What do the big numbers on the fire engines mean?
The large numbering serves a number of purposes. The number indicates which fire station that apparatus is assigned to. It is the means by which commanders and other units identify one another when communicating with them, especially at an emergency when there are multiple units involved. There are large numbers on the roofs so they can be identified from the air. The numbers and striping are made from reflective tape making the apparatus more visible at night for safety. The large reflective chevron design on the rear of fire apparatus is there for visibility and safety.