First responders, community members and even Mother Nature helped the Roseburg Fire Department welcome the newest member of its fleet Wednesday morning.
The department welcomed its brand new, $600,000 engine at Station No. 2 on West Harvard Avenue with roughly a dozen community members firefighters and EMTs on hand. The “Push In” ceremony, which dates back to the 1800s, was the first known to have been held by Roseburg fire.
In the ceremony, community members were invited to “wet down” the brand new engine using buckets of water, and then a collection of firefighters took their turn. As an added bonus, Mother Nature got in on the act with a light rain before the collective group of participants pushed the engine into its holding bay at Station No. 2.
The tradition dates back to the days of horse-drawn fire pumpers. Because the pumpers could not be backed into their stalls by the horses, firefighters would stall their horses, clean down their fire apparatus and push the equipment back into their respective stalls in preparation for the next fire call.
The new engine, a 2021 Pierce Impel 1500-gallon-per-minute pumper, was purchased through Hughes Fire Equipment and manufactured by Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, Wisconsin. The new engine replaces a 1997 KME engine which served Roseburg fire for 15 years as a “first-out” engine and spent another 10 years as a reserve engine.