re you having trouble understanding firefighter slang? Don’t worry! In this article, we will detail 30 of the most popular firefighter slang!
Firefighters work in a harsh and demanding environment. Therefore, they often use various firefighter slang that is difficult for outsiders to understand. Sometimes, these slang words are also humorous homemade phrases among firefighters.
In the article below, we will explain in detail the 30 most specialized firefighter slang for you to better understand the work of these real-life heroes.
List Of Firefighter Slang About
Firefighter’s Tools And Transportation
Hydrant allows them to connect to the steady stream of water when it is time to fight a fire.
Tip means the nozzle. People also call the nozzle with the other name: knob.
A pipe is a water-spraying tool that might look like a hose to a layperson. Non-firefighters might call that tool a hose, but pros likely call this critical tool a pipe or line.
The standpipe is the name of the piped water source designed for firefighters to use inside a building.
It is a must-have system within a building, especially a high-rise. This source allows firefighters to quickly connect their hoses and access pre-piped water, or even to pump additional water into the building’s sprinkler system.
5. LIVE LINE
A live line is a hose that is under pressure from a pump. A hose won’t be very effective at firefighting unless it has some water pressure behind it.
It might sound like a transit route, but a red line is a tool used by firefighters. A red line hose is a red, 1-inch diameter hose line that puts out 60 GPM. Firefighter’s engines and trucks have them. They use it for smaller fires, such as car fires, trash fires, and sometimes even dwelling fires.
The green line is also known as the Garden hose. Firefighters are sometimes forced to improvise when the right tools or conditions aren’t available to fight the blaze. This might even mean grabbing onto the green line, or the garden hose, if nothing else is around.
8. THE STICK
The stick is the aerial ladder, a long extension ladder, especially on a fire engine, used to reach high places.
Named for an NYC firefighter from the 1940s, the Halligan is a powerful tool used in the firefighting industry. It resembles a giant pry bar but is versatile enough to smash through a locked door or knock down a wall.
10. JAWS OF LIFE
Jaws of Life is a Hurst tool. Firefighters often find themselves responding to terrible traffic accidents, and in some cases, it’s impossible to extract people from mangled vehicles. When this happens, firefighters turn to a hydraulic machine known as the Hurst tool, or Jaws of Life to pry the pieces of the wreckage apart.
Opticom is one of the fire engine’ gadgets designed to change the color of traffic lights to green to give the fire engine the right of way. So the fire department can’t take more time to pass at every red light on their way to the scene.
SCBA is an acronym for self-contained breathing apparatus. The air inside a burning building can quickly bring even a trained firefighter to his knees. That’s why these professionals use an SCBA, or self-contained breathing apparatus, to keep them supplied with fresh air. Some also simply call it an air pack.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a type of turnout gear. The heat and smoke from a fire pose serious risks to the brave men and women who fight these blazes. Turnout gear, which consists of heavy clothing, helmets, boots, and other gear, can help reduce injury risk.
Snorkel is a term that describes a boom truck that can squirt water high into the air. These trucks allow fire professionals to aim the water directly into a blaze, even if it’s high above the ground.
Firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs work closely together to help out during an emergency. Some firefighters use the terms bus or box when referring to an ambulance.
16. GRASS WAGON
Grass wagon is called a pickup-based firetruck used on small fires. Sometimes the standard firetrucks just aren’t practical for accessing the scene of a fire. In some wildfires, for instance, firefighters use a specialty pickup known as a grass wagon. Equipped with a hose and water pump, it’s ideal for tackling small blazes.
List Of Firefighter Slang About
Firefighter’s Jobs And Positions
Run is the term for a fire call. A shout is also called for this type of call.
A job in this situation means a fire. For example: “Went to five jobs yesterday.” It means they went to five working fires.
This term seems to be used only by inner-city fire. Pipeman is usually the person on the engine. Or to take it a step further, the person takes the pipe into the fire to extinguish it. In other words, they are the real type of firefighters who go in and fight the fire as the name firefighter says.
Jake is a common male moniker for the firefighter. Calling a fireman a Jake is a long tradition. Date back to 19th century Boston, firemen used a device called a J-key to activate fire alarms. Since then, J-key has become Jake, and the name can be either a compliment or an insult, depending on where you live. In Detroit, Jake means a terrible firefighter. Otherwise, on the East Coast, it means you are a good firefighter.
A truckie is any firefighter who works on a ladder truck. They go in without water and search for people before the fire is out.
22. THE CAN MAN
The can man is the person who carries the water can into the fire, often a probie or rookie.
Engineer is typically the term for the fire truck driver. An engineer, or driver, is a critical part of any firefighting crew. This person not only drives the truck but also operates and maintains major equipment like ladders and pumps.
A Tillerman steers the back of the truck. Some long firetrucks require not only an engineer in the driver’s seat but also someone to sit at the back and steer the back wheels around curves and corners. It is the job of the Tillerman, also known as the Tiller.
Vollies is a nickname firemen use to refer to volunteers. These Vollies work alongside paid forces to keep their communities safe.
Drafting is the practice of pulling water from alternate sources like cisterns or ponds when a standard hydrant isn’t available.
27. CODE ONE – CODE THREE – CODE FOUR
Code One is for the firetruck to travel without lights or sirens. Firefighters can speed through traffic thanks to powerful lights and sirens. When heading back to the station, they may choose to go for a Code One and leave the lights and sirens off during the trip.
Code Three is the opposite of Code One. It means that a fire truck is traveling with lights on and sirens blaring.
Code Four means the victim is dead, and there will be no attempt to resuscitate.
28. SIGNAL 13
Firefighters are often called to the scene of a medical emergency, even if no fire is involved. A Signal 13 is when a fireman speaks for an incident involving a psychiatric patient, one who requires mental healthcare.
ETA stands for the estimated time of arrival. It is critical information for firefighters, as every second counts when a fire is blazing.
GPM stands for gallons per minute. This information is critical to firefighters as they calculate the best way to battle the blaze.
Is there any other word firefighter slang that you don’t know about? Tell us right now so we can reply right away!
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