According to a report from Gulf Coast News Today, the Fairhope (AL) Volunteer Fire Department (FVFD) celebrated the arrival of its latest truck with a ceremony that dates back to the the 19th Century.
The FVFD’s Wash-Down/Push-In ceremony commemorated the addition of its new fire engine at the station on South Ingleside Street. FVFD Chief Chris Ellis said the event is part of a long tradition in firefighting.
Push-In ceremonies date back to the 1800s, when horses pulled fire departments to calls. On returning to the firehouse, firefighters would unhook the horses; wash the equipment; and then push it back into the station, ready for the next call.
Ellis said that, over the years, the ceremony offered the department a positive interaction with the community as well as a way of saying “thank you” for the new apparatus.
The new engine cost $517,000 and was purchased through both city funding and community support.
At the end of the ceremony, firefighters washed the engine and hen pushed the 50,000-pound vehicle into its station bay. After the engine was parked, community members toured the station and inspected the FVFD’s new vehicle.
The FVFD has six other engines as well as other units.