Fire Station 38, in Wesley Chapel, now has a ladder truck.
Its arrival was celebrated with a “push-in” ceremony — a tradition among firefighters that symbolizes the days before motorized fire trucks, when hand-drawn carts or horse-drawn wagons were used to carry the water to fight a fire, and then the apparatus was pushed back into its place.
In this case, a firefighter was in the truck — and the truck was put into reverse — to make it easier to push and to make sure everything went smoothly.
Pasco County Commission Chairman Ron Oakley, who participated in the event, briefed commissioners on the ceremony during the board’s Feb. 9 meeting.
Ladder 38, a 100-foot E-One HR100 ladder truck, can pump 1,500 gallons of water per minute and can carry 500 gallons of water on board, according to Corey Dierdorff, a public information officer for Pasco Fire Rescue.
The truck was designed to set up in small spaces — allowing the fire department to perform fire ground operations and rescues in areas where aerial trucks won’t fit.
The truck, which cost $1 million, was purchased as part of the department’s strategic plan.
In addition to telling his colleagues about the new ladder truck, Oakley told them about a practice that firefighters have adopted during this time of COVID-19.
When the firefighters respond to a fire, another truck goes out that is stocked with spare uniforms, Oakley said. The firefighters change into the clean uniforms before leaving the scene.
It’s an innovative idea and the fire department has been invited to talk about it at an upcoming convention, Oakley said.
Published February 24, 2021