Posts Tagged Push-In Ceremony

New engine for Countryside FPD (more)

Wet down and push in for new Countryside FPD fire engine

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New engine for St Charles (more)

Excerpts from the

After the St. Charles Fire Department retired Engine 102 Saturday morning, firefighters pushed its replacement into the station. The push-in ritual is traditional when new equipment is brought on board, dating back to the days of horse-drawn engines.

“This is a tradition that has been around for a long time to welcome a new fire engine into service,” Fire Chief Joseph Schelstreet said.

Current and retired firefighters participated in the event at St. Charles Fire Station No. 2, which also included a blessing from the Rev. David Peck, and the ceremonial transfer of water from the old truck to the new.

“We take a bucket of water from the old truck and transfer it into the top of the new one, which is symbolic of passing the life blood from one truck to the other,” Schelstreet said.

Peck, a former volunteer firefighter in Rochelle whose father and uncle were assistant fire chiefs in Montgomery and Aurora, respectively, said the rituals help form a bond among fire department personnel.

“This ceremony is a tradition that provides a sense of identity and roots, and that’s good,” he said. “People that grew up as firemen always felt this push-in ceremony was an honor.”

The tradition can be traced to the late 1800s, when fire departments used horse-drawn equipment and hand-drawn pumpers. Since it was difficult to get horses to push equipment backwards, firefighters would move it by hand into the storage bays.

The new engine cost more than $600,000 and was designed with input from the fire department and a number of upgrades. The engine should see about 12 years of active service, followed by another eight in reserve.

Former St. Charles Firefighter Don Frohling, a 37-year department veteran, was on hand for the event Saturday.

thanks Dan

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St Charles Fire Department news

Excerpts from

The St Charles Fire Department is very excited to put a new fire engine into service at Station 3. The fire engine is the first of three to be purchased over the next three years. It took a committee of 8 fire officers and firefighters over two years to spec and design the engine that was built by Pierce Manufacturing. It took 10 months to build the engine that has many of the same safety features as a new car including front and side airbags in the cab, ABS brakes, traction control, roll stability control, independent front suspension, and an air ride rear suspension. It has a 750-gallon water tank, pumps 1,500 gallons of water per minute, has 40 gallons of foam, and carries three different size ladders. 

The services that the fire department provides have changed significantly over the last 20 years. The engine has become a multi-purpose vehicle capable of mitigating a variety of emergencies besides fires. Engines are staffed with paramedics and their needed medical equipment, rescue tools, water rescue gear, power saws, and large fans to exhaust smoke and toxic gases. 

Each engine has a service life of 20 years and the fire department allocates money every year into an apparatus replacement fund for the service life of each vehicle in order to pay for its replacement in full at the time of purchase. 

About the Traditional Fire Service “Push-In Ceremony”

The Push-In Ceremony is a tradition that dates back to the late 1800s when fire departments used hand-drawn pumpers and horse-drawn equipment. Upon returning to the station after a fire call, the horses could not easily back the equipment into the station, so they were disconnected from the fire equipment and firefighters would push the equipment back in to the bay themselves.

thanks Dan

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