- Heavy rescue vehicle
A heavy rescue vehicle, often referred to as a rescue company, rescue squad, heavy rescue, or simply,
fire engineis a type of specialty firefightingor EMS ( Emergency Medical Services) apparatus. Essentially oversized toolboxes on wheels, they are primarily designed for technical rescuesituations such as auto accidents, rope rescues, swiftwater rescues, or collapses [For example, Pelastustoimen yleisopas: raivausauto (A general guide for rescue vehicles: rescue vehicle) (In Finnish). Ministry of the Interior, Finland. http://www.pelastustoimi.fi/raportit/pelastusajoneuvojen-yleisopas/raivausauto, retrieved April the 28th, 2007] . On the fireground, rescue squads may be responsible for truck companyoperations (such as structure ventilation, ladder operations, or Rapid Intervention Teamoperations) or search and rescue. They carry an array of special equipment such as the Jaws of life, wooden cribbing, generators, winches, hi-lift jacks, cutting torches, saws and many other powerful and destructive tools.
National Fire Protection Associationin the U.S.) regulation 1006 and 1670 give guidelines and regulations for the operation of heavy rescue vehicles and also state that all "rescuers" must have medical training to perform any technical rescueoperation, including cuttingthe vehicle itself [NFPA 1006 Standard for Rescue Technician Professional Qualifications. 2003 Edition. National Fire Protection Association. ] [NFPA 1670 Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents. 2004 Edition. National Fire Protection Association. ] . Therefore, in most all rescue environments, whether it is an EMS Department or Fire Department that runs the rescue, the actual rescuers who cut the vehicle and run the extricationscene are Medical First Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians, or Paramedics, as a motor vehicle accidenthas a patientinvolved.
In addition to fire brigades and rescue departments, e.g.
tramor railwaycompanies may have their own heavy rescue squads specialized to tram or train accidents [For example, Helsinki City Transport’s tram rescue unit in http://www.fireimages.net/displayimage.php?pos=-9508, retrieved on 9th of May, 2007.] [For example, VR railway rescue squad in http://www.fireimages.net/displayimage.php?pos=-18186, retrieved on 9th of May, 2007.] . For example, railway rescue squads may carry very specialized equipment for railway accidents like hydraulic jacks with a lifting capacity of 160 metric tons (approx. 176 short tons or 353,000 pounds) - or even more, equipment for moving locomotives horizontally, and equipment for tank caraccidents [Visiiri 2/2006, pp. 6 – 7, on the heavy rescue unit of VR Railway Company in Helsinki, Finland, http://www.liitin.fi/index.php?node_id=5607, retrieved on May 9th, 2007. (In Finnish)] .
Rescue squads can also carry the necessary equipment to respond to and deal with Haz-Mat incidents. These types of apparatus may also be equipped with a pump and tank(s) for water and/or foam, but at least they carry materials for
decontamination, absorption of chemicals, blocking up a leakage, and protective suits for firefighters.
Gallery of heavy rescue vehicles
Emergency medical services
Glossary of firefighting terms
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