Who said fire trucks had to be red?

Nearly everywhere in the world, from Sydney to São Paulo, from Canberra to Callao, fire engines are red. If you have a child, you would say “Look! A big red fire truck!”, pointing to one as it races by, sirens and horns blaring. But what if your local fire engine were blue? Or orange? Firefighter-EMT.com trawled thousands of Flickr images to bring you the best of each color of fire apparatus in the United States, along with some interesting ones.

Springwater Fire District
Springwater Fire District in Livingston County, NY with their new Pierce 1500/1250 engine. Red, of course. But who said fire trucks had to be red?

Chicago Fire Department
All of Chicago’s fire departments have their trademark black and red colors. You can see Truck Company 3 (pictured above) responding to alarms in videos here and here.

Clearwater Fire Rescue
This neon orange apparatus is from Clearwater’s fire and rescue unit in Florida. They have eight stations in a district of 42.5 square miles with a population of 133,000. If the goal of a fire apparatus is to attract attention, I think this one does a pretty darn good job.

This is a Seagrave unit from the Hawaiian Fire Department, which employs five battalions containing 44 fire stations. Over 1,100 firefighters cover an area of 37 square miles and a population of over 140,000. Close yellow contenders were Carson City, NV and Clark County, NV.

Miami-Dade Fire/Rescue, from Florida. The MDFR covers 28 municipalities in Florida, the sixth largest in the United States. According to the department website, they chose lime green as a color “so that units would stand out better in traffic”. You can view, in real-time, their dispatch information online here.

This green apparatus is from the Village of Thorton Fire Department in Illinois.

Goshen Volunteer Fire Company, from Goshen, Connecticut (and not the Goshen, NY, or the Goshen, PA).

Barberton Fire Department, Barberton, Ohio, the so-called Magic City. The local school’s colors are purple and white, as are many of the city’s themes, like the Purple Man, which is a common fixture in the town’s parades. A close purple runner-up was the city of Greenville, NC, home to East Carolina University (whose colors include purple).

The San Francisco Fire Department celebrated the Centennial Celebration of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire in 2006 with the purchase of these maroon-colored American LaFrance engines that replicate the colors of fire trucks back then.

A sleek black unit from Norfolk, MA.

Town of Paris
It’s a bit confusing when there’s a Paris, TX, Paris, NY (Oneida County), Paris TN (Henry County), Paris WI (Kenosha County) and a Paris, ME (among many others), but this white horse comes from Maine. Close contenders were Fort Worth, TX and Edgewater, CO.

Bryn Mawr Fire Company
This is a 2005 E-One Pumper from Bryn Mawr, in Pennsylvania.

Bermuda Fire & Rescue
A very refreshing color scheme from Bermuda’s Fire & Rescue Service. Turns out they’re hiring with a pay of $53,868—$63,502. For more information on the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service, we’ve compiled a page.

Image credits, from top to bottom: Jeffrey Arnold, pdxmac, flstormchaser641, MR38, apparatusbuff, †JDAWG†, Kevin Czarzasty, OhioJ, Nicole Cho, Lou Angeli, Jim Mack, J-Bestman

Does your fire engine deserve to be here? Send us a link via email or point us where to look via our contact page.

User submitted::
JPastor submitted his company’s 2007 75-foot Sutphen in Broughton, PA.

Reader submission by Jake Kennedy, from Station 37, Sandy Township in DuBois, Pennsylvania.

13 Responses to “Who said fire trucks had to be red?”

  1. Black Norfolk engine is in Norfolk, MA. Great department, cool paint scheme…

  2. Fire Engines in Canberra are not Red, but Lime color(Yellow).

  3. My station has blue and gold trucks. Check a pic out of our truck below.

    07 75 foot sutphen ariel

  4. i belong to the sandy township fire department where the oklahoma engine belongs to above. Our township consists of a variety of stations composing of Treasure Lake (Red), West Sandy (Red and Silver), Oklahoma (blue), Adrian (Red and white), and Sabula (yellow)

  5. This is one of my favorite schemes, It’s not to flashy but I like it better than plain ol’ red. It’s a shot of a Quick Attack on a F550 built for Arvada Co. http://www.unruhfire.com/new-fire-trucks/#arvadacolorado

  6. hey Highland Volunteer Fire Department Has a blue fire truck and a fuw red ones and yellow ones.we are out of Highland Arkansas

  7. The color of that rig from Clearwater is actually considered “German Red.” I only know this because I read a little too much.

  8. Here is a town that has all purple trucks - Grapeville, PA


  9. The Norfolk Engine belongs to my home town anx I love it.

  10. Our trucks in my old hometown were bright lime green, very easy to spot coming! I still always thought of a fire truck as red, though. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a children’s book with a non-red fire truck!

  11. I grew up in Castle Shannon, Pennsylvania and they are very proud of their Green Hornet, all of the fire trucks and emergency vehicles in Castle Shannon (founded by Irish Immigrants) are green. Even Santa arrives via the Green fire truck, check it out

  12. [...] Canberra to Callao, fire engines are red. But what if your local fire engine were blue? Or orange?http://www.firefighter-emt.com/archives/who-said-fire-trucks-had-to-be-red.phpMaps, Weather, and Airports for Callao, PeruMaps, weather and information about Callao, Peru. … [...]

  13. [...] firefighter’s bunker gear? 5. What do you see and hear when a fire truck goes to a fire? 6. What colors are fire trucks? 7. Sometimes firetrucks can not reach a fire. They call other help. What’s the [...]

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