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What is the difference between a Pumper and an Engine?

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  • What is the difference between a Pumper and an Engine?

    Hi, I was just wanting to know what the true difference was between a pumper and an engine? I've asked a few people and no one can really give me an answer so if you could write back.

  • #2
    They are the same thing. Fire engine is another term for a fire pump.

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term fire engine was first used in the 17th century, in exactly the same sense it has now, "a machine for throwing water to extinguish fires".(Wikipedia definition of fire engine)
    Last edited by KenNFD1219; 12-03-2006, 09:27 PM.
    -------------------
    "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
    -----------------------------------------------
    Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

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    • #3
      It's the same piece of equipment, just in a different part of the country. The terminology tends to change with the geography. Here in the east, a large truck that hauls water is called a "tanker." Out west, it's a "tender," and a "tanker" is a large aircraft that drops retardent on wildland fires. There are many examples of dissimilar terminology like this.

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      • #4
        With the help of google images:

        This is a TANKER in Eastern 1/2 of the USA. As far as I'm concerned here in the east, a "tender" is someone who shovels coal into the boiler of a steam train.



        This is a TANKER in the western USA. Here in the east, we call this "Holy f(&*ing crap!!"


        A friend of mine that moved out west from here in New England made this mistake one time. Out of habit while digging a line at a small wildland fire, he radioed command saying they were going to need a tanker because they were running out of water. Whoops.
        Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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        • #5
          Don't forget that engines are also sometimes known as wagons
          Fir Na Tine
          Fir Na Au Saol

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          • #6
            I reckon it just depends on the tradition of the department. In Kansas City, Missouri and in Kansas City, Kansas they are known as Pumpers. In Leavenworth and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas we call them Engines. In Leavenwroth Co. District 1 we refer to them as pumpers. Though not on the radio, each apparatus has its own radio number. The city pumper is known as 561. The rest of the county does it the same way. Since the county departments work together often we pretty much know what type of apparatus it is by its number. It seems everyone in this area of Kansas and Missouri refer to the water haulers as tankers, and a few of the tankers are also pumpers. Now get this one, our new apparatus on order will have a 1250 pump on it with 1250 gallons of water on board, as well as our auto extrication equipment but not enough hose to be called a pumper.
            Last edited by LtTim556; 12-05-2006, 12:00 AM.
            Vintage Firefighter: The older I get, the braver I was.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by nmfire
              With the help of google images:

              This is a TANKER in Eastern 1/2 of the USA. As far as I'm concerned here in the east, a "tender" is someone who shovels coal into the boiler of a steam train.



              This is a TANKER in the western USA. Here in the east, we call this "Holy f(&*ing crap!!"


              A friend of mine that moved out west from here in New England made this mistake one time. Out of habit while digging a line at a small wildland fire, he radioed command saying they were going to need a tanker because they were running out of water. Whoops.
              I thought the guy shoveling coal in a steam locomotive was called the fireman.
              That "Holy f(&*ing crap" thing was priceless. Laughed my f(&*ing *** off.
              Vintage Firefighter: The older I get, the braver I was.

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              • #8
                true difference was between a pumper and an engine?
                About 3500 miles of Alantic Ocean.
                My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
                "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
                George Mason
                Co-author of the Second Amendment
                during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
                Elevator Rescue Information

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                • #9
                  Around here, the cities call them pumpers. The rural and smaller cities call them engines. They are the same fu**ing truck. Its like water tender and tanker.

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                  • #10
                    Engines are the things inside the pumper that make it go.
                    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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                    • #11
                      Also, in my little department, if it has at least 4 wheels and isn't a car or an ambulance, then it can be referred to as a "truck".
                      Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LtTim556
                        I thought the guy shoveling coal in a steam locomotive was called the fireman.
                        Ok. Better example, especially since we don't use steam trains anymore.

                        Here on the east coast, this is a picture of four TENDERS parked next to each other!


                        Obviously a big fire!
                        Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nmfire
                          Also, in my little department, if it has at least 4 wheels and isn't a car or an ambulance, then it can be referred to as a "truck".

                          We say that too.... "go out and take the rookie through the trucks, etc, etc"

                          But in Detroit, if you ask an engine guy to take a look at the "truck" it doesnt go over too well. In detroit, if it don't have a big stinking ladder on top, its a rig.

                          Back home in Md, a Medic Unit is an ALS Ambulance and an Ambulance is a BLS Ambulance.

                          Around here, there are like 99% ALS units and they are all either called Squads or Life Squads, and extremely rarely...medic units.

                          Back in Md, this is a squad........

                          ------------------------------------
                          These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
                          ------------------------------------

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RFRDxplorer


                            Back in Md, this is a squad........

                            In New York we call these Pansies......

                            First Due Engine and Truck is da job.....
                            IACOJ Member

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LtTim556
                              I thought the guy shoveling coal in a steam locomotive was called the fireman.
                              That "Holy f(&*ing crap" thing was priceless. Laughed my f(&*ing *** off.
                              Yep -- tender is where you keep the coal. Man I love steam engines.


                              Around here a plane like that would appear to be having some kind of an emergency. Although people occasionally come out of them from there.
                              I am a highly trained professional and can find my :: expletive deleted:: with either hand in various light conditions.

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