Resource and Apparatus Numbering


In Skagit County we use a system to number apparatus, officers, and anyone else who is assigned their own radio. Knowing the system helps you know which resources are coming to a scene and who is talking.

The first one or two digits (before the dash) identify the department. The next digit identifies the station. The last digit identifies the type.


11-24: Wildland engine at Station 2 from Mt Erie (District 11).

29-11: Structure engine at Station 1 from Anacortes (29).

3-16: Water tender at Station 1 from Conway (3)


Each fire district and department in the county has a number. For example:

  • Mt Erie: 11
  • Summit Park/Hope Island: 13
  • Anacortes: 29
  • Guemes Island: 17
  • La Conner: 27


Each apparatus type is given a number.

Number Type
1, 2, 3 Structure Engines
4 Wildland Engine
5 Aerial/Ladder Truck
6 Water Tender
7 Rescue
8 Battalion, Utility
9 Ambulance


Officers are also given numbers. At MEFD we use the following:

  • 11-01: Chief
  • 11-02: Assistant Chief
  • 11-03, 11-04, 11-05, 11-06, 11-08: Lieutenants
  • 11-07: Number retired in memory of Terry Bowen

The system allows for additional (or all) personnel to have a number. We don't use this at MEFD, but some departments do.

In this case you will here something like:


This would be the #36 (whomever that may be) from Station 1 in Guemes.

Note: District 5 uses this system and has the habit of calling themselves fifty-one instead of five one. There is no district 51, this is someone from District 5, station 1.


Medic units have their own numbering. For example the medic units in Anacortes are Med-12, Med-14, Med-16, and Med-18 (backup).

Island County

We mutual aid with Island County units. They have a different system, one used more commonly than ours.

Appearing before the apparatus number will be the actual type of apparatus, ex. engine, ladder, marine, rescue. Following this will be two numbers. First number is Fire District. Second number is Station Number.

For example:

  • Marine 22 - North Whidbey Boat (Station 2)
  • Engine 81 - City of Oak Harbor Engine (Station 1)
  • Tender 54 - Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue Tender (Station 4)
  • Rescue 36 - South Whidbey Fire and EMS Rescue (Station 6)

Law Enforcement

Law enforcement uses a different system to identify personnel. Each organization in an area has its own letter. Only the radios belonging to the chief and assistant chief can access law enforcement channels directly, but you may still see or hear personnel numbers, such as 'David5 (or D5) is on scene reporting smoke from chimney'.

  • Anacortes PD: D - David.
  • Skagit County Sheriff's Office: U - Uniform
  • Swinomish Police Department - I - Ida