Fire Communications

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Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Apr 3, 2014
Does anyone know some of the common terms and sayings used in fire communications.
Example: Like (RIT)

Does anyone know any of the common sayings?
Example: Charge the line, fire knocked down, fire under control.

Does anyone know some of the common equipment used in all fires.
Example: Booster line, pulling preconnect ect.

If there is anything else that you would find beneficial to know please post it below. I'm looking into becoming a firefighter and paramedic in the Macomb County Area.

Also if there's any other basic EMS sayings, terms, or definitions that I should know, please let me know!

For fire scene terminology, I know that:

Alpha Side- Address Side of Building (Normally the front and staging)
Bravo Side- The Side Left of the Address (Alpha) Side
Charlie Side- Rear of the Building
Delta- The Side Right of the Address (Alpha) Side

If there is anything else like the command and safety officer, staging and the sayings like charge the line. If appreciate if anyone could explain all of this to me.

Thank you


Feed Provider Since 2012
Jan 4, 2009
Grove City, OH (A Bearcat not a Buckeye)
RIT (RIC): Rapid Intervention Team/Crew is a team of two or more firefighters dedicated solely to the search and rescue of other firefighters in distress

Charge the line: To make water pressure available on a hose in final preparation for its use. This is done on the scene after the hose is deployed, but prior to entering the fire danger area.

Knocked down: The body of the fire is extinguished, ae knocked down. There may be small hot spots and usually overhauling begins, cutting into walls and ceilings looking for fire extension.

Under Control: Fire or spill etc. is no longer spreading. The situation is contained. This term should not be confused with a report that the fire is out.

Wikipedia is a great source of these terms -

Become familiar with this glossary and you will find the academy a lot easier.
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Feed Provider
Dec 9, 2002
Van Wert, Ohio
Preconnect is multiple sections of hose that are connected to the plumbing of apparatus with a nozzle attached, stored in an area of the apparatus and folded in a way to make it readily available for quick deployment at a fire scene. Typically these preconnects are around 200' of hose, but may be shorter or longer depending on local preferences and needs. Preconnects are of 1.5", 1.75", 2" or 2.5" hose, depending on local preferences, with 1.5" or 1.75" being the most common.

A booster line is a rubber lined, rubber covered hose, typically of 1" inside diameter that is rolled on a reel and has a nozzle attached. Like a preconnect, the booster line is easily and quickly deployed and typically about 200'. Booster reels are powered by an electric motor to allow for easy rewinding of the line. Booster lines are also preconnected to the plumbing of the apparatus. Booster lines are usually used for trash fires and have been used in the past on vehicle fires. Using booster lines for vehicle fires is no longer used by most departments as they typically don't provide adequate water flow to safely extinguish vehicle fires. Many departments are no longer placing booster lines on apparatus.

Command is the officer in charge of an emergency scene. Safety officer is the individual assigned to oversee all safety aspects of an emergency scene. The safety officer has the authority to immediately stop any activities at an emergency scene should he/she see something that could be hazardous to personnel operating at an emergency.

Staging is when apparatus is kept away from an emergency scene and held in reserve should the incident escalate and additional apparatus and/or manpower is needed. Staging allows for an orderly response to an incident depending on the demands of the incident.
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