The Fire Truck is depicted in every appearance as a large truck-based vehicle with a predominantly red paintjob, long chassis and bulky design, evidently to contain firefighting equipment. Being an emergency vehicle, the vehicle has a good top speed, however its weight gives it poor-to-moderate acceleration, and poor handling. In most GTA games, the Fire Truck spawns where large fires or explosions have occurred, or Fire Stations since GTA 2.
Fire trucks in the GTA series tend to feature a high-powered deck mounted water cannon that is not only capable of putting out fires that are burning alone or burning pedestrians or cars (especially from GTA III on-wards), but is also equally capable of pushing pedestrians back. In GTA IV, the water cannon can easily push any light vehicles and eventually kill a pedestrian; although this must be done for a prolonged period of time.
GTA 1 — GTA 2
Prior to GTA III, the Fire Truck's main virtues are its large size and weight, which make the vehicle resilient to damage and difficult for most other cars to ram off-course. Other common traits of these early renditions are their average speed, and poorer acceleration and cornering. While revealed in game files in GTA 1 and GTA London to be valued at $1,500 and £1,500, respectively, the vehicle cannot be exported as it is too large.
GTA 1 features two variants of the Fire Truck, with one appearing in Liberty City and Vice City, and the other exclusive to San Andreas; their exact sources of inspiration are unknown, but are generally depicted in the style of typical American fire trucks. The Fire Truck featured in GTA London, however, assumes a more European design, likely to be based on a chassis of a British lorry; the vehicle's design is also adapted into the ICBM in GTA London 1969.
In GTA 2, the Fire Truck is designed in a classical American LaFrance-like appearance, in line with the game's retro-futuristic styling. The game's Fire Truck is also introduced with a functional water cannon that serves as a passive weapon which pushes (human) targets back using a gush of water. A Fire Truck with a mounted flamethrower may also be unlocked by completing the Wang Cars side quest. Like in earlier games, the Fire Truck is too large to be crushed. Like the Tank, you can rotate the water cannon by holding Tab on PC and using the left and right arrow keys to rotate it. Note you can't do this while steering, and holding Tab honks the horn, so only honk the horn while going straight.
GTA III — GTA Vice City Stories
The GTA III Era Fire Truck can reach high speeds and has good acceleration, however the resulting lack of traction in such a heavy vehicle makes it susceptible to over-steer and spinning. It also has no ABS brakes, so you can't turn while braking. Because the Fire Truck is very heavy and has a high top speed the driver has to plan when to brake, otherwise it is easy to crash and possibly get stuck since it is very bulky. Like Police Cars and Ambulances, it is equipped with sirens that make traffic move out of the way. Its hose can be used to spray pedestrians, knocking them down. The player can also activate Firefighter missions with the Fire Truck.
Fire Trucks also have lots of hitting power. They can send smaller vehicles flying and will make short work of getting through Enforcer barricades. When ramming, it is best that you get the Fire Truck to top speed for maximum hitting power. Most vehicles can be pushed out of the way by the Fire Truck.
In GTA San Andreas, a second Fire Truck variant exists, equipped with a non-interactive ladder but having no water cannon, sirens or functional strobe lights, and does not allow the player to trigger the fire-fighting side-mission. Unlike the hose variant, the ladder variant does not sustain cosmetic damage except for its breakable headlights. It is also worth noting that the ladder variant is enabled to use the Pay N' Spray, allowing the player to repair the vehicle. The vehicle has no other practical use besides basic transport. However with the help of mods, the ladder can be controlled.
In GTA III, GTA Vice City, GTA Liberty City Stories, and GTA Vice City Stories, the Fire Truck is based on a Pierce Contender, with the front resembling a Seagrave Marauder. In GTA San Andreas, the standard Fire Truck resembles a Crimson Spartan; the ladder variation is based on a Pierce Arrow.
Fire Trucks in GTA III, GTA Vice City, GTA Liberty City Stories and GTA Vice City Stories may also be numbered 1 to 6, or unnumbered.
GTA IV — GTA VIn GTA IV, the MTL "V 24 Supercharged" Pumper serves as the Liberty City Fire Department's standard firefighting apparatus, equipped with a high powered deck-mounted water cannon. Every fire truck in GTA IV is numbered 69. The Fire Truck is the only 4-Wheel-Drive heavy vehicle in GTA IV that has the ability to climb uphills and high slope without having the vehicle to become underpowered and it also allows the vehicle to make turns more easily. The rear axle of the Fire Truck is also unique as compared to most of the heavy vehicles in GTA IV, as instead of having double wheel for each side of the rear axle, the Fire Truck has only one wheel for each side of the rear axle which is uncommon for most of the heavy vehicles.
In GTA IV, the Fire Truck can be found at fire stations, but is rarely seen driving around, even with a fire in the vicinity; they can, however, be summoned by dialing 911 and requesting the fire emergency service. Firemen are apparently not coded to put out fires at all, even when called to existing fires, the fireman complain about "another prank call", as they usually do upon being summoned, and depart.
In GTA V, the firemen AI has been improved on. The Los Santos Fire Department will now be dispatched when a fire appears, and the fire truck will attempt to put out said fire. They will not stop the fire hose even when someone walks into the water stream, including players, making them sometimes kill a person on accident.
If the player fires the Fire Truck's water cannon at any vehicle (excluding police), it can easily push any vehicles (except heavy vehicles), and sometimes the driver will brake, and then either ram the truck, or get out and attempt to pull the player out of the truck. If the police see the player "attacking" cars or people with the water cannon, a one-star wanted level is given, and if the player hits the police cars with the hose, two wanted stars are given. The water cannon is apparently seen as a deadly weapon by the LCPD, as using it against police and civilians is one of the fastest non-lethal ways to gain a six-star wanted level without killing anyone.
The Firefighter side-mission can be toggled on or off from within a Fire Truck in all GTA games between GTA III and GTA Vice City Stories, as well as GTA Chinatown Wars. The mission requires the player to find and extinguish burning vehicles within a time limit.
Prominent appearances in missions
- In Grand Theft Auto 2, the mission Fire Truck Fun! requires the player to mount a firetruck with a flamethrower in order to kill 30 Rednecks.
- The ladder variant of the Fire Truck in GTA San Andreas is prominently featured during the second half of the mission "End of the Line", during which it is bulletproof, fireproof, explosion-proof and even damage-proof (much like the Feltzer pursuing the Fire Truck); it also has heavy handling, but loses its special properties when the player fails to catch Sweet after he clings on to its ladder and falls. In the mission, the fire truck is used by an NPC. During the mission, the special ladder Fire Truck is apparently locked, but you can drive it to any garage, although it is possible to drive close enough to the vehicle and attempt to hijack it. A drive-able ladder truck occasionally spawns at the fire station a block south of the Doherty garage, but it is not suitable for the Firefighter mission due to the fact it lacks a water cannon.
- In the GTA Liberty City Stories mission "Karmageddon", the player is required to drive a Fire Truck causing as much havoc as possible then destroy the Fire Truck. After the mission the Karmageddon side-mission is available by hoping inside the left Fire Truck at the Belleville Park Station, Staunton Island.
- In the GTA Vice City Stories mission, "Hose the Hoes" the player is required to steal a Firetruck and save girls from a burning building using the water cannon to extinguish the flames.
- In the GTA IV mission "Rigged to Blow", a Fire Truck will respond to the explosion and arrive at the scene of disaster; this is the only time the FDLC respond to a fire in GTA IV.
- In The Ballad of Gay Tony, a Club Management mission requires the player to get a Fire Truck from Northwood and scare off the paparazzi from Maisonette 9.
- In The Ballad of Gay Tony many Fire Trucks can be seen in the mission Dropping In..., while Luis has landed with the parachute on the truck at the end of the mission, several Fire Trucks can be seen driving away.
- In the Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars mission Jackin' Chan, the player is required to steal a firetruck and use it to extinguish burning vehicles in order to save Chan from kidnappers.
- In Grand Theft Auto V, a fire crew approach on the FIB building heist requires the player to attain a fire truck by either stealing one from a fire station, or dialling the Emergency Services to receive one. The latter helps give 100% in the overall mission score. In the actual heist, the crew dress as firefighters and drive the fire truck to the building after the explosion, and after retrieving the target, they leave. The protagonist is required to destroy the fire truck afterwards.
In every game (excluding the PlayStation version of GTA 1, and all versions of GTA IV), players starting a fire will see the fire department send a Fire Truck to put it out. The Fire Truck also spawns predominantly at fire stations, including:
GTA III, GTA Advance and GTA Liberty City Stories
- Fire station in Harwood, Portland Island, Liberty City.
- Fire station in Belleville Park, Staunton Island, Liberty City.
- Fire station in Francis International Airport, Shoreside Vale, Liberty City.
- Often spawns at Fort Staunton after completing 'Bringing the House Down' (GTA Liberty City Stories only).
GTA Vice City and GTA Vice City Stories
- Fire station in Downtown, Vice City.
- Fire station in Escobar International Airport, Vice City (GTA Vice City Stories only).
GTA San Andreas
- Old Codger Antiques in Commerce, Los Santos.
- Fire station in Doherty, San Fierro (Occasionally the ladder variant will spawn here).
- Fire station between Redsands East and Redsands West, Las Venturas.
GTA IV + Episodes from Liberty City
- Fire station at Hardtack Ave, Acter Industrial Park, Alderney.
- Fire station at Vitullo Ave, Berchem, Alderney.
- Fire station at Exeter Ave, Northwood, Algonquin.
- Fire station at Privateer Rd, Fishmarket South, Algonquin.
- Fire station at Bronco St, Northern Gardens, Bohan.
- They can also be obtained by dialing 911 and choosing the fire service by dialing 3.
- The feature of dialing 911 for a fire truck is included in GTA V.
- Found at some Fire Stations including:
- There is a fire station in Sandy Shores, however no Fire Trucks spawn there.
- One must be careful when stealing a Fire Truck from a Fire Station in GTA V, for nearby firefighters will spot the player and chase him on foot. If they happen to reach the player, they will pull him out of the fire truck and attempt to fight.
- In GTA San Andreas, the Firetruck has a warning on the rear that reads "Stay 500 Feet Away".
- Despite the Fire Truck in GTA San Andreas having four doors, like any fire truck before GTA IV, only two doors are usable so only two can be seated.
- The Fire Truck in GTA IV can put out fires in vehicles when they are burning before they have exploded.
- In GTA Vice City, it is possible to get a Firetruck while the 2nd island is closed by making a car burn/explode while doing the Molotov Cocktail Rampage or car-jacking the Firetruck driver in the mission Demolition Man.
- Firetrucks from GTA III to GTA LCS have the phrase, "Putting out since 1872" written on the doors of the cab. This is another one of Rockstar's sex jokes/references.
- Because fires are short-lived and do not spread (unlike in GTA:SA which is), Firetrucks usually arrive without extinguishing the fires and lets the firemen inside it to walk out.
- In GTA IV, the water-cannon is one of the powerful weapons that can push any light vehicles.
- A feature in GTA IV is the ability to use the water cannon. When sprayed on vehicles or pedestrians most of the them will get hostile and if in a car, will try to ram you off the road, but will get killed in the process.
- The "69" on the Firetruck's side is a pun to the sexual position "69".
- In GTA IV, when done correctly, the player may achieve 6 star level wanted using only the water cannon.
- In Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, if you set something on fire in the Countryside/Desert the fire truck will not respond. This could be because in those areas no fire stations exist, so the firemen have nowhere to respond from.
- In GTA San Andreas, spraying the water-cannon on NPC can make NPC stop attacking you, except NPCs that appear in missions.
- In GTA V, the Fire Truck will NOT put out burning vehicles, this can be observed when one blows up a vehicle, and the Fire Truck appears. The player still has the option to hijack the truck and extinguish the car himself. Cars that have exploded however will have their flames doused by the fire crew.
- In GTA V as well as GTA Online, the water cannon can no longer be used as of the 1.12 patch.
- Citing that this was an error brought by the patch, Rockstar fixed this issue, making the water cannon usable once again in the 1.13 patch.
- In GTA Online, you are able to hop on the back of the Fire Truck bringing the total passengers up to 7 along with the driver.
- Starting from GTA: VC, players may listen to the fire department radio while sitting in the truck. However, it is the same as the radio heard in police cars and in ambulances.