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FIRE FIGHTING TERMS
general  -  EQUIPMENT  -  all

Top - 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


A  
Accelerator (also exhauster):  portion of dry-pipe system that bleeds air or shunts air pressure below the clapper valve when sprinkler pipe pressure drop is sensed, thus speeding operation of the valve to fill the system with water. 
Adapter:  plumbing accessories for connecting hoses and pipes of incompatible diameter, thread, or gender. See also reducer, increaser, double male, double female, water thief. May contain combinations, such as a double-female reducer. Adapters between multiple hoses are called wye, Siamese, or distributor, which see below. 
Aerial apparatus:  fire truck having an attached extension ladder, nozzle, man-lift-bucket, or similar device raised using power from the truck. May also carry other portable ladders and tools. 
Air monitoring meter:  electronic device for measuring the presence of one or more chemicals in air, such as oxygen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide or volatile organic compounds; may have preset danger threshold alarms. 
Airbags:  (1) inflatable device used for lifting or spreading; (2) vehicle safety device with potential explosion hazard during vehicle extrication if not already blown. 
Airpack:  jargon for self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). 
Apparatus:  Fire engines, trucks, tankers, and combinations; can also refer to other equipment such as the SCBA. 
APW:  Air-pressurized water fire extinguisher, partially filled with water and then pressurized with an air pump; popular in the US in the 2 1/2-gallon size, rated 2A. 
Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF):  (pronounced "A-Triple-F", also called "Class A"): bubbles that act as surfactant to coat and penetrate ordinary fuels (e.g., wood, paper) to prevent them from burning at normal temperatures; also used on "Class B" (oil/gasoline) fires to spread a non-volatile film over the surface of the fuel. Applied using eductor or Compressed air foam system (CAFS) and pumped through firehose to a foam nozzle (or sometimes a less-effective fog nozzle). 
Attack hose:  A use classification of a fire fighting hose connected to output of a pump or other pressure source (e.g., gravity). Firehose used to apply water or other fire fighting agent directly to a fire or burning substance. Typically of 2 1/2 inches (65 mm) diameter or less. 
Attic ladder:  narrow, collapsible ladder used to access an attic space via a scuttle hole, which are often found in closets and other narrow passages. Also known as a closet ladder. 
Automatic sprinkler:  system of valves and pipes for automatically directing water to a fire when it is detected. May be normally pressurized with water ("wet") or with air ("dry"), depending upon the application. When a sprinkler-head (or sensor) detects fire/heat, the valve opens, releasing the water (hopefully onto the fire). 

B  
Bed ladder:  the non-extending section of an extension ladder. 
Booster hose:  Small-diameter fire hose (3/4-1 inch), often carried on booster reel, preconnected to pump of an engine (and the booster tank) for putting out small fires near the truck without having to connect to a hydrant; easily recovered with a motorized reel. 
Bresnan cellar nozzle:  Rotating nozzle tip having two or more outlets forming water jets that propel the tip while spraying water in a circular pattern; conveniently attached to several feet (a meter) of rigid pipe with handles or legs for supporting the nozzle while it is suspended through a hole in the floor above. 
Bulk tank:  Large tank designed to be transported to an incident and left; larger than a tote tank. 
Bunkers (or "bunker gear"):  colloquial term for protective pants and boots kept near a firefighter?s bunk (cot) for rapid deployment; more modernly includes firefighting jacket. Basis for command to "Bunker up!" in preparation for hazardous duties. May also refer to entire protective clothing ensemble. 

C  
Cellar fire:  Cellar fires are difficult to attack directly because firefighters have to pass through the hot gasses and smoke accumulated on the cellar's ceiling to gain access to the cellar space. Cellars typically do not have good emergency egress points, adding to the danger. 
Cellar pipe:  Cellar Nozzle. A distributing type nozzle that is inserted through an opening in the floor and into the space below, typically a basement or cellar. The nozzle directs a broken stream horizontally, either extinguishing or controlling the fire enough to allow a direct attack to be safely made. Can also be used on top of other containers. 
Charged line:  fire hose under pressure from the pump at the engine. 
Check valve:  see backflow preventer 
Class A, B, C, D, K:  Classes of fire extinguisher and corresponding type of fire they extinguish. 
Closet hook:  pike pole under 5 ft long 
Closet ladder:  see Attic ladder. 
CO2 extinguisher:  Fire extinguisher that releases carbon dioxide gas to smother and cool a fire, such as a flammable liquid. 

D  
Deck gun:  A master stream device mounted to top deck of pumper. 
Deluge system:  Type of sprinkler system in which sprinkler heads do not have individual valves, and the water (or other extinguishing agent) is disbursed from all sprinkler heads simultaneously when a central (or zoned) valve is triggered by a sensor (or manually). Typically reserved for industrial areas where rapid fire spread must be prevented at the cost of damaging non-burning materials. 
Denver Door opener:  heavy pry bars connected with a hinge, one with an adjustable foot, used for prying open doors. Denver tool (also called TNT tool): A combination axe, sledgehammer, pry tool, ram, and D-handle pull tool used to gain forcible entry to buildings, automobiles, etc. during emergency situations. 
Denver tool (also called TNT tool):  A combination axe, sledgehammer, pry tool, ram, and D-handle pull tool used to gain forcible entry to buildings, automobiles, etc. during emergency situations. 
Detection system:  See Alarm system. 
Detergent foam:  See Aqueous Film Forming Foam. 
Distributor pipe:  Portion of fire hydrant or sprinkler system connecting main loops to smaller loops where outlets are located. 
Double female:  firehose adapter for connecting two "male" couplings together; may also adapt different sizes on either side. 
Double male:  firehose coupling adapter with two male-threaded connectors back-to-back; used for connecting two female couplings together. 
Dry chemical:  A fire extinguishing agent. It works by breaking the chemical chain reaction in the "fire tetrahedron". 
Dry hydrant:  A fire hydrant with a valve located at the bottom of the barrel, near the water main. The barrel of the hydrant remains dry until used. The prevents the hydrant from freezing in sub-zero temperatures. 
Dry powders:  Fire extinguishing agents for use on flammable metals. Each agent is typically designed for use on a either a single metal or very similar metals. 
Dry sprinkler:  A sprinkler system having pressurized air (rather than water) in the distribution pipes until a heat-activated sprinkler head opens and releases the pressure, which opens a water valve (and possibly an accelerator valve) to flow water to the open head; used where the protected premises are not heated during freezing temperatures or where pressurized water in overhead sprinkler pipes could create another hazard. 

E  
Eckert hook:  Sharp hook on pike pole for cutting metal siding or roofs. 
Eductor:  Suction device operated by hose pressure to pull fluid from a reservoir and mix it with the hose stream; often used to add foaming or other materials to water streams. 
Ejector:  see Smoke ejector. 
Elevator key:  control panel override key to take elevator car to desired floor. May also refer to special tool used to open elevator shaft-protection doors from outside. 
Encapsulated suit:  HAZMAT protective clothing used with SCBA inside the suit to protect a firefighter (HAZMAT technician) from gaseous contaminants. 
Encoder:  (1) Device for converting an input to a coded output; (2) tone-generating system for broadcasting one or more tone codes on a radio frequency to alert selected pagers and alarms; (3) alarm-system component that transmits coded sensor and subscriber information to a monitoring center to be processed into address and alarm-type information. 
Engine:  A truck outfitted for firefighting, specifically one outfitted to pump water. Generally, vehicles outfitted to pump water are called engines, while those which do not pump water (ladder trucks, tankers, rescues, for example) are not. Many rural fire engines carry a reservoir of water to pump, and use drafting and tankers to obtain further supply. Historically, an "enjin" was a machine that only pumped water. 
Extension ladder:  A 20-60 foot ladder with one or more movable sections that extend beyond a base section, typically using a halyard rope and pulley mechanism for lifting and locking cams to latch the moving sections at a selected height. 
Extinguisher:  Device containing fire suppressant, often pressurized to expel suppressant when triggered by operator or an automatic release mechanism. Important to properly select type of extinguisher appropriate to type of material burning (wood, grease, electrical, etc). May be portable or permanently installed for special suppression purposes, such as fires in aircraft engines, restaurant exhaust hoods, or computer rooms. 

F  
FFFP:  Fluoroprotein film forming foam. 
Fire alarm control panel:  System for receiving and announcing location of fire based upon input from smoke, flame or heat detectors, or manual call points or pull stations. 
Fire axe:  See pickheaded axe. 
Fire department keys:  Special keys provided to firefighters to access a lockbox, located on some commercial buildings, containing additional keys required for entry or other safety features. 
Fire extinguisher:  See Extinguisher above 
Fire grenade:  glass bottle filled with carbon tetrachloride or similar fire extinguishing fluid; meant to be thrown and shatter at base of fire to mix with air to produce non-combustible mixture; Similar to extinguishers comprised of glass fixtures with spring-loaded clapper released by heat-fusible link. Limited effectiveness, and phased out in 1950s when better extinguishers became available. 
Fire hydrant:  See hydrant. 
Fire station alert system:  fire department dispatching system using radio controls to activate remote signals at designated fire stations and to transmit emergency information via audio or digital channels. 
Fire streams:  Water (possibly mixed with foam) emitted at nozzle and directed at burning materials. 
Firehose:  See also hose, below. 
Fireman's key:  set of tools used for opening elevator doors from the lobby during rescues; come in many different shapes and sizes, each designed for a specific elevator type. 
Fly:  The moving portions of an extension ladder. 
Fog nozzle:  A nozzle that discharges water in small droplets. Oftentimes, the nozzles are adjustable, permitting the pattern to range from a straight stream to a narrow fog to a wide fog stream. Can also be designed to automatically adjust pressure depending upon selected pattern. 
Fog Stream:  A fire stream characterized by small droplets of water. The droplets are unable to travel very far, but absorb heat very quickly because of the high surface area they present. 
Foot valve:  Backflow preventer at inlet of suction hose used in drafting; helps avoid losing prime by keeping water from running back out of the suction hose. 

G  
Gamewell:  brand of wind-up, fire alarm telegraph system for sending coded pulses to alert central alarm station of fire alarm activation; often still found in red boxes on street corners. 
Gate valve:  See also "Hydrant Gate". Valve in which the shutoff device slides across the flow of liquid to obscure the orofice, usually activated by a screw mechanism. Compare "ball valve." 
Glas-Master tool:  brand of specialized vehicle extrication tool, most notibly including a glass cutting saw for removal of automobile windshields. 
Ground ladder:  A portable ladder designed to rest on the ground. Compare aerial ladder and roof ladder. 

H  
Halligan tool (or "Hooligan"):  forcible entry tool with a pointed pick and a wedge at right angles on one end of a shaft and a fork or cat's paw at the opposite end. Used in combination with maul or flat-headed axe for forcing padlocks, doors and windows. Based upon original design by Hugh Halligan of FDNY. Forms "the irons" when nested with a flathead axe. Various shaft lengths provide mechanical advantage. Derived from the claw tool (fork and hook). 
Halon:  chemical gas fire extinguishing or liquid agent for diminishing the combustion reaction rate by acting as a thermal ballast; used mainly in closed computer rooms, aircraft, and other high-value installations where corrosive chemicals or water extinguishers are judged inappropriate. Effective at low concentrations (5%) as compared with CO2 (34%). Being phased out with suitable replacements in most applications, with very restricted exemptions, due to international environmental concerns with this and other CFCs. 
Halyard:  utility rope for raising or lowering moving parts of extension ladder. 
Hard suction hose:  Non-collapsible sections of hose, usually 10 feet long, used when drafting. 
Higbee cut (Higby cut':  A tapered thread termination in a firehose coupling for avoiding cross-threading, the location of which is indicated by a notch cut into a single lug on a hose coupling. If the notches are aligned on mating couplings, the Higbee cuts are aligned and the threads will immediately engage when the swivel fitting is turned. 
High-rise pack:  Hose bundle prepared for carrying to a standpipe in a high-rise building, usually consisting of 50 or more feet of 1 3/4-inch hose and a combination nozzle. 
Hook:  forged steel hook at end of insulated pole of varying lengths; used for piercing and pulling building materials away from walls and ceilings. Similar to nautical gaff hook. Short hook with a pointed tip is a pike pole; longer hook on a San Francisco hook; two offset hooks on either side of tip is a universal hook; long p-shaped hook is a Boston rake for pulling plaster and lath; short hook with claw on opposite side of tip is either a gypsum hook or the narrower ceiling hook; pike pole with a short handle is a somewhat useless closet hook. 
Hose bed:  part of fire engine (or hose wagon) where hose is stored for transport and easy access; stocked in layers or rows for quick selection of the desired length, diameter and type of hose; may include hoses "pre-connected" to pump outlets on the engine. 
Hose bridge:  mechanical ramps permitting vehicle tires to roll over top of hose without pinching or damaging the hose. Sudden hose-pinch can cause dangerous backpressures in a running hose and at the pump and release of the pinch can cause a staggering surge at the nozzle end. 
Hose cart:  See Hose wagon. 
Hose coupling:  rigid interlocking end-pieces on fire hose; used for connecting hose to hydrants or fire engine pumps and other hose appliances (nozzles, wyes, manifolds, strainers, etc); standardized sizes and threads or other (non-threaded) pressure-sustaining interlocks (e.g., "Storz" or other "quarter-turn" connectors); lugs, cams, or pins are used to tighten and loosen couplings by hand or with a hose wrench. 
Hose roller:  rigid frame with rollers designed to fit over windowsill or roof parapet to prevent chafing as hose is pulled across it. Can also refer to a machine designed for rolling hoses in preparation for storage. 
Hose tower:  structure for hoisting hoses to permit them to drain and dry. 
Hose wagon:  a handcart, vehicle, or trailer adapted for storing and hauling hose and related equipment; used by industrial fire brigades with large buildings, or where supplemental hoses are needed beyond that normally carried on a fire engine; also used for taking attack hose into a high-rise and for returning dirty, wet hose to the station instead of loading the hose bed with it. Vehicular hose wagon may carry 1,000 to 3,000 feet of hose. May also include small booster pump. 
Hose wrench:  tool for holding hose couplings against opposite turning forces (tighten/loosen); may be one of several designs for different shapes of cleats or lugs on couplings (round, flat, recessed, etc), and also of different sizes according to the couplings being handled, and come in various combinations to minimize the number of different tools necessary on the fire ground. 
Hose:  flexible conduit for moving liquids under pressure; made of various materials including cotton, rubber or plastic (such as polyvinyl chloride, PVC); construction may be braided, woven, wrapped or extruded, often in layers (liner and jacket); hose construction and size differs according to its intended use (e.g., hard suction, attack, forestry, booster); typically stocked in standard lengths and coupled together with standardized fittings. See hose coupling. 
Hurst tool:  See Hydraulic spreader. 
Hydrant Assist Valve:  a valve connected to the hydrant by the first due engine allowing the second due engine to boost the pressure in the intake line. Used for hydrants with low pressure, attaching multiple engines to one hydrant, or boosting pressure in the intake line to accomidate for friction loss. 
Hydrant Gate:  A gate valve used to control water flow through one of the discharge ports on a hydrant with two or more ports. Typically, one fire hose is initially connected to one discharge and the hydrant gate is connected to one or more of the other outlets. This allows a second hose to be connected to a hydrant that is flowing water without shutting down the main valve to make the connection. 
Hydrant wrench:  tool for opening valve of fire hydrant; may be simple spanner, box wrench, or adjustable wrench, or a specialized tool for use on "anti-vandalism" valves. For example, some valves require a magnet to activate a cam in order for the valve to be turned on. 
Hydrant:  pressurized water source for fire engine. May also be a "dry hydrant" for drafting from static water source. Compare "standpipe". 
Hydraulic spreader, (Jaws of Life):  mechanical levering device with hydraulic cylinders powered by a pump; used for forcible entry or spreading vehicle or structure parts to permit extrication of a victim. Also called Hurst Tool which is a type that includes cutter and ram/jacking features. 

I  
Indian pump:  a brand of five-gallon water can with a short hose and hand pump used in wildland firefighting. 
Intake:  Part of pump where water enters when pump forms partial vacuum. 
Irons, or Set of irons:  Pairing of a flat-head axe and a Halligan tool. A common combination used for interior fire attack. 

J  
J-bar:  a stiff, j-shaped tool for reaching an inside door handle. 
Jaws of Life:  A Hurst tool. See hydraulic spreader. 
Jet siphon:  A venturi appliance used for moving large amounts of water from one reservoir tank to another by pumping a small amount of pressurized water into the jet to create a vacuum to move larger amounts of water. 

K  
K-tool:  A forcible entry tool for disabling cylinder locks; used with a Halligan. 
Kelly tool:  a prying tool much like a Halligan tool without the right-angle pointed tip. 

L  
Ladder pipe:  Nozzle attached to aerial ladder and used to direct heavy stream from advantageous height. 
Ladder truck:  A truck outfitted for fire which is operated by a ladder company, and in most cases is not outfitted to pump water. Not to be confused with engine. 
Large Diameter Hose:  (LDH) Fire hose with a diameter of 4 inches or greater. LDH is typically used to supply water from a fire hydrant to fire apparatus such as an engine or tanker. 
Level A, B protective clothing:  Different levels of encapsulation of firefighters used during HAZMAT incidents to minimize contamination. 
Life net:  Portable net for attempting to catch victims falling or jumping from upper floors of burning structure. 
Life safety line:  A rope used where its failure could result in serious injury; a rope used for connecting a firefighter/rescuer to a fixed anchor point or to another person. 

M  
Medium-diameter hose:  A hose with diameter between 2 1/2 and 4 inches. 
Multigas detector:  Measuring device designed to indicate concentrations of four selected gases, such as oxygen, carbon monoxide, volitile organic compounds, hydrogen cyanide, etc. 

N  
NIFTI:  Naval InFrared Thermal Imager. A device used aboard naval ships to help locate hotspots where fire or personell may be located in a dense smoke environment. 
Nozzle tip:  Portion of firehose that forms the fire stream as it leaves the hose. Can be solid, fog, or other specialty nozzle (e.g., piercing, Bresnan cellar nozzle, wand tip, etc). 
Nozzle:  A device attached to the end of a fire hose that directs, shapes and regulates the flow of the water or fire fighting agent pumped into the hose. May have a control valve. 

O  
Open-circuit SCBA:  See SCBA. Exhaled air is not reused by the system. 
Outside stem and yoke valve (OS&Y):  Type of gate valve actuator arranged such that the valve stem moves in and out of the handle, thus externally indicating whether the valve is open or shut, unlike the more common gate valve wherein the stem rotates and only the gate moves up and down inside the fixture. 

P  
Panic doors, panic hardware:  Fire safety appliance permitting locked doors (typically self-closing) to be opened from the inside when pressed with sufficient force, thus permitting a person to open the door without having to turn a knob or lever. 
PASS device, personal alert safety system:  An alarm device which signals that a firefighter is in trouble. It can be activated manually by the firefighter, or activates automatically if the firefighter stops moving. May be integral to SCBA or separately activated. 
Passport (accountability):  System in which each firefighter has an identification document that is collected by the person in charge of accounting for the current location of the respective individuals, and returned to the firefighter when he or she leaves the dangerous area. 
Pickheaded axe:  Standard fire axe having a 6 or 8 pound steel head with a cutting blade on one edge and a square, pointed pick on the opposite side. Come in various handle lengths. 
Pike pole:  See Hook. 
Plec-Tron:  Jargon, brand-name of early radio-frequency paging system for summoning firefighters. 
Pompier ladder:  A style of ladder that is also known as a "Scaling Ladder". It is used to climb from one window to another. It differs from other ladders in that it does not rest on the ground it instead uses a large hook at the top to attach to a window sill. The word "Pompier" is French for fireman. 
Portable water tank:  Collapsible reservoir used for storing water transported to fireground by tanker. May be inflatable or supported by a frame. 
Positive Pressure Ventilation (PPV):  Ventilation of an area by the use of a fan to push clean air into that space and controlled use of openings for the escape of smoke and gasses. 
Post indicator valve (PIV):  A type of valve used for underground sprinkler shutoff, having a lockable actuator atop a post with a window indicating "open" or "shut" status of the valve. 
Preconnect:  Firehose on a fire engine which has one end connected to a pump outlet, and usually a nozzle attached to the other end. May also be a preconnected inlet hose (e.g., soft suction). Reduces steps at scene of fire. 
Pumper:  Vehicle apparatus for pumping water and other fire suppressants. See fire engine. 

Q  
Quint:  Type of firefighting apparatus performing five jobs. The Quint Truck is both a Pumper and a Ladder Truck. "Quint" means "five" and this truck has five main items: 1. a pump, 2. water tank, 3. hose, 4. ground ladders, and 5. an aerial ladder. 

R  
Reducer:  Plumbing adapter for connecting hoses of two different diameters; may also be double male or double female connections of different sizes. 
Roof ladder:  A single-section ladder with hooks on one end. The hooks are put over the ridge or peak of a roof to hold the ladder in place. Compare with aerial ladder and ground ladder. 
Rope hose tool:  Short strap or rope with a hooks at both ends for wrapping around a chareged hose to secure it in position or to assist in moving it. 

S  
SCBA:  Self Contained Breathing Apparatus, or air-pack, worn by firefighers to protect against breathing toxic fumes and smoke, or where the air has insufficient oxygen. Often incorrectly called "oxygen mask" by laypersons. Typically of open circuit style, with a supply of compressed air, where expired air is exhausted, rather than closed circuit where it is filtered, re-oxygenated from compressed oxygen, and inhaled again which is used where an air supply is needed for an extended period (up to four hours). 
Self-contained breathing apparatus:  see SCBA 
Shove knife:  semi-rigid metallic blade of various shapes and sizes used for forcing spring latches during forcible entry. 
Siamese:  hose coupling for merging two streams into one, i.e., two female coupling inlets and one male coupling outlet. 
Slip-on:  A small water pump and tank that can be temporarily mounted on a pickup or other truck. 
Small-diameter hose:  Generally accepted to be fire hose 3" or less in diameter. 
Smoke detector:  (1) part of a fire alarm system that detects and signals presence of smoke; (2) self-contained household device for same purpose as (1) but with its own noisemaking device. 
Smoke ejector:  Powerful fan for moving large amounts of air and smoke as part of ventilation task while fighting fire in a burning structure. May be operated by electricity or gas motor for positive or negative pressure ventilation. 
Soda-acid extinguisher:  Weak water/acid solution inside a pressure vessel which activates bicarbonate of soda when triggered, expelling "water" (mixture) under pressure from the resulting carbon dioxide. Obsolete and often replaced with an APW or multipurpose extinguisher. 
Soft suction hose, soft sleeve:  A short piece of fire hose, usually 10 to 20 feet long, of large diameter, greater than 2.5 inches (65 mm) and as large as 6 inches, used to move water from a fire hydrant to the fire engine, when the fire apparatus is parked close to the hydrant. 
Solid Stream:  A fire stream emitted from a smooth-bore nozzle. This fire stream has the greatest reach and largest drops of water. 
Spanner:  rigid tool for tightening or loosening firehose couplings. 
Special egress control device:  Locking device on doors used for delaying opening for short period (10-15 seconds) after release is pressed. Permitted as panic hardware in limited circumstances. May also refer to a security system that releases electronic door locks when a fire alarm is activated, such as in stairwells of a highrise building. 
Spray nozzle:  See fog nozzle. 
Sprinkler system:  fire suppression system in a building, typically activated by individual heat-sensitive valves, or remotely controlled by other types of sensors, releasing water onto the fire. May be "wet" (water-filled) or "dry" (air-pressurized). 
Standpipe:  system of pipes inside a building for conducting water for firehose attachments; may be pressurized with water ("wet") or remain "dry" until activated in an emergency; supplied either from a fire hydrant attachment or from a fire engine's pump. Permits firefighters to reach higher levels of tall buildings without having to run hoses up the stairs. 
Steamer connection:  A Siamese inlet to a standpipe or sprinkler system. Named for early application of steam engines for pumps. 
Steamer outlet:  Large outlet of fire hydrant. 
Storz coupling:  A type of coupling used on fire hose. The coupling is sexless, and secures with a 1/4 turn of the coupling. The coupling may or may not have some sort of locking device. 
Straight Stream:  A fire stream generated by a combination nozzle, characterized by a long reach and large water drops. It is essentially the narrowest of fog patterns that can be produced. 
Strainer:  1) A large metal device attached to the end of a suction hose that prevents debris from entering the hose or the pump. 2) A stationary accumulation of debris in a moving body of water. 
Suction hose:  A large, semi-flexible and non collapsible hose used to move water from a static source such as a pond, pool or storage tank to a fire pump by means of suction. The whole process is often known as "drafting". Should not be used to connect pressurized hydrants to pumps. 
Supply line, supply hose, large-diameter hose:  fire hose, usually larger than 2.5 inches in diameter, used to transport water from one source to another, such as from a hydrant to a fire engine or from one engine to another. Short pieces of this hose used to attach to a hydrant are often called "Soft Suction" (see above). 

T  
Tag accountability:  System in which each firefighter is issued two identification tags, one of which is then collected by a safety officer and held while the firefighter is in a hazardous area. To reclaim the tag, the firefighter must present the matching tag upon exit from the hazard. Any unclaimed tags after an "event" (such as a collapse or explosion) means the corresponding firefighters are missing. May be implemented as passport system in which first tag is presented to staging officer upon arrival (for tracking) and second tag is held by IDLH safety officer, as above. 
Tanker, Tender:  Large, mobile tank of water or other firefighting liquid; may be airborne, as used in wildland firefighting, or truck-mounted. Essential in rural areas lacking hydrants. 
Thermal imaging:  Ruggedized infrared equipment used by some firefighters to detect hidden people, animals, and heat sources (i.e., fire) when blinded by smoke. 
Triple combination engine company:  apparatus carries water, pumps water, carries hose and other equipment; firefighters who may carry out direct attack or support other engine companies. 
Turnout gear:  The protective clothing worn by firefighters, made of a fire-resistant material such as Nomex or Aramid, and designed to shield against extreme heat. Sometimes called bunker gear. See PPE. Includes helmet, jacket and boots, and some departments include fire-resistant pants. 
Turntable:  rotating base of an aerial ladder that permits the ladder to be elevated and extended in any direction from a fixed location. 

U  
Utility rope:  A rope not designed or maintained for life safety purposes. 

V  
Valve:  mechanical means for stopping and starting flow in a conduit; many types used in firefighting, including gate?, foot?, clapper? (backflow preventers), sprinkler-heads, etc. 
Ventilation saw:  A high-powered saw with metal-cutting teeth or disc for quickly making large openings in roofing materials. 

W  
Wall-indicator valve:  Type of control valve for sprinkler systems which is mounted to an outside wall and indicates "open" or "shut" in an indicator window on the valve body. 
Water curtain nozzle:  A nozzle designed to throw a fan of water droplets to form a "curtain" in an attempt to reduce radiated heat from igniting a nearby exposure. 
Water flow alarm:  An audible alarm indicating that one or more sprinkler heads have been activated. 
Water thief (valve):  Type of gated wye having one or more outlets smaller than the largest outlet. 
Wedges:  Wooden blocks for temporary shut-off of activated sprinkler heads or holding doors open during firefighting or rescue operations. 
Wet pipe sprinkler system:  Sprinkler system containing pressurized water rather than air, such that water will flow immediately upon release of a heat-sensitive head. 
Wet water:  Water into which a surface tension reducing agent has been introduced. The resultant mixture, with its reduced surface tension, is more able to penetrate burning product more deeply and extinguish deep seated fire. 
Wye:  hose coupling for splitting one line into two or more outlets, often a larger line split into two smaller ones; often a gated wye having separate valves for each outlet. Not to be confused with Siamese, which is used to bring two smaller lines together into one. 

X  
  

Y  
Y-connect:  See wye. 

Z  
Z-adapter:  Large hose appliance for connecting supplemental pumps into long supply lines, in the form of a "Z"; may be improvised from two gated wye valves and a double female between two of the gated outlets or from a siamese that has one inlet connected to one outlet of a gated wye. 

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