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The original item was published from 12/7/2022 8:18:20 AM to 2/1/2023 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: December 5, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Ask Arvada Fire

Engine 51 at Station 1

'Ask Arvada Fire' is a bi-monthly article featured in the City's Arvada Report. The December-January, 2023 issue of the Arvada Report is now available online.

Have a question for Arvada Fire? Whether you want to ask a firefighter, paramedic, chief or fire marshal, email us at with the subject line “Ask Arvada Fire.”

I noticed that the fire engine at Station 1 is called Engine 51. Why isn’t it called Engine 1 to match the station number? 

Great question! Although our Stations are numbered 1 through 9 based on when they were placed into service, our apparatus — such as engines, ladders and medics — are numbered in the 50s range. For instance, Engine 51 belongs to Station 1 and Rescue 52 belongs to Station 2. 

This slight change in numbers is designed to make apparatus easily identifiable on calls. For example, if there was a fire located near district boundaries and multiple fire departments responded to the incident, it would be confusing to have three different Engine 1s on the scene. An Incident Commander might assign a task to Engine 1 at the fire scene and then have two Engine 1 crews arrive to perform that task. 

To avoid that confusion, each agency is given a number range, so our units do not have overlapping numbers. This numbering system began nearly two decades ago when fire agencies within Jefferson County began collaborating and organizing apparatus numbers by the agency they belonged to. Agencies west of Highway 93 have a number range in the hundreds, while agencies east of the highway have a number range less than 100. 

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