Firefighters use their own terminology and slang words
People that have firefighter friends and hear them talk about work related situations often have no clue what they talk about. Many of them use terms most people don’t understand. Not the big, fancy words, but slang terms used by only firefighters. Did you know you never refer to the hose when talking to a firefighter?? Well, there are entire dictionaries and glossaries devoted to firefighting terms and language so we can’t give you all of them, but here are 7 Firefighter slang words that you might have heard, but didn’t know the meaning of:
When there is a working fire, firefighters tell central that they are stretchin’ on whatever it is they are going to work on. For example, when firefighters pull up to a house fire, they would say, “Engine 30 stretchin’ on a two flat going throughout.” This means that firefighters responded to the fire and stretched their lines to fight it.
That’s the hose. It is also sometimes called the ‘Line’ and is pretty much NEVER called a hose.
This term is typically used only by inner city firefighters. Pipeman is usually the person on the engine. This is the person carrying the pipe into the fire to extinguish it.
In the Midwest the term Jake means that someone is a terrible firefighter. On the East Coast, it means that person is a good firefighter. No one knows why the same word in different areas means completely opposite things.
Firefighters on the back of the engine are called a deckie.
A firefighter assigned to a ladder company and working on the ladder truck.
A red, 1-inch diameter, hose line that puts out 60gpm. All engines and trucks have them. It is used on car fires, trash fires, and even sometimes on dwelling fires. It’s on a reel so it is deployed and put away very quickly.
There are literally hundreds more and many different locations have their own slang terms. If you are really interested here is a great online resource for you: http://www.fireserviceinfo.com/glossary.html