a tower ladder is the ladder does not have a bucket or work platform at the tip.

In New Rochelle we staff 5 Fire Engines and have 2 reserve or spare engines (they can be staffed with firefighters who have been recalled to duty during storms or major emergencies. The spares are also used when a primary engine is out of service for repair. Each station has 1 engine assigned to it. We staff 3 ladder companies (1 is assigned a tower ladder) and we have 1 spare ladder. The ladders are assigned to stations #1, #2 and #3. Other specialized apparatus is explained in this section.

In New Rochelle fire apparatus generally has a life expectancy of about 12 years in frontline service. Slower communities may expect to double that.