Ringing in a new fire truck

By Michael Stavola
Hutchinson News – October 19, 2018

Photo by Michael Stavola

Children drove their feet to push back a 22-ton aerial platform fire truck into its new home at Fire Station No. 3, 100 East Ave E.

They had a little help from firefighter Dalton Black who gently pushed the accelerator.

As the truck came to a slow stop, the bell on the front of the fire truck was rung and a dispatcher announced over the radio that the fire truck was in service.

The 2018 Pierce aerial platform fire truck replaced a 1998 Pierce ladder truck.

Hutchinson Fire Department chief Steve Beer told the roughly 75 people in attendance on Thursday that they were taking part in a firefighter tradition, called a wet down, that dates back to the early late 1800s.

The roughly $1.2 million fire truck made its way down the street while others fire trucks parked on the side of the road hosed it down, a christening of the new truck.

Black backed up the truck right outside of the bay, then firefighters told children to go push. The push-in represents how hand-drawn fire carts had to be parked.

After landing in the center bay at the fire station, children were given towels to wipe down the fire truck. Cookies and drinks were served and children were given plastic, red firefighter hats.

The fire truck has a 100 foot ladder and pumps 2,000 gallons per minute. Beer said the fire truck was bought on a 10 year lease. It’s the first fire apparatus he knew of that had been leased.

He said it’s common practice for department’s to lease vehicles and saves money.

“By going through a (cooperative) that … saves us $32,000 on the vehicle,” Beer said, adding there is more savings over the life of the lease.

The ladder truck being replaced will be sold. Beer estimated it to be valued at $30,000 to $40,000.

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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