Fire Safety Acronyms & Abbreviations List for Firefighters

In the fire service, there are many acronyms and abbreviations that firefighters and emergency response teams use to communicate quickly and effectively with each other.

Whether these acronyms or abbreviations are used to describe specific equipment, operational roles, or relevant organization names, understanding these shorthand phrases is essential to being a successful firefighter.

Below is a list of fire safety acronyms and abbreviations used in the fire service and with emergency medical services (EMS) teams.

Fire Safety Acronyms & Abbreviations List

AA (Affirmative Action or Alcoholics Anonymous or Automatic Aid)

AAA (American Automobile Association or American Ambulance Association)

ABC’s (Airway, Breathing, Circulation)

AC (Assistant Chief)

ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support)

A-Fib (Atrial Fibrillation)

ADA (Americans with Disability Act)

AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam)

AHA (American Heart Association)

AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction)

ALOC (Altered Level Of Consciousness)

ALS (Advanced Life Support)

AMS (Altered Mental Status)

ANFO (Ammonium Nitrate and Fuel Oil)

ANSI (American National Standards Institute)

APCO (Association of Public Safety Communications Officials – International, Inc.)

APR(Air Purifying Respirators)

APT (Apartment)

A/O (Apparatus Operator)

ARC (American Red Cross)

ARFF (Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting)

ASAP (As Soon As Possible)

ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials)

ATC (Alcohol – Type Concentrates)

ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support)

ATV (All Terrain Vehicle)

Ave. (Avenue)

BA (Breathing Apparatus)

BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; sometimes referred to just as “ATF”)

BBB (Bundle Branch Block)

BC (Battalion Chief)

BI (Burn Index)

Bicarb (Sodium Bicarbonate)

b.i.d. (twice a day)

BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expansion Vapor Explosion or Blast Leveling Everything perfectly)

BLM (Bureau of Land Management)

BLS (Basic Life Support)

Blvd. (Boulevard)

BM (Bowel Movement)

BNICE (Biological, Nuclear, Incendiary, Chemical, and Explosive)

BOCA (Building Officials Conference Association)

BS (Breathing Support)

BSI (Body Substance Isolation)

BTLS (Basic Trauma Life Support)

Btu (British Thermal Unit)

Bolus (Amount of medication given via IV push)

c (with a horizontal line above it means with)

CABO (Council of American Building Officials)

Capt (Captain)

CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch or Computer Aided Drawing)

CAFS (Compressed Air Foam System)

CAMEO (Computer Aided Management for Emergency Operations)

CC (Chief Complaint)

CDC (Centers for Disease Control)

CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)

CFAI (Commission on Fire Accreditation International)

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute)

CFOD (Commission on Chief Fire Officer Designation)

CFR (Crash Fire Rescue or Code of Federal Regulations)

CHEMTREC (Chemical Transportation Emergency Center)

CHF (Congestive Heart Failure)

CISD (Critical Incident Stress Debriefing)

CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management)

CNS (Central Nervous System)

c/o (Complains of)

CO (Carbon Monoxide)

CO2 (Carbon Dioxide)

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test)

CP (Chest Pain or Command Post)

CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation)

CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission)

CRM (Crew Resource Management)

C-spine (Cervical Spine)

CSD (Community Services District)

CSM (Circulation, Sensation, Movement)

CST (Civil Support Team)

Ct. (Court)

CVA (Cerebral Vascular Accident)

D5W (Dextrose in water)

DCl (Deputy Chief or Division Chief or District Chief)

DCFD (District of Columbia Fire Department)

DL (Driver’s License)

DM (Diabetes Mellitus)

DMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team)

DNR (Do Not Resuscitate or Department of Natural Resources)

DOA (Dead On Arrival)

DOI (Department Of the Interior)

DOL (Department of Labor)

DOT (Department of Transportation)

DPS (Department of Public Safety)

DT’s (Delirium Tremons)

Dx (Diagnosis)

EAP (Employee Assistance Program)

E/B (East Bound)

ED (Emergency Department)

EDITH (Exit Drills In The Home)

EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity)

EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)

EFO (Executive Fire Officer)

EKG (Electrocardiogram)

EMI (Emergency Management Institute)

EMS (Emergency Medical Services)

EMT (Emergency Medical Technician)

EMT-B (EMT-Basic)

EMT-I (EMT-Intermediate)

EMT (Paramedic)

ENG (Engine or Engineer)

ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat)

EOC (Emergency Operations Center)

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)

ER (Emergency Room)

ERG (Emergency Response Guide)

ET (Endotracheal)

ETA (Estimated Time Of Arrival)

ETOH (alcohol)

EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operator Course)

FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)

FAMA (Fire Apparatus Manufacturer’s Association)

FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation)

FC (Fire Chief or Fire Captain)

FCC (Federal Communications Commission)

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Association)

FD (Fire Department or Fire District)

FDC (Fire Department Connection)

FDIC (Fire Department Instructors Conference – Indianapolis, IN)

FDNY (Fire Department New York)

FDSOA (Fire Department Safety Officers Association)

FF (Firefighter)

FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act)

FM (Factory Mutual or Few Moments/Minutes or Fire Marshal)

FMRC (Factory Mutual Research Corporation)

FPD (Fire Protection District)

FPE (Fire Protection Engineer)

FPO (Fire Prevention Officer – sometimes referred to as “PO” for Prevention Officer)

FRI (Fire-Rescue International – Annual Fire Conference hosted by the IAFC)

Fx (Fracture)

GI (Gastrointestinal)

GIS (Geographic Information Services)

GOA (Gone On Arrival)

gpm (Gallons Per Minute)

GPS (Global Positioning System)

gravida (# of pregnancies)

GSW (Gun Shot Wound)

HAZMAT (Hazardous Materials)

HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response)

HEENT (Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose, Throat)

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air filter)

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)

HM (Haz Mat or Hazardous Materials)

HMMP (Hazardous Materials Management Plan)

HMRU (Hazardous Materials Response Unit)

HR (Heart Rate)

HSO (Health and Safety Officer)

HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning)

IAAI (International Association of Arson Investigators)

IABPFF (International Association of Black Professional Firefighters)

IAFC (International Association of Fire Chiefs)

IAFF (International Association of Fire Fighters)

IAP (Incident Action Plan)

IC (Incident Commander or Ignition Component)

ICBO (International Conference of Building Officials)

ICC (International Code Council)

ICS (Incident Command System)

ICU (Intensive Care Unit)

IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health)

IFBA (International Fire Buffs Association)

IFSAC (International Fire Service Accreditation Congress)

IFSTA (International Fire Service Training Association)

IM (Intramuscular or Intermodal)

IMS (Incident Management System)

IMSA (International Municipal Signal Association)

IO (Intraosseous or Information Officer)

IR (InfraRed)

ISFSI (International Society of Fire Service Instructors)

ISO (Insurance Services Office or Incident Safety Officer)

IVP (Intravenous Push medication administration)

JFA (Joint Fire Academy)

JPR (Job Performance Requirements)

JVD (Jugular Vein Distension)

KSA (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities)

lac (Laceration)

LAFD (Los Angeles Fire Department)

LCES (Lookouts, Communications, Escape Routes, Safety Zones)

LACES (Lookouts, Awareness, Communications, Escape Routes, Safety Zones)

LDH (Large Diameter Hose)

LEL (Lower Explosive Limit)

LFL (Lower Flammable Limit)

LLQ (Left Lower Quadrant of abdomen)

LMP (Last Menstrual Period)

Ln. (Lane)

LOC (Level Of Consciousness or Loss Of Consciousness)

LODD (Line Of Duty Death)

LOX (Liquid Oxygen)

Lt. (Lieutenant)

LUQ (Left Upper Quadrant of abdomen)

LZ (Landing Zone)

MA (Mutual Aid)

MAC (Multi-Agency Coordination)

MAST (Medical AntiShock Trousers)

MAU (Mobile Air Unit)

MBO (Management By Objectives)

mcg (Microgram)

MCI (Mass Casualty Incident)

MCIP (Mass Casualty Incident Plan)

MCT (Mobile Computer Terminal)

MDT (Mobile Data Terminal)

mg. (milligram)

MICU (Mobile Intensive Care Unit)

MI (Myocardial Infarction)

mph (Miles Per Hour)

MS (Morphine Sulfate or Multiple Sclerosis)

MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)

MMTF (Metropolitan Medical Task Force)

MVA (Motor-Vehicle Accident)

NAERG (North American Emergency Response Guide)

N/B (North Bound)

NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical)

NBFSPQ (National Board of Fire Service Professional Qualifications)

NC (Nasal Cannula)

NEC (National Electrical Code)

NERT (Neighborhood Emergency Response Team)

NFC (National Fire Codes)

NFDRS (National Fire Danger Rating System)

NFFF (National Fallen Firefighters Foundation)

NFIRS (National Fire Incident Reporting System)

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)

NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

NKA (No Known Allergies)

KDA (No Known Drug Allergies)

NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit)

NIFC (National Interagency Fire Center)

NIMS (National Incident Management System)

NIOSH (National Institute of Safety and Health)

NP (Nozzle Pressure)

NPA (Naso-Pharyngeal Airway)

NPS (National Park Service)

NRB (Non-Rebreather Mask – oxygen)

NPQB (National Professional Qualifications Board)

NRC (National Response Center)

NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians)

NS (Normal Saline)

NST (National Standard Thread)

NTG (Nitroglycerin)

NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board)

N/V (Nausea/Vomiting)

NVFC (National Volunteer Fire Council)

NWCG (National Wildfire Coordinating Group)

O2 (Oxygen)

OB (Obstetrics)

OD (Overdose)

OES (Office of Emergency Services)

OJT (On-the-Job Training)

OOS (Out Of Service)

OPA (Oropharyngeal Airway)

Ops (Operations)

OR (Operating Room)

ORM (Other Regulated Materials)

OSB (Oriented Strand Board)

OS&Y (Outside Stem and Yoke or Outside Screw and Yoke)

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

p (with a horizontal line above it means after)

PAC (Premature Atrial Contraction)

PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support)

PAR (Personnel Accountability Report)

para (# of live births)

PASS (Personal Alert Safety System)

PCB (Polychlorinated Biphenyls)

PCF (Paid Call Firefighter)

PCR (Patient Care Report)

PD (Police Department)

PE (Pulmonary Embolus, Physical Exam, Pulmonary Edema)

PEA (Pulseless Electrical Activity)

PEPP (Pediatric Education for Pre Hospital Providers)

PERL (Pupils Equal and Reactive to Light)

PFD (Personal Flotation Device)

PHTLS (Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support)

PIA (Post Incident Analysis)

PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)

PIO (Public Information Officer)

PIV (Post Indicator Valve)

Pkwy (Parkway)

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

ppm (Parts Per Million)

PPV (Positive Pressure Ventilation)

prn (As often as necessary)

PRV (Pressure Reducing Valve)

po (By mouth)

PSA (Public Service Announcement)

PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point)

psi (Pounds per Square Inch)

psia (Pounds per Square Inch Absolute)

psig (Pounds per Square Inch Gauge)

PTA (Prior To Arrival)

PTO (Power Take Off)

PVC (Pre-Ventricular Contraction or Polyvinyl Chloride)

q (with a horizontal line above it means every)

q.i.d. (Four times a day)

RAWS (Remote Automated Weather System)

RBO (Relationship By Objectives)

RECEO (Rescue, Exposures, Confinement, Extinguishment, Overhaul)

RECEOVS (Rescue, Exposures, Confinement, Extinguishment, Overhaul, Ventilation, Salvage)

RESTAT (Resource Status)

REVAS (Rescue, Evacuation, Ventilation, Attack, Salvage)

RFA (Ready For Action)

RIC (Rapid Intervention Crew or Rapid Intervention Company)

RIT (Rapid Intervention Team)

RLQ (Right Lower Quadrant of the abdomen)

R/O (Rule Out)

RR (Respiratory Rate)

RUQ (Right Upper Quadrant of the abdomen)

Rx (Treatment/therapy)

SAR (Supplied Air Respirator)

SARA (Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act)

S/B (South Bound)

SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus)

SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus)

SFM (State Fire Marshal)

SFMO (State Fire Marshal Office)

SITSTAT (Situation Status)

SL (Sublingual)

SME (Subject Matter Expert)

SOB (Shortness Of Breath)

SOG (Standard Operating Guideline)

SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)

SPAAMFAA (Society for the Preservation And Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus in America)

SQ (Subcutaneous)

St. (Street)

Stat (Immediately and once only)

SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics)

TBSA (Total Body Surface Area)

TC (Traffic Collision)

TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction)

TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack)

TIC (Thermal Imaging Camera)

t.i.d. (Three times a day)

TKO (To Keep Open)

TLV (Threshold Limit Value)

TLV/STEL (Threshold Limit Value/Short-Term Exposure Limit)

TLV/TWA (Threshold Limit Value/Time Weighted Average)

TO (Training Officer)

TQM (Total Quality Management)

UBC (Uniform Building Code)

UEL (Upper Explosive Limit)

UFC (Uniform Fire Code)

UFL (Upper Flammable Limit)

UL (Underwriters Laboratories)

UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply or United Parcel Service)

URI (Upper Respiratory Infection)

US&R (Urban Search and Rescue)

USAR (United States Army Reserve)

USCG (United States Coast Guard)

USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)

USFA (United States Fire Academy)

USFS (United States Forest Service)

UST (Underground Storage Tank)

UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)

UTL (Unable To Locate)

VES (Vent-Enter-Search)

VS (Vital Signs)

W/B (West Bound)

WEL (Within Expected Limits)

WFCA (Western Fire Chiefs Association)

WFS (Women in the Fire Service)

WIV (Wall Indicator Valve)

WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction)

WNL (Within Normal Limits – or We Never Looked)

wt (Weight)

y/o (Years old)

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We encourage you to bookmark, share, and save this fire safety acronyms & abbreviations list with other aspiring firefighters and EMS providers. Understanding the language you will be hearing when talking with each other will help everyone perform their jobs better and understand what is happening during a fire service event.