An engine company is a single apparatus commonly referred to as a “fire engine.” Three components are required for an apparatus to be considered an engine company:
  • Water Tank
  • Water Pump
  • Fire Hose
All LAFD engine companies are staffed by members who are certified emergency medical technicians (EMT) or licensed paramedics. An engine company that is staffed by all EMTs is considered to be basic life support (BLS). If the engine company is staffed by a firefighter who is also a paramedic, it is considered advanced life support (ALS) and is further identified as an “Assessment Engine.”
A common question asked of the LAFD is why a fire engine arrived when the call was made for an ambulance. Engine companies are dispatched to assist the ambulance crew as it typically takes more than two members to manage a critical patient. This assistance can be medical in nature such as taking vital signs, setting up an IV or placing the patient on a cardiac monitor. Additional assistance is often needed with carrying a patient and/or equipment down stairs or providing a driver so both paramedics are able to stay with the patient and maintain care while en route to the hospital.