The Ventura County Fire Department operates a variety of vehicles to accomplish its many missions. Many of them are very visible and familiar; others are unique with specialized capabilities and functions.
The two most basic pieces of firefighting apparatus are the Fire Engine and the Fire Truck. Although many people use the terms interchangeably, the two vehicles are, in fact, very different, and each performs a different function for the fire department.
All VCFD fire stations have a staffed fire engine in service. Attacking the fire is the primary purpose of a fire engine. The engine crew will attack the fire by establishing a water supply (usually a fire hydrant), pulling hose lines off the engine and then using them to extinguish the fire. All of the firefighting equipment carried on a fire engine is designed to help attack and extinguish a fire.
At strategic fire stations throughout the county, the VCFD staffs fire trucks along with an engine. Supporting the fire attack crew, as they extinguish the fire, is the primary purpose of a fire truck. The responsibilities of a truck crew can include forcible entry (so firefighters can gain access to the fire), turning off utility services (such as gas or electricity that could be dangerous to firefighters or make the fire worse), clearing smoke and gases from the building (ventilation), search and rescue, placing ladders for access to the building and many other tasks. Fire trucks also carry specialized tools to extricate patients trapped in vehicles at traffic collisions.
Specialized vehicles such as Paramedic Squads or Rescue Engines are in service at some Ventura County fire stations.
All VCFD engines and trucks carry BLS (basic life support) equipment allowing firefighters to provide emergency medical care. All VCFD firefighters are certified to at least the level of an EMT (emergency medical technician).
The VCFD also maintains other pieces of specialized apparatus at certain fire stations throughout the county. The on-duty crew at the station will staff and operate these specialized units when needed.
Click on the photos below to learn more about the apparatus in our fleet.