WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – The Waco Fire Department and members of the community pushed in a new fire truck Wednesday.
The push-in ceremony is a tradition that dates back to the late 1800s, and its something Chief Gregory Summers says he wants to continue doing with the community.
This is the last new truck of seven after the city invested about $5 million. Chief Summers says he’s thankful for that support.
In the 1800’s, 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. 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.
Summers says he loves the community aspect of the push in ceremony.
“We want the community to know that our fire station is definitely an extension to the community,” Summers said. “So we reside in these facilities for them to provide them safety. So we want them to know it’s an open door.”
Today’s new truck is an aerial ladder engine. It is a 105 foot aerial ladder truck that replaces a 75 foot long ladder, gaining 30 feet of 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.
Chief Summers says you primarily have the firefighters pushing the fire trucks, but having the kids do it here in Waco makes the day extremely special.