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On Sept. 30 Canton Township Fire Department took delivery of its new ladder truck. The $630,000 Pierce Quint was purchased using a federal grant.
The $676,130 grant was awarded by FEMA using the Assistance to Firefighter Grant program and covered 95 percent of the cost of the truck as well as new rescue equipment for on the truck.
To officially welcome the truck to the department and ready it for service, the firefighters held a "wetdown" and "push-in" ceremony at Station 2 located on Waynesburg Drive.
The ceremony involves wetting down the new truck with water, pushing the new truck into the station and then drying the new truck. Rev. Jeff Franks of the North Industry Christian Church was on hand to conduct the official blessing of the truck and its crew.
The tradition began in the late 1800s to early 1900s when firefighters used horses to pull pumpers to fires. Upon competition of the fire the firefighters would return to the station and wash the pumper and the horses down. The firefighters would then push the pumper back into the station as the horses were unable to back the pumper up. This signified that the pumper was ready to serve again. The tradition continued into modern day but has transformed into a means to welcome a new truck to the department and ready it to begin serving its community.
Following the blessing of the truck, Canton Township Firefighters then wet down the truck with fire hoses. They then all got in front of the truck and pushed it into the station, although they must admit they had a little help from the truck's transmission to back the truck up. Even with some very strong firefighters, the 53,000 pound truck proved to be too much to push up the slight incline into the station.
The ceremony was attended by township firefighters, trustees, area firefighters and members of the community. Additional pictures and videos can be seen the Canton Township Fire Department Facebook page.