The different types of firefighter games can be classified as being either related to driving, controlling an individual firefighter, organizing a fire response, or solving puzzles. The different types of game all focus on some element of rescuing people from a fire, but some focus on driving to the fire and others on the act of saving people or fighting the fire after arriving at the scene. Organization games require the player to send different vehicles to the scene of a fire in order to save anybody at risk. Puzzle games take a traditional puzzle game model, such as connecting different sections of pipes from point A to point B, and apply it to firefighting.
Driving firefighter games focus on the process of getting from the fire station to the scene of the fire. These games usually have simplistic controls to handle the driving and very basic goals. The player may have to drive the fire truck to a nearby hydrant to fill up the truck before driving to the fire. Some driving games allow the player to put out the fire when they arrive at the scene. These games are almost always against the clock, giving the player a set amount of time to reach the scene before the building burns down.
Firefighter games in which the player controls an individual firefighter generally revolve around saving people and extinguishing fires. Some games focus solely on one aspect or the other. For example, a game could consist of the player controlling a single firefighter on a ladder, aiming the hose at the fire. These games usually have multiple areas of fire for the player to extinguish within the given time frame. Other games focus on saving people jumping out of windows by positioning a trampoline underneath them.
Organization firefighter games focus more on responding to the needs of the specific situation. The player has to send fire engines to fight fires, but may also have to send ambulances if people are injured. These games can also focus on assembling specific units of skilled workers in order to effectively fight a fire.
Puzzle style firefighter games take aspects of classic puzzle games such as Tetris and apply them to firefighting. For example, one game focuses on constructing a hose from a hydrant to the nozzle using specific pieces, such as horizontal, vertical, and elbow joints. These games are usually set against the clock so that the player must use problem-solving skills quickly in order to find a solution.