We all know of the famous red truck yet a lot of us do not know about the rich history behind it. Did you know that there is a reason why fire trucks are red?

Some people just think it was made to be red by random choice however this is not the case. Learn more about the fire truck and its signature red color in this article. 

Why Are Fire Trucks Red?

The History Behind The Famous Red Truck

Fire trucks have been around for centuries, but they were originally painted black or dark blue. It wasn’t until 1900 when the first fire engine was created with a bright red paint job.

This was done because firefighters needed something to help them identify each other during an emergency situation. 

In fact, some of these early fire engines had no lights at all! These early fire engines were very basic and didn’t even have any bells on them. They were only used to pump water from one location to another.

During the turn of the 20th century, many cities began creating their own fire departments. Because of this, the need for a specific type of vehicle became necessary.

Many different types of vehicles came into being including: pumper trucks, hook-and-ladder trucks, ladder trucks, aerial ladders, etc. 

Each one of these vehicles had a unique purpose and design. However, none of them could compare to the original fire engine.

The fire engine eventually mastered the color red as it was a color that stood out and everyone could recognize as an emergency vehicle. 

What About Other Red Cars?

Now we know that red was chosen as a way for a fire truck to stand out, you may be wondering about the other red cars. Surely, if there are other red cars the color red for a fire truck is not significant, right?

In the early 20th century, almost all cars were black. Unlike today where you can find white cars, blue cars and even pink cars, vehicles in the earlier century were basic and standard. Their only function was to drive, not to show off colors and impressive styles. 

During this time, having a large red truck was perfect as it would stick out from all the other vehicles. Simply seeing a red truck would show everyone that there is an emergency that needs tending to.

Why Do Fire Trucks Use Lights?

When looking back at the history of fire trucks, it becomes clear that the use of lights has always been important.

Back then, most fire trucks did not have lights, however this problem was solved later in the century when electric lights were added to every fire truck.

Why Are Fire Trucks Red?

Now, drivers could easily see what was going on around them and people could be aware of the emergency vehicle. Today, fire trucks still rely on lights to make sure they can get to emergencies quickly.

Reasons Why Lights On Emergency Vehicles Are Important

There are several reasons why lights are so important.

First of all, they allow emergency personnel to better see what is happening around them. Civilians will be able to see the flashing lights and know that help is on its way.

Another reason is that lights give people more safety while driving. When emergency vehicles are equipped with lights, they become easier to spot by others.

This makes it safer for both the driver and the passengers of the vehicle

Finally, lights also save lives. As mentioned before, if a person is in trouble, he/she will be able to see flashing lights and call for help.

Without lights, it would take longer for the emergency responders to arrive. Not only does this cause danger to the individual but it also puts the public at risk.

Fire Trucks Vs. Ambulances: What Is The Difference?

The difference between fire engines and ambulances is very simple; they both serve the same purpose. They both provide medical assistance to those who need it.

Both of them do this through paramedics or doctors. In fact, some ambulances are actually modified fire trucks. 

The main difference between the two is that fire engines are primarily used for fires and ambulances are used for medical emergencies.

It is important to note that firefighters are trained to deal with medical emergencies as well. Moreover, in many situations you will find fire trucks and ambulances working together in emergency situations.

Lime Yellow Fire Trucks Instead Of Red?

Many are surprised to learn that although red is the traditional color, lime yellow may be a safer option. According to a study, it has been found that people had a higher risk of being involved in a road accident with a red vehicle than with a lime yellow vehicle. 

With this knowledge, it has made people reevaluate the significance of the traditional red fire truck and its purpose.

Its purpose is to stand out in a crowd and let everyone know that it is an emergency vehicle, but does that matter with the risk? 

Whilst it is highly unlikely that after centuries of use this red color will change, it is still something that can be thought about and acknowledged when understanding the history of the fire truck’s color.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we have looked at the fire truck and the significance of its bright red color.

Red was specifically chosen for fire trucks as it was the color that stood out the most and, along with its vibrant lights, got everyone’s attention.

Although now the color red can be challenged, this holds a rich history which should be preserved.