WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – The Waco Fire Department is receiving a new Aerial Ladder Engine on Wednesday.

The new fire engine is a 1,050-foot aerial ladder truck which is replacing a 75-foot long ladder, gaining 30-foot additional reach. The new ladder truck is equipped with improved emergency warning lights and sirens, 400 gallons of water, a pump, 85 feet of ground ladders, and a full complement of hoses to support firefighting.

The Waco community is invited to visit 2625 Park Lake Drive at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday to help the firefighters push-in the new fire truck in a brief ceremony.

This ceremony is a tradition dating back to the late 1800s, when fire departments used hand-drawn pumpers and horse-drawn equipment. After a fire call, the horses could not quickly back the equipment into the station after returning to the station – so they were disconnected from the fire equipment, and firefighters would push the equipment back into the bays themselves. This practice has continued as a way to dedicate new apparatus when placed in service.