AIR UTILITY UNIT:
A mobile piece of fire equipment which carries a large air compressor for refilling breathing air cylinders and an electric
generator for providing emergency scene lighting and power.
(Advanced Life Support):
Also referred to as "Paramedic" level care. A unit which is capable of providing
ALS has two certified paramedics assigned and a full complement of medical equipment
to perform those duties.
Aircraft Rescue Firefighting vehicle. Also referred to as CFR (Crash Fire Rescue)
Agreements between agencies to respond the nearest available resource to the incident
regardless of jurisdictional boundaries. Normally established on a mutual use basis.
A geographic protection area of the Orange County Fire Authority, managed by an
"on duty" Battalion Chief.
BLS (Basic Life Support):
Also referred to as Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) level care. Basic Life Support
can be accomplished with a minimum of equipment. The term encompasses any provider
or citizen who is trained in CPR and First Aid. For the OCFA, the level of service
is EMT level care (higher training than First Aid; approximately three times the
number of training hours) and Defibrillation (higher than CPR).
A mobile piece of fire equipment which carries hose, water and a pump, and is specially
designed for off road wildland firefighting.
Computer Aided Dispatch System. This system automatically verifies address information,
suggests units to respond, records times and prints/displays the information in
the fire stations/units.
Command Staff consists of the Information Officer, Safety Officer, and Liaison Officer
who report directly to the Incident Commander.
Suppression personnel assigned to staff a particular piece of firefighting equipment.
CONTRACT CITY or PARTNER CITY:
A City which contracts with the Orange County Fire Authority for fire protection
and emergency medical services.
The processing of apparatus and/or personnel for release or reassignment to another
incident. Normally occurs at base or at a demobilization center.
A geographic protection area of the Orange County Fire Authority presently encompassing
one or two battalions and managed by a Division Chief.
DOC (Department Operations Center):
The command and control center or center point for managing and coordinating extended
incidents and major emergencies. It is where the incident communications are handled,
situation and resources status is obtained and disseminated, logistical requests
are processed, incident information is approved and released, coordination and liaison
with other agencies and organizations occurs and where documentation and after action
reports are completed.
A bulldozer equipped with protective equipment to insure the safety of the operator.
Used to construct line around a fire, build firebreaks and roads to incidents/wildland
areas and assists in other operations as needed. Operator must be certified as a
Heavy Fire Equipment Operator (HFEO).
(Emergency Communication Center):
Refers to the Orange County Fire Authority Emergency Communications Center located
Orange County Fire Authority Headquarters in Irvine, where emergency
calls are received and transmitted to the closest fire station(s) for action.
EMERGENCY TRANSPORT UNIT:
This unit is staffed by 2 Emergency Medical Technicians and responds toa ll medical
aid calls. After evaluation and treatment by firefighter/paramedics, the patients
are escorted and transported in these ambulances.
A mobile piece of fire equipment which carries water, fire hose and a fire pump.
Sometimes called a "pumper." The Engine is the basic piece of fire apparatus. Several
different types of engines exist. (See
Type I, Type II
and Type III Engines.)
FIRE MENACE STANDBY (FMS):
A situation in which the potential for a fire to start exists. (Example: A downed
A team of firefighters specifically trained to fight wildland fires with hand tools,
power tools and limited amounts of water if any. Crews range in size from eight
(fly crew) to eighteen (Federal crews). They are available from the Federal, State
and local fire agencies. The best trained of these are called "Hotshot" crews. Some
of these crews are made up of inmates and others are full time firefighters. Most
are seasonal employees of the sponsoring agency.
HAZMAT (HAZARDOUS MATERIALS):
Any material which is dangerous to life, health or property due to its chemical
nature or properties. Even normal household materials can be Hazardous Materials
when improperly used or mixed with other incompatible materials.
The location within an incident for parking, fueling, maintenance and loading of
A location where
helicopters can take off and land. Some helispots are used for retardant/water
HELITENDER and HELICOPTER SUPPORT:
Whenever the OCFA
helicopter is assigned to an incident for long periods of time, a
specialized support unit is dispatch to assist the helicopter. This unit is comprised
of a fuel tender and a support crew. They complete the necessary work to establish
a HELIBASE for the operation.
Any structure over 55 feet in height from the lowest point of fire department access.
These structures require additional built-in fire protection such as special controls
for the elevators, air conditioning, intercom systems and stairwell control. A fire
in one of these structures requires additional personnel and the OCFA responds the
equivalent of a second alarm on the initial response. All new highrise buildings
are protected with automatic fire sprinklers and other built in fire protection
systems. Most of the older buildings have been retrofitted to meet the intent of
the current standards.
Specialized type of apparatus that carries extra large diameter hose (4") for major
Statements of guidance and direction necessary for the selection of appropriate
strategies and the tactical direction of resources. Incident objective are based
on realistic expectation of what can be accomplished when all allocated resources
have been effectively deployed. Incident objective must be achievable and measurable,
yet flexible enough to allow for strategic and tactical alternatives.
Resources committed to the incident during the early minutes/hours of an incident.
The existence of conditions within the territorial limits of a local agency, in
the absence of a duly proclaimed state of emergency, which are a result of an emergency
created by great public calamity such as air pollution, extraordinary fire, flood,
storm, earthquake, civil disturbances or other disaster which is or is likely to
be beyond the control of that agency and require the combined forces of other local
agencies to combat.
MASTER MUTUAL AID AGREEMENT:
An agreement between all fire agencies in the State of California to provide resources
to handle large or unusual emergencies. Orange County Fire Authority serves as the
mutual aid area coordinator for Orange County.
Agreements between agencies to assist in times of need. An agency must first commit
its own resources prior to asking for assistance.
An engine or truck company on which two of the assigned personnel are certified
paramedics. This unit carries a full complement of paramedic equipment.
An ambulance type vehicle staffed with two certified paramedics. This unit carries
a full complement of paramedic equipment. Under extreme conditions or when fire
personnel are injured, these units are used to transport patients.
MOB CENTER (MOBILIZATION CENTER):
An off incident location at which emergency service personnel and equipment are
temporarily located pending assignment, release or reassignment.
MDT (Mobile Data Terminal):
The terminal in each of the units that sends and receives information remotely from
OCFIRS (Orange County Fire Incident Reporting System):
The On-line incident reporting system used by suppression staff to complete State
mandated and department required incident information.
PATROL or PATROL UNIT:
This is a small truck used for mop-up and patrolling for hot spots in wildland fires.
In the OCFA, the patrols are assigned with two personnel and the unit carries 200
ft of one inch, hose, 150 gal. of water and a 50 gpm pump.
PAU (PARAMEDIC ASSESSMENT UNIT):
This is a company (engine or truck) on which one of the personnel assigned is a
certified paramedic. The unit carries the basic paramedic equipment. The paramedic
on this unit is tasked with assessing the patient(s) and taking action necessary
to stabilize the patient. In the event that paramedic level care is not needed,
the paramedic unit responding to the incident can be canceled thereby improving
availability times for the full paramedic units.
The group of personnel assigned to work the same 24-hour shift. Normally, one third
of the total work force. Referred to as A, B and C platoons or shifts.
A mobile piece of fire equipment which carries ladders and a long (70' to 100')
chassis mounted aerial ladder, a full complement of ground ladders and the equipment/water
(less than an engine) carried on an engine company. Also carries specialized rescue
and salvage equipment.
Refers to a 24 hour work period.
The location where incident personnel and equipment are assigned on a three minute
Specified combinations of resources of the same kind and type with common communications
and a leader. With engine companies this is five engines and a leader. With dozers,
the strike team consists of two dozers, one dozer tender and one leader.
A fire in a building or other structure.
SWIFT WATER RESCUE TEAM:
Swift Water Rescue Teams are located in Irvine, Mission Viejo, Buena Park, Placentia
and Seal Beach. These highly-technical and specially-skilled firefighters have been
trained to perform a variety of rescues and are only minutes away in the event of
TANKER or AIR TANKER
Water dropping fixed wing aircraft. These come in various sizes and capabilities.
These are provided on a reimbursement basis from California Department of Forestry,
US Forest Service and private contractors.
TECHNICAL RESCUE TRUCK:
A truck company with additional equipment and training which can assist in specialized
rescue situations. The personnel assigned to these units are also used to staff
the rescue teams on the USAR team.
TELE-SQUIRT or SQUIRT:
A mobile piece of fire equipment which carries hose, water, 1500 gpm pump and is
equipped with an automatically controlled 50' - 75' telescoping boom operating a
large flow capacity nozzle.
TYPE I ENGINE:
A mobile piece of fire equipment which carries hose, water and a pump (1250 gpm
or larger) used primarily for structure fires. This is the basic fire department
unit. Most fire stations contain one or more of these type of units.
TYPE II ENGINE:
A mobile piece of fire equipment which carries hose, water and a pump (750 gpm or
larger) and combines the features of both a structural engine and off road wildland
capability. Normally found in fire stations with where both structure engines and
brush engines are needed. The majority of these are staffed by PCF crews.
TYPE III ENGINE:
A mobile piece of fire equipment which carries hose, water and a pump (500 gpm or
larger) used primarily as a brush engine. Normally found in fire stations near the
wildland interface areas.
US&R TEAM (Urban Search and Rescue):
Specialized rescue team developed under a FEMA program. One of eight teams in California
and twenty-five in the entire nation. The team consists of 64 members who can carry
out specialized rescue work anywhere in the world and be self sufficient for five
days. Team includes specialize search equipment such as dogs, microphones and cameras
and a large cache of specialized rescue equipment.
A pick-up or stakebed type truck used in logistical support of the agency on incidents
and day to day.
A water carrying vehicle capable of resupplying engine companies with water when
other water sources are not available. These units range from 500 gallons to over
Also called chaparral or bush. This is the indigenous vegetation in the mountain
and foothill areas of California. Many of these plants have very high oil contents
which make them a high fire danger.
The area between the indigenous vegetation and the built-up areas that cause significant
exposure to structures in the event of a wildland fire.
An advanced high frequency radio transmission band. Common radio capabilities for
all fire departments in Orange County. The new Law Enforcement/Public Works/General
Government will be integrated with the Fire Radio system in the near future on these