30 Firefighter Slangs Normal People Don’t Know (2022)

Are you having trouble understanding firefighter slang? Don’t worry! In this article, we will detail 30 of the most popular firefighter slang!

Firefighters work in a harsh and demanding environment. Therefore, they often use various firefighter slang that is difficult for outsiders to understand. Sometimes, these slang words are also humorous homemade phrases among firefighters.

In the article below, we will explain in detail the 30 most specialized firefighter slang for you to better understand the work of these real-life heroes.

List Of Firefighter Slang About
Firefighter’s Tools And Transportation


30 Firefighter Slangs Normal People Don’t Know (1)

Hydrant allows them to connect to the steady stream of water when it is time to fight a fire.

2. TIP

Tip means the nozzle. People also call the nozzle with the other name: knob.


30 Firefighter Slangs Normal People Don’t Know (2)

A pipe is a water-spraying tool that might look like a hose to a layperson. Non-firefighters might call that tool a hose, but pros likely call this critical tool a pipe or line.


The standpipe is the name of the piped water source designed for firefighters to use inside a building.

It is a must-have system within a building, especially a high-rise. This source allows firefighters to quickly connect their hoses and access pre-piped water, or even to pump additional water into the building’s sprinkler system.


A live line is a hose that is under pressure from a pump. A hose won’t be very effective at firefighting unless it has some water pressure behind it.

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30 Firefighter Slangs Normal People Don’t Know (3)

It might sound like a transit route, but a red line is a tool used by firefighters. A red line hose is a red, 1-inch diameter hose line that puts out 60 GPM. Firefighter’s engines and trucks have them. They use it for smaller fires, such as car fires, trash fires, and sometimes even dwelling fires.


The green line is also known as the Garden hose. Firefighters are sometimes forced to improvise when the right tools or conditions aren’t available to fight the blaze. This might even mean grabbing onto the green line, or the garden hose, if nothing else is around.


The stick is the aerial ladder, a long extension ladder, especially on a fire engine, used to reach high places.


30 Firefighter Slangs Normal People Don’t Know (4)

Named for an NYC firefighter from the 1940s, the Halligan is a powerful tool used in the firefighting industry. It resembles a giant pry bar but is versatile enough to smash through a locked door or knock down a wall.


30 Firefighter Slangs Normal People Don’t Know (5)

Jaws of Life is a Hurst tool. Firefighters often find themselves responding to terrible traffic accidents, and in some cases, it’s impossible to extract people from mangled vehicles. When this happens, firefighters turn to a hydraulic machine known as the Hurst tool, or Jaws of Life to pry the pieces of the wreckage apart.


Opticom is one of the fire engine’ gadgets designed to change the color of traffic lights to green to give the fire engine the right of way. So the fire department can’t take more time to pass at every red light on their way to the scene.

12. SCBA

SCBA is an acronym for self-contained breathing apparatus. The air inside a burning building can quickly bring even a trained firefighter to his knees. That’s why these professionals use an SCBA, or self-contained breathing apparatus, to keep them supplied with fresh air. Some also simply call it an air pack.

13. PPE

30 Firefighter Slangs Normal People Don’t Know (6)

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a type of turnout gear. The heat and smoke from a fire pose serious risks to the brave men and women who fight these blazes. Turnout gear, which consists of heavy clothing, helmets, boots, and other gear, can help reduce injury risk.

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Snorkel is a term that describes a boom truck that can squirt water high into the air. These trucks allow fire professionals to aim the water directly into a blaze, even if it’s high above the ground.

15. BUS

Firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs work closely together to help out during an emergency. Some firefighters use the terms bus or box when referring to an ambulance.


Grass wagon is called a pickup-based firetruck used on small fires. Sometimes the standard firetrucks just aren’t practical for accessing the scene of a fire. In some wildfires, for instance, firefighters use a specialty pickup known as a grass wagon. Equipped with a hose and water pump, it’s ideal for tackling small blazes.

30 Firefighter Slangs Normal People Don’t Know (7)

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List Of Firefighter Slang About
Firefighter’s Jobs And Positions

17. RUN

30 Firefighter Slangs Normal People Don’t Know (8)

Run is the term for a fire call. A shout is also called for this type of call.

18. JOBS

A job in this situation means a fire. For example: “Went to five jobs yesterday.” It means they went to five working fires.


This term seems to be used only by inner-city fire. Pipeman is usually the person on the engine. Or to take it a step further, the person takes the pipe into the fire to extinguish it. In other words, they are the real type of firefighters who go in and fight the fire as the name firefighter says.

20. JAKE

30 Firefighter Slangs Normal People Don’t Know (9)

Jake is a common male moniker for the firefighter. Calling a fireman a Jake is a long tradition. Date back to 19th century Boston, firemen used a device called a J-key to activate fire alarms. Since then, J-key has become Jake, and the name can be either a compliment or an insult, depending on where you live. In Detroit, Jake means a terrible firefighter. Otherwise, on the East Coast, it means you are a good firefighter.

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A truckie is any firefighter who works on a ladder truck. They go in without water and search for people before the fire is out.


The can man is the person who carries the water can into the fire, often a probie or rookie.


Engineer is typically the term for the fire truck driver. An engineer, or driver, is a critical part of any firefighting crew. This person not only drives the truck but also operates and maintains major equipment like ladders and pumps.


30 Firefighter Slangs Normal People Don’t Know (10)

A Tillerman steers the back of the truck. Some long firetrucks require not only an engineer in the driver’s seat but also someone to sit at the back and steer the back wheels around curves and corners. It is the job of the Tillerman, also known as the Tiller.

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Vollies is a nickname firemen use to refer to volunteers. These Vollies work alongside paid forces to keep their communities safe.


Drafting is the practice of pulling water from alternate sources like cisterns or ponds when a standard hydrant isn’t available.


30 Firefighter Slangs Normal People Don’t Know (11)

Code One is for the firetruck to travel without lights or sirens. Firefighters can speed through traffic thanks to powerful lights and sirens. When heading back to the station, they may choose to go for a Code One and leave the lights and sirens off during the trip.

Code Three is the opposite of Code One. It means that a fire truck is traveling with lights on and sirens blaring.

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Code Four means the victim is dead, and there will be no attempt to resuscitate.

28. SIGNAL 13

Firefighters are often called to the scene of a medical emergency, even if no fire is involved. A Signal 13 is when a fireman speaks for an incident involving a psychiatric patient, one who requires mental healthcare.

29. ETA

ETA stands for the estimated time of arrival. It is critical information for firefighters, as every second counts when a fire is blazing.

30. GPM

GPM stands for gallons per minute. This information is critical to firefighters as they calculate the best way to battle the blaze.

Is there any other word firefighter slang that you don’t know about? Tell us right now so we can reply right away!

In addition, you can check out spectacular fashion and household products on our Riverism website!

30 Firefighter Slangs Normal People Don’t Know (12)

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Tags: Firefighter


What is the most common call for a firefighter? ›

Most Common Types of Fire Calls
  • Building fires (25.3%)
  • Passenger vehicle fires (12.2%)
  • Outside rubbish, trash, or waste fires (10.1%)
  • Cooking fire confined to container (8.3%)
  • Brush or brush-and-grass mixture fires (7.1%)
22 Nov 2019

What are firefighter sayings? ›

Firefighter Training Slogans
  • Firefighter, When Only The Best Will Do.
  • Every Firefighter Helps.
  • Trained To Be Tough.
  • For Yourself, For Others.
  • The Finest Training Solutions, Unmatched Results.
  • Assured Safety Is Here.
  • It's Not Just About Firefighting.
  • The Firefighter Training People.
21 Nov 2021

What do you call a female firefighter? ›

Definition of firewoman

: a female firefighter a volunteer firewoman.

What is a salty firefighter? ›

The faces, skin, and hair of these veteran seafarers were said to have a "salty look," further defining the amount of time they had spent on the sea. The Fire Service adopted this term to apply to its most seasoned firefighters.

Who responds to a fire? ›

Firefighters are service personnel who respond to calls involving emergencies such as building or forest fires; automobile, airplane or train crashes; or medical issues. They're often the first to arrive on-scene.

Why do fire trucks respond first? ›

In many communities, fire trucks are closer and more likely to be available to respond to an emergency than ambulances. Even if a fire wasn't reported by the person making the call, fire trucks may be better equipped to respond quickly to certain types of emergencies.

Why do firefighters show up first? ›

In many areas, there are more fire engines in a given area than ambulances, so firefighters will usually be the first to arrive and give medical care in an emergency.

What is the motto for fire service? ›

Know fire safety, no pain, no fire safety, know pain.

What is the Fireman's Prayer? ›

When I am called to duty, God, whenever flames may rage; Give me the strength to save some life, whatever be its age. Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.

What does the Bible say about firefighters? ›

Proverbs 28:1

Lives are on the line, and Firefighters must be bold. Hold onto that encouragement that God has made you strong- and the wicked will run away- they are not your concern.

What is a team of firefighters called? ›

Company: A group of firefighters organized as a team, led by a fire officer, and equipped to perform certain operational functions. The firefighters in a company nearly always work on the same vehicle, though on different shifts. Compare with platoon and unit.

What do you call a fireman now? ›

The term “fireman” was officially replaced with “firefighter” in all formal Brigade contracts in the late 1980s. But as recently as 2016, research conducted by the Brigade showed that some women still saw firefighting as a role for men.

What is a Firewife? ›

A Fire Wife is the keeper at home while her Firefighter is training, practicing or actively saving the community. Not only is she married to a Firefighter, but she is also married into the Fire Service Community.

What is the highest firefighter rank? ›

In most municipalities, civil service exams determine all but the highest two ranks, i.e., all but positions 9 and 10:
  • Firefighter/EMT.
  • Firefighter/Paramedic.
  • Driver Engineer.
  • Lieutenant.
  • Captain.
  • Battalion Chief.
  • Assistant Chief.
  • Fire Chief.

What does Slingin Salt mean? ›

The Slingin' Salt Navy Shirt celebrates the salty sailors, every one of them trained as a firefighter and always ready to spring into action. Get one for yourself and it makes a great gift for sailors, Navy veterans and members of our U.S. Coast Guard.

What is the busiest fire department in the US? ›

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A Nashville fire station was named the busiest in the country by Firehouse Magazine.

What's a cool team name? ›

Good team names for work
  • The Water Coolers.
  • The Scanners.
  • Boss Mode.
  • Lunch Room Bandits.
  • Never Overtime.
  • We Break for No-one.
  • Desk Champions.
  • Office Heroes.
7 Jul 2022

What are cool group names? ›

Group Chat Names for Class
  • Dumbledore's Army.
  • The Nerd Herd.
  • Fantastic Four.
  • Life of Pi.
  • We Who Shall Not Be Named.
  • This Group is A+
  • The Collective.
  • 39 Clues.
28 Jul 2022

What is a fun group name? ›

Cute Group Names
Princes, Peaches, and CreamLivin La Vida LocaFruitcakes
Honey Bunches of OatsWine and DineHumpty Dumpty's Firewall
Busy BodiesBinkiesA Periwinkle in Time
Funny FolkBlooming BunniesGuardian Angels of the Galaxy
Baby DollsStrawberry ShortcakesHufflefluffs
6 more rows
17 Jan 2022

What race means on fire? ›

RACE: Remove, Alarm, Confine and Extinguish or Evacuate

This easy to remember acronym is our University procedure in the case of a fire. Particularly in the hospital, every staff member is trained to recognize and respond appropriately in the case of a fire using this term.

What does the S in pass stand for? ›

It's easy to remember how to use a fire extinguisher if you can remember the acronym PASS, which stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep. Pull the pin. This will allow you to discharge the extinguisher. Aim at the base of the fire.

What is a Class C fire? ›

Class C. Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment. Extinguishers with a C rating are designed for use with fires involving energized electrical equipment.

Why would 2 ambulances be called? ›

One of the other dog walkers is an ambulanceman/paramedic and said "2 ambulances means cardiac arrest", there will be a car along soon from the supervisor too".

How often do firefighters get called out? ›

An on-call firefighter could be called out two or three times a week, for a few hours at a time. The on-call hours are based around people's availability and other commitments. One minute you could be sitting at home and the next minute you can be sitting on a fire engine.

How do you tell sirens apart? ›

Generally, ambulance sirens are louder than police sirens because the former are often bigger and enjoy some echo. That's perhaps the best clue to help them differentiate the two sounds. Whatever they sound like, the message is the same-make way, an emergency vehicle is coming through.

How many firefighters respond to a call? ›

In 2018, U.S. fire departments responded to 2,889,000 false alarms.
Number of fire department responses in the U.S. in 2018, by type of call (in 1,000s)
Type of callNumber of calls responded (in thousands)
Fire incidents1,318.5
6 more rows
21 Jun 2022

Why do firefighters get called? ›

Firefighters are called to and show up at medical emergencies because they are medically trained as EMTs and paramedics and there are usually more fire engines in a given area than ambulances. This allows firefighters to respond first and stabilize the situation before the ambulance crews come to transport the patient.

What is a good motto? ›

A motto can provide a bracing shot of inspiration.

One person can make a difference.” "Keep your eyes on the prize." “Every day is a second chance.” "Tomorrow is another day."

Why is FDNY not NYFD? ›

Among other provisions, it wiped out the Metropolitan Fire District, established a new Boardof Fire Commissioners and the Metropolitan Fire Department became the "Fire Department ofthe City of New York". This act, indirectly, was responsible for the "F.D.N.Y." logo on apparatus instead of "N.Y.F.D.".

Do firefighters have a motto? ›

These catchy firefighter slogans and mottos will help to encourage you to come up with your own slogan ideas. A fire today – no job tomorrow. A good firefighter knows how, an educated firefighter knows why. A little fire is quickly trodden out, which being suffered, rivers cannot quench.

What is the fireman's pledge? ›

Therefore, I pledge the following… Always conduct myself, on and off duty, in a manner that reflects positively on myself, my department and the fire service in general. Accept responsibility for my actions and for the consequences of my actions.

How do you say thank you to a firefighter? ›

Thank You Letters
  1. Thank you so much for putting yourself at risk to help others. ...
  2. Hi! ...
  3. Thank you for courage and bravery!!
  4. Thank you all first responders for risking their life and health during this pandemic.
  5. Thank you to all you brave people.
22 May 2020

When did God create firefighters? ›

When God was creating firefighters, he was into the sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of extra work on this one."

What does God say about first responders? ›

The Lord Watches Over Our Emergency Responders

No matter what badge they wear, each has taken an oath to protect society. Immersed in the rigors of training, nothing can prepare them for what they may see and what they may be forced to do.

Who wrote the Fireman's Prayer? ›

The origin of the prayer, originally known as the 'Fireman's Prayer', which has changed in recent years to be gender neutral, dates back to the mid 1900's, shortly after the end of the World War II. The author of the prayer was a man named A.W. Smokey Linn.

What is the 2 in 2 out rule? ›

This provision requires that at least two employees enter the Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) atmosphere and remain in visual or voice contact with each other at all times. It also requires that at least two employees be located outside the IDLH atmosphere, thus the term, "two in/two out".

What do you call a rookie firefighter? ›

A probationary firefighter (PFF), also known as a rookie firefighter, a candidate firefighter, or probie, for short, is any firefighter in their first 6–18 months of service in a particular fire department. The title of probationary firefighter is generally the lowest rank in a fire department's rank structure.

What does RIT mean in firefighting? ›

Rapid Intervention Team Bag. Page 1. Rapid Intervention Team Bag. Authority: NFPA 1500. Purpose: The RIT Bag provides the company with immediate access to necessary tools to free the trapped firefighter as well as provide a secondary source of air for the firefighter.

What is a fireman called in England? ›

The Old Fire Service Rank Markings.
FirefighterFfGeneral station Duties
Leading firefighterLffOfficer in charge of an appliance
Sub officerSubOOfficer in charge of a watch or deputy officer in charge of a watch
Station OfficerStnOOfficer in charge of a watch or station commander
6 more rows
5 Jul 2022

Can a girl be a fireman? ›

Despite the push for more diversity in hiring, less than 5 percent of career firefighters across the country are women, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

What do they call a fireman in England? ›

These are officially known as a fire and rescue service (FRS) which is the term used in modern legislation and by government departments.

What does fireman mean in slang? ›

1. (slang, baseball) A relief pitcher. noun. 1. (firefighting) Someone (implied male) who is skilled in the work of fighting fire.

What do you call a new firefighter? ›

A probationary firefighter (PFF), also known as a rookie firefighter, a candidate firefighter, or probie, for short, is any firefighter in their first 6–18 months of service in a particular fire department. The title of probationary firefighter is generally the lowest rank in a fire department's rank structure.

What is a group of firefighters called? ›

Company: A group of firefighters organized as a team, led by a fire officer, and equipped to perform certain operational functions. The firefighters in a company nearly always work on the same vehicle, though on different shifts. Compare with platoon and unit.

What does Dont be a crow mean? ›

informal to be forced to do something humiliating.

What is a fire man called? ›

noun, plural fire·men. a person employed to extinguish or prevent fires; firefighter. a person employed to tend fires; stoker.

What do you call a fireman's uniform? ›

Bunker gear or turnout gear is the term used by many fire departments to refer to the protective clothing worn by firefighters. The name “bunker gear” was derived from the fact that the pants and boots were traditionally kept by the firefighter's bunk at the fire station and ready for use.

Who puts out fire called? ›

Definition of firefighter

: a person who fights fires : fireman sense 2. Other Words from firefighter Example Sentences Learn More About firefighter.

What is the first rule of firefighting? ›

When it comes to fire safety, the number one rule is that everyone goes home. Ensuring this starts the moment you drive up on scene with a good scene size up. Assessing the structure, looking for hazards, and calculating the best means of fire attack are some of the first steps to ensuring scene and firefighter safety.

What is the Charlie side? ›

Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta – these terms are used to designate the sides of a structure. Generally speaking, the “alpha” side is the front of the structure, the “bravo” side is the left side of the structure, “charlie” is the back of the structure and “delta” is the right side of the structure.

What does cook your helmet mean? ›

Decarburization is a way of saying that, heating a helmet to a temperature that the structure of the steel becomes fluid and is then allowed to cool too fast prevents the carbon from remaining fully mixed within the steel.

Why is a firefighter called a Jake? ›

Being a "Good J-Key" probably meant a fireman who was cool under the pressure and could send clear Morse code. "J-Key" was eventually shortened to "Jake", and when spread to the public, "Jake" came to be a common term for firemen in general.

What does PIC mean in fire department? ›

A fire apparatus will remain on standout and establish a safe landing zone as well as serve as a focal point for an approaching or departing helicopter called to a scene. PIC or MVC: PIC is short for a personal injury collision and MVC is abbreviated to mean motor vehicle collision.

What is an Alpha fire? ›

Alpha Fire provides code compliant testing of all domestic, irrigation, and fire protection backflow preventers. Annual inspections are required by cities, counties and local water purveyors. Alpha Fire will handle submitting your reports to these authorities.

What does box mean in firefighting? ›

A “box” area is one with a predetermined list of apparatus from various fire stations that will be dispatched to the incident at that location. Box alarms can vary based on time of day, incident type, weather, hydranted areas vs. non-hydranted areas and any other potential situation.

What is the elevator guy on a fire truck? ›

Portrayed by Yuri Sardarov, Otis Zvonecek was originally an elevator rescue specialist in charge of operating the elevator system during fires, but he had bigger aspirations; to be the Chicago Fire Department truck driver.

What is crow pie? ›

The expression 'to eat crow', or 'eat crow-pie' is used in the USA as a way of admitting fallibility. 'Crow and Pie' is a cheery 15th Century ballad about a woman being raped and getting compensation from her attacker.


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