Santa Clara County Fire Department

Apparatus

apparatus lineup

Left to right: Patrol 5, Engine 10, Truck 5, Engine 2, Rescue 3, Battalion 3 (1999)

First line engine companies are equipped for deployment as stand alone resources and are divided into two (2) basic catagories: Urban and Wildland-Urban Interface. Company inventory is based on respective target hazards and topography. In addition, all engine companies carry EMS/Paramedic equipment, large diameter hose, PTO-driven generators, Class-A foam systems, and the basic NFPA 1901 tool and equipment inventory.

Urban engine companies are equipped with high-rise bundles and 2-1/2" (64mm) high-flow pre-connect attack lines. Wildland-Urban Interface engine companies and four-wheel drive Type 3 units typically carry a full range of brush hand tools, chain saws, rope rescue kits, and 500gpm (18900 l/m) pumps.

All major rescue and structural responses include quint trucks and/or rescue companies that carry salvage equipment, smoke fans, Hurst Tool rams, cutters and spreaders, air bags, torches, heavy forcible entry tools, gas-powered saws, and rope rescue equipment.

Most apparatus are shown at the station where they are assigned. Pages of historic apparatus photos shows vehicles that are no longer with the department. Antiques still owned and maintained by the department are shown at their respective stations. Note that several of the antiques are marked with their original department names, prior to that department merging with the Santa Clara County Fire Department.

Vehicle Types

As in any profession, specific terms mean specific things. Although the terms "fire engine" and "fire truck" are often used to describe any vehicle used by firefighters, they actually have specific and different definitions. Below are definitions of the vehicles used by County Fire.

Engine

The primary vehicle used by fire departments. It has water in a booster tank, a pump, hoses, and ground ladders. In this department, all Engines are also equipped with medical gear and are staffed with three personnel: a Captain, a firefighter/engineer, and a firefighter/engineer/paramedic.

Truck

Trucks have lots of ground ladders, as well as a large aerial ladder. Trucks also carry rescue gear. In this department, trucks also have medical gear. If a truck carries ground and aerial ladders, and also has a pump, hose and a booster tank (as do all of the trucks in this department) it is referred to as a "quint". In this department, Trucks are staffed with a Captain, two FF/E's and a FF/E/P.

Rescue

A Rescue is similar to a Truck, but does not carry the large aerial ladder. It is similar to an Engine, but carries all of the rescue and extrication gear that a Truck carries, as well as the extra firefighter. Rescues are staffed with a Captain, two FF/E's and a FF/E/P.

Type 3 Engine

Although called an Engine, and having all of a standard Engine's capabilities, Type 3's are intended for wildland firefighting. They have 4-wheel drive, tall suspensions, and meet all of the specifications listed below. These vehicles were formerly known as "Patrols".

Type 4 Engine

The Type 4 is a smaller, all-wheel drive vehicle designed for fighting wildland fires. It has a pump (smaller than an engine's), hose, and wildland firefighting tools, and off-road driving capabilities, with a high ground clearance, and meet all of the specifications listed below. Formerly referred to as "Patrols", these vehicles usually have "pump and roll" capability, meaning that they can both pump water and drive at the same time, something that most Engines cannot do. Type 4 Engines are staffed with two FF/E's. In this department, Type 4 Engines are usually paired up with Trucks during wildland fire season, so two of the Truck's personnel will drive the Type 4, and both vehicles will respond together.

Hazmat

A Hazmat vehicle is used to respond to HAZardous MATerials incidents. It is basically a truck filled with all of the tools and supplies required for these situations. Hazmat trucks do not normally carry water, hose, or ladders. in this department, the Hazmat vehicle is also used to supply breathing air bottles at fires. The Hazmat is staffed by a Captain, two FF/E's and a FF/E/P, all with specialized Hazmat training.

Battalion

A Battalion vehicle is used to transport a Chief, and as a command center. Usually an SUV or a pickup truck with a bed cap, it is normally staffed by a Battalion Chief. In this department, the Chiefs do their own driving, and do not have a driver or chauffeur. Battalions have lots of communications and computer gear to help coordinate incidents. The safety officer drives a vehicle very similar to a Battalion vehicle.

USAR

Urban Search And Rescue vehicles are similar to Hazmat vehicles, except that the supplies and equipment that they carry are for major disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and mass-casualty incidents. In this department, USARs are special-call vehicles that would be staffed by personnel at the station where they are stored.

BS

A Breathing Support vehicle carries spare SCBA bottles to replenish supplies at incidents or training events where many bottles have been used. It also carries an on-board refilling station so that empty bottles can be refilled on the spot.

Tender

A Tender is a vehicle designed to carry and deliver large amounts of water where hydrants or other water supplies are not available. Often called "tankers", especially on the east coast, here in the west they are called Tenders to avoid confusion with aerial tankers, planes that drop water on wildland fires. Although Tenders usually have larger water tanks than engines and a means to deliver the water quickly, some Tenders carry hose and pumps as well. In this department, certain Engines have been redesignated as Tenders if their primary task is water delivery, without any mechanical modifications.

Hose Wagon

A Hose Wagon is a vehicle used to carry hose. The only Hose Wagon in this department is an antique.

Apparatus Color

With some minor exceptions, most of Santa Clara County's apparatus are painted white, with white retroflective striping and black retroflective numbers. The apparatus that are red or lime green are either from stations recently acquired by the department as it expanded to merge with several local community's departments, or owned by the state's Office of Emergency Services (OES) and loaned to the department indefinitely.

Los Gatos started the trend towards white apparatus in the late 1950s or early 1960s. The decision to switch from the traditional red to white was for two reasons. First, the red paint at the time required much higher maintenance. Second, red is much less visible at night. When Los Gatos merged with County Fire in 1970, new County Fire rigs were purchased in white using the same logic, as until then County also had had red apparatus. Since then, there have been numerous technical improvement in apparatus visibility and vehicle paint quality: paints no longer fade as quickly in the strong California sun, and retroflective striping and modern warning lighting provide much better nighttime visibility. At this point, however, County Fire apparatus are still white because it has become traditional for the department.

Although the majority are red (all red, white over red, black over red), fire apparatus come in more colors than you'd think. Below are photos of apparatus from other departments around the country and world, found on the internet, showing the range of colors that are used; thanks to the original posters.

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Note: On 30 January 2014, all Santa Clara County fire departments changed their unit identifiers (assignments) to unique numbers. No longer will there there potentially be multiple Engine 1's, etc., at mutual aid calls, nor will dispatchers have to indicate what department a particular apparatus belongs to. These new identifiers are listed below, along with the old ones for historic purposes.

Emergency Response Fleet

Station

Assignment

Former
Assignment

Year

Make

Pump: gpm (l/m)

Cupertino

Truck 71 Truck 1 2003 Ferrara 1500 (5680)
Engine 71 Engine 1 2007 KME 1250 (4730)
Engine 371 Engine 301 2009 Placer/International Type 3 4x4 500 (1890)
OES Engine 289 OES Engine 289 2001 HME/Westates 1250 (4730)
Engine 20 Engine 20 1949 Van Pelt/Kenworth 1250 (4730)

Seven Springs

Engine 72 Engine 2 2000 KME 1250 (4730)
Hazmat 72 Hazmat 2 2004 KME n/a
Breathing Support 72 Breathing Support 2 2005 KME n/a
Battalion 72 Battalion 2 2008 Ford F250 XLT Superduty 4x4 n/a
Utility 82 Utility 6 2008 Ford F550 Super Duty Flatbed Stakeside n/a
Hazmat 172 Reserve Hazmat 102 1988 Paoletti/Ford n/a

Los Gatos

Engine 83 Engine 3 2003 KME 1250 (4730)
Rescue 83 Rescue 3 2007 KME 1250 (4730)
Battalion 83 Battalion 3 2010 Ford F250 XLT Super Duty 4x4 n/a

Redwood

Engine 84 Engine 4 2001 HME/Westates 4x4 1250 (4730)
Engine 384 Engine 304 2009 Placer/International Type 3 4x4 500 (1890)

Winchester

Truck 85 Truck 5 2002 KME 1500 (5680)
USAR 85 USAR 5 2003 Ford F-550 4x4 n/a
USAR 785 Trailer n/a

Shannon

Engine 82 Engine 6 1992 Hi-Tech/Spartan 1500 (5680)
Engine 382 Engine 306 1991 Westmark/International 4x4 500 (1895)
Utility 82 Utility 6 n/a
Hose Wagon Hose Wagon 1936 Dodge Brothers/Hedberg n/a

Monta Vista

Engine 77 Engine 7 1992 Hi-Tech/Spartan 1500 (5680)
Engine 377 Engine 307 1997 KME/International 4x4 500 (1895)

Quito

Engine 78 Engine 8 2003 KME 1250 (4730)
Engine 178 Engine 108 2000 KME 1250 (4730)
Engine 678 (see note 1) Patrol 408 2002 Ford F550/Ferrara 500 (1890)

West Valley

Engine 79 Engine 9 2001 KME 1250 (4730)
Battalion 179 Reserve Battalion 109 2001 Ford Excursion n/a

Sunnyoaks

Engine 80 Engine 10 2010 KME 1250 (4730)
Engine 180 Reserve Engine 110 2000 KME 1250 (4730)
Engine 880 Training

Campbell

Engine 81 Engine 11 2001 KME 1250 (4730)
Truck 181 Truck 111
Squad 1 Squad 1 1962 GMC/Van Pelt 250 (945)

El Monte

Rescue 74 Rescue 14 2007 KME 1250 (4730)
Truck 74 Truck 14 1996 Smeal/HME 1500 (5680)
Engine 374 Engine 314 2009 Placer/International Type 3 4x4 500 (1890)
Battalion 74 Battalion 2 2008 Ford F250 crewcab pickup n/a

Los Altos

Engine 75 Engine 15 2005 KME 1250 (4730)
Engine 675 (see note 1) Reserve Engine 415
Engine 175 Reserve Engine 115 2008 KME Predator SS 1250 (4730)
Los Altos Engine 1 Los Altos Engine 1 1928 Ford Model A ?

Loyola

Engine 76 Engine 16 2010 KME Predator 1250 (4730)
Engine 176 Reserve Engine 116 1992 Spartan/Hi-Tech 1500 (5680)

Saratoga

Engine 73 Engine 17 2008 KME 1250 (4730)
Rescue 73 Rescue 17 2010 KME 1250 (4730)
Engine 373 Engine 317 2009 Placer/International 4x4 500 (1890)
Engine 973 Engine 30 1990 Hi-Tech Spartan 1500 (5680)
Engine 173 Engine 117 1992 Hi-Tech/Spartan 1500 (5680)

Note 1: Some Type 4 apparatus were redesignated as Type 6 in keeping with new state definitions. No changes to the apparatus were made.

National Wildfire Coordinating Group Apparatus Classifications

Structural
Type Pump Tank Hose Ladders Master
Stream
Min.
Personnel
1 1000+ gpm @ 150psi
(3790+ l/m @ 1030kPa)

400+ gal
(1515+ l)

1200' (366m) @ 2.5" (6.4cm),
400' (122m) @ 1.5" (3.8cm)
48'
(14.5m)
500gpm (1895 l/m) 4
2 250+ gpm @ 150psi
(9945+ l/m @ 1030kPa)

400+ gal
(1515+ l)

1000' (305m) @ 2.5" (6.4cm),
500' (152m) @ 1.5" (3.8cm)
48'
(14.5m)
  3

Wildland
Type Pump Tank Hose Min.
Personnel
3 150 gpm @ 250psi
(570 l/m @ 1720kPa)

500+ gal
(1895+ l)

500' (152m) @ 1.5" (3.8cm),
500' @ 1" (2.5cm)
2
4 50 gpm @ 100psi
(190 l/m @ 685kPa)

750+ gal
(2840+ l)

300' (91m) @ 1.5" (3.8cm),
300' @ 1" (2.5cm)
2
5 50gpm @ 100psi
(190 l/m @ 685kPa)

400-700gal
(1515-2655 l)

300' (91m) @ 1.5" (3.8cm),
300' @ 1" (2.5cm)
2
6 30gpm @ 100psi
(115 l/m @ 685kPa)

150-400gal
(570-1515 l)

300' (91m) @ 1.5" (3.8cm),
300' 1" (2.5cm)
2
7 10gpm @ 100psi
(38 l/m @ 685kPa)

50-200gal
(190-760 l)

200' (61m) @ 1" (2.5cm) 2

Tender
Type Pump Tank Offload
Capacity
Max Refill
Time
1 300+ gpm
(1140+ l/m)
5000+ gal
(18950+ l)
300+ gal
(1140+ l)
30 min
2 200+ gpm
(760+ l/m)
2500+ gal
(9475+ l)
200+ gal
(760+ l)
20 min
3 200+ gpm
(760+ l/m)
1000+ gal
(3790+ l)
200+ gal
(760+ l)
15 min

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