Sanibel fire district to hold Housing Ceremony for truck
The Sanibel Fire and Rescue District will celebrate the acquisition of its new ladder truck with a ceremony steeped in tradition, and the community is invited to attend.
The official Housing Ceremony for the Sutphen SL75 Aerial Ladder will be held on Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to noon at Station 171 on Sanibel. Open to the public, the event will consist of the three-part ritual for the new apparatus, followed by tours of the fire station and truck, with the opportunity for photos.
“It’s a fire service tradition dating back to the horse-drawn trailers,” Fire Chief Matt Scott said. “When a new trailer or new apparatus came into play, they would give it a ceremony to transition from the old to the new.”
The ceremony begins with the water transfer.
“We transfer water from the old to the new,” he said.
Next is the washing of the wheels.
“Again, this one dates back to the wooden wheels,” Scott said. “They would keep them clean and moist, so they weren’t drying and cracking.”
The final step is pushing the new apparatus into the bay where it will be housed. He noted that in today’s times, the crew does not actually push the vehicle in as it would take multiple people.
“(It’s) the simulation of pushing the apparatus into its new house,” Scott said.
A local fire department pastor will bless the new truck, and Scott will give a speech.
“The station will be open for tours, along with the apparatus,” he said.
Attendees, such as children, can take photos with it.
Light refreshments will be provided.
“We may have a cake,” Scott added.
The new truck went into service on Sept. 25.
“Just routine calls at this point,” he said of what it had responded to as of Oct. 4.
The district took possession of the truck on Aug. 14. Purchased from South Florida Emergency Vehicles, it has a Cummins L9 450-horsepower engine, Hale QMax 1500 gpm pump, 500-gallon water tank and 193 cubic feet of storage. Every member of the district had input on the truck’s design.
Three firefighters served as the “design committee” and gathered all the feedback.
“They are very happy with the apparatus,” Scott said of the crew.
The last apparatus that the district acquired was a pumper engine in 2013.
Scott encouraged the community to come out.
“Mostly because it’s their truck. They through their generosity, and the commissioners, allowed us to fund this project,” he said. “This will serve the community for the next 15 to 20 years.”
For more information, call the main office at 239-472-5525.
Station 171 is at 2351 Palm Ridge Road.