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Hill AFB pushes new fire truck into service

Firefighters push a new fire truck, Truck 101, into Fire Station 1 during a “wet/wash down and push in” ceremony Oct. 24, 2019, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The custom dates back to the 1800s when fire engines were pulled by horses. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Perry)

Firefighters push a new fire truck, Truck 101, into Fire Station 1 during a “wet/wash down and push in” ceremony Oct. 24, 2019, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The custom dates back to the 1800s when fire engines were pulled by horses. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Perry)

Truck 101 sits in a stall at Fire Station 1 following a “wet/wash down and push in” ceremony Oct. 24, 2019, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The custom dates back to the 1800s when fire engines were pulled by horses. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Perry)

Truck 101 sits in a stall at Fire Station 1 following a “wet/wash down and push in” ceremony Oct. 24, 2019, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The custom dates back to the 1800s when fire engines were pulled by horses. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Perry)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Members of Fire and Emergency Services (F&ES) at Hill Air Force Base inducted a new fire truck into service during a traditional "wet/wash down and push-in" ceremony Oct. 24 at Fire Station 1.

During the ritual, the new 100-foot ladder truck, Truck 101, was quickly wet down before being pushed into the station by firefighters.

The custom dates back to the 1800s when fire engines were pulled by horses.

When firefighters returned from a service call, they would wet the horses down to cool them off and wash the tires and wheels of the pumper before putting it back in the station. In addition, the horses had to be unhitched and the pumper manually pushed into the station because most horses couldn’t back it into the stall.

Truck 101 was acquired this summer to replace the department’s 16-year-old truck. It was one of three new vehicles F&ES received this year. A new heavy-brush truck to respond to wildfires and a vehicle equipped with highly-specialized rescue tools was also added to department’s inventory.

Fire Capt. Zachary Olds said the new vehicles will enhance the department’s ability to respond to emergencies.

“The ladder truck is a unique asset for the department,” Olds said. “This fire apparatus will permit the fire department responders to quickly gain an elevated position, allowing them to perform quicker and safer operations at the scene of an emergency.”

It has a larger water tank and shorter wheelbase allowing it to navigate on narrowed roadways. The fire truck will also serve as an anchor for technical rescue operations.