The New York City Fire Department, formally the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) has the responsibility of protecting the citizens and property of New York City's five boroughs from fires and fire hazards, providing emergency medical services, technical rescue as well as providing primary response to biological, chemical and radioactive hazards. The department has its headquarters in 9 MetroTech Center, Downtown Brooklyn, and its training academy (The FDNY Fire Academy) on Randall's Island.
The FDNY, the largest municipal fire department in the United States, and the second largest in the world after the Tokyo Fire Department, has approximately 11,080 uniformed officers and firefighters and over 3,300 uniformed EMTs and paramedics. It faces extraordinarily varied firefighting challenges in many ways unique to New York. In addition to responding to building types that range from wood-frame single family homes to high-rise structures, there are many secluded bridges and tunnels, as well as large parks and wooded areas that can give rise to major brush fires. New York is also home to one of the largest subway systems in the world, consisting of hundreds of miles of tunnel with electrified track. The multifaceted challenges they face add yet another level of firefighting complexity and have led to the FDNY's motto, New York’s Bravest.
A fire apparatus, fire engine, fire truck, or fire appliance is a vehicle designed to assist in fighting fires by transporting firefighters to the scene and providing them with access to the fire, along with water or other equipment. In some areas, the terms fire engine and fire truck represent different types of firefighting apparatus.
A modern fire engine is usually a multi-purpose vehicle carrying paid firefighters or volunteers and equipment for a wide range of firefighting and rescue tasks. Therefore, most fire engines carry equipment such as ladders, pike poles, axes and cutting equipment, halligan bars, fire extinguishers, ventilating equipment, floodlights, hose ramps, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), and general tools. Many fire appliances are based on standard truck or lorry models with heavy duty suspensions, brakes, tires, alternator, transmission and cooling systems; audible and visual warnings such as sirens, horns, and flashing lights; and a two-way radio.
The fire engine may have several methods of pumping water onto the fire, such as passing water obtained from a fire hydrant through hoses or using a pumping "cannon" (also known as a monitor or deck gun); some trucks have an onboard water reservoir. Some fire engines may carry ladders to gain access to fires occurring in high-rise buildings and remove casualties, or hooks used to pull walls away to expose hidden fire or break windows. In some regions, a rescue unit is an EMS truck with tools to carry out technical rescues of people from traffic collisions or structural collapses.