Community members got to help officially put the Royse City Fire Department’s new fire engine in service last week at a ceremony held at the fire station.
The ceremony marked to official beginning of Engine 81’s service as part of the fire department and included a “wet down” and “push in.” Fire Chief Richard Bell was one of the department members who spoke at the event.
“This wet down and push in a long standing tradition in the fire service, and is a ritual carried out by many fire departments throughout the U.S.,” he told the crowd gathered at the fire station. “The ritual dates back to the late 1800s.”
The tradition of a “wet down” consists of taking water from the engine being taken out of commission and spraying it on the new engine. The “push in” portion consists of pushing the new engine into the station, signifying that it’s ready for service.
“Engine Five, which is the engine going out of service, we’re going to take the water from that truck, put it in the new engine, and we’re going to be using that same water to hose down the truck to simulate that engine five is going out of service and this one’s taking over,” Deputy Fire Marshal Tanner Dietz said at the ceremony.
After the “wet down,” fire department members handed out towels and allowed children and adults alike to dry off the new engine at the station before Pastor Jason Hammack with First Church Royse City said a prayer blessing the engine and the fire department. Afterwards, all who wanted to help got to push the engine into the station.
Dietz also gave a brief overview of the timeline which culminated in the delivery of, and installation of the engine.
“This journey started in July of last year,” he said. “As you can tell we are now more than a year after that date. It goes into so much detail that every single thing on that truck is custom and we have to determine what we want and where we want it.”
After pushing the engine back into the station, Dietz called the dispatch office to let them know the new engine was ready for service. The ceremony also included refreshments and toy firefighter hats for children attending the ceremony.
“We are very excited about getting it in service tonight, then we’ll start using it,” Dietz said. “A lot of work has gone into being prepared for this moment, to better serve the community.”