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A Ford Excursion fire command vehicle used by the New York City Fire Department

A fire command vehicle, also called a fire chief car, battalion chief vehicle, or fly car, is a vehicle used by a senior officer of a fire department to respond to firefighting incidents.[1][2][3][4][5] Its markings typically indicate the rank of the senior officer.[6]

In the 19th century, fire chief vehicles were horse-drawn, and known as a chief's buggy.[7][8] With the advent and rise of the automobile, most fire departments retired their chief's buggies for automobiles with proper markings.[9][10][11]

Mercedes-Benz G-Class fire command vehicle

In the United States, fire command vehicles are similar to police cars, and are equipped with emergency lighting and emergency vehicle equipment.[12] Many fire departments use modified SUVs or pickup trucks as their command vehicles.[13]

In the United Kingdom, the fire car is usually unmarked and personally owned by a station manager. The car has emergency lighting and equipment installed.

See also


  1. ^ Thomas Ryder (1 April 1987). The Carriage Journal: Vol 24 No 4 Spring 1987. Carriage Assoc. of America. pp. 199–. GGKEY:NYJ9EPN3WZF.
  2. ^ Avis A. Townsend (30 November 2005). Albion. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 35–. ISBN 978-1-4396-1652-9.
  3. ^ Jonathan V. Levin (4 October 2017). Where Have All the Horses Gone?: How Advancing Technology Swept American Horses from the Road, the Farm, the Range and the Battlefield. McFarland. pp. 101–. ISBN 978-1-4766-6713-3.
  4. ^ Frank E. Wrenick; Elaine V. Wrenick (23 August 2016). Automobile Manufacturers of Cleveland and Ohio, 1864-1942. McFarland. pp. 145–. ISBN 978-0-7864-7535-3.
  5. ^ National Fire Data Center; Federal Emergency Management Agency; U. S. Fire Administration (14 March 2013). Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 1999. FEMA. pp. 1–. GGKEY:ZHXWBS5S3KW.
  6. ^ David Traiforos; Arn Nowicki (25 January 2016). Detroit Fire Department. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 30–. ISBN 978-1-4396-5547-4.
  7. ^ Randy W. Baumgardner (February 2005). Oakland Fire Department: 1869-2004. Turner Publishing Company. pp. 20–. ISBN 978-1-56311-928-6.
  8. ^ Walter Mahan Jackson (1954). The Story of Selma. Superintendent of Schools (The Birmingham printing Company). pp. 454–.
  9. ^ Hearst Magazines (July 1907). Popular Mechanics. Hearst Magazines. pp. 755–. ISSN 0032-4558.
  10. ^ Geoffrey Hunter (2005). Oakland Fire Department. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 29–. ISBN 978-0-7385-2968-4.
  11. ^ Fred Thirkell; Bob Scullion (1996). Postcards from the Past: Edwardian Images of Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Heritage House Publishing Co. pp. 39–. ISBN 978-1-895811-23-0.
  12. ^ New York (State). Legislature (1957). Legislative Document. J.B. Lyon Company.
  13. ^ Fire Engineering. Technical Pub. 1993.