New Fire Truck Housing Ceremony Scheduled
The celebration of the arrival of a new piece of apparatus has been a source of pride for all fire companies for more than 100 years. The fire departments of the 18th and 19th centuries spared no expense in outfitting and decorating their new fire engines. For decades.
Norman Rockwell’s 1971 illustration “The New American LaFrance Is Here!” captured the moment of a new engine’s arrival. Showing his hometown Victorian firehouse in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Rockwell conveyed the excitement in the town, showing children and even adults rushing to see the modern fire engine. Next to it is the retired 1920s-era pumper.
The evolution of the “event” to commemorate a new truck is not clear. Certainly, parties and soirees were held in its honor. In the era of hand pumpers, a new engine attracted the attention of rival engine companies by attempting to “wash” the new engine. The rival engine would pump at a rate faster than the new engine, causing water to fill the reservoir at the rear of the new engine and flood over the engine’s sides. It is perhaps this “washing” from which the “wet down” has evolved. Of course, since these engines were hand-drawn, pushing the engine into quarters was a daily occurrence.
In any case, we use the wet down and push-in today to announce to the community that it has a new source of pride.
At 9:00 am on Friday, May 19, 2017, Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District at fire station 102 at 11 Homestead Rd S will be holding a new housing ceremony and retiring engine 95-4 that has serviced this community for 22 years.
The ceremony will start at 9:00 am With Chief Robert DiLalio address the crew. The ceremony will consist of Water transfer, Wash the wheels, Hose down and the Push-in.
The event is open to the public but there is limited parking at the fire station.