- Note: This list does not include firefighting equipment, i.e., tools and apparatus used by firefighters. Please refer to Glossary of firefighting equipment for such terms. Similarly, although there is much overlap, you may also want to refer to the Glossary of wildfire terms for terminology particular to that type of firefighting.
- Note: Many of the terms defined here, particularly relating to systems of work, team names, procedures, careers and policies, seem to originate in the U.S. and are not necessarily applicable to other English-speaking countries' fire and rescue services. For example, Call Firefighter (U.S.) and Retained Firefighter (UK).
Firefighting jargon includes a diverse lexicon of both common and idiosyncratic terms. One problem that exists in trying to create a list such as this is that much of the terminology used by a particular department is specifically defined in their particular standing operating procedures, such that two departments may have completely different terms for the same thing. For example, depending on whom one asks, a safety team may be referred to as a standby, a RIT or RIG or RIC (rapid intervention team/group/crew), or a FAST (firefighter assist and search team). Furthermore, a department may change a definition within its SOP, such that one year it may be RIT, and the next RIG or RIC.
The variability of firefighter jargon should not be taken as a rule; some terms are fairly universal (e.g. stand-pipe, hydrant, chief). But keep in mind that any term defined here may be department- or region-specific, or at least more idiosyncratic than one may realize.