By Rick Snodgrass, Photos by Layne Bladow
The Lakewood Fire Station 24 in Oakbrook brought a new engine to the fleet on Monday, November 2, 2009. This Engine is a Spartan chassis and has a pump that is capable of pumping 1500 gallons of water per minute. Built by H&W Emergency Equipment, it is state of the art equipment that will serve the community for many years. This engine replaces a 1986 Pierce that has provided many proud years of service and will now serve as a reserve engine.
Firefighters took “ownership” with a “push back” ceremony Monday afternoon to officially put the engine in service. Citizens and fire department members joined together in Oakbrook for this event. The ceremony began with a welcome and thanks to those in attendance, then the Chaplains “blessed” the new engine, as well as the Oakbrook citizens and firefighters that will rely on it. This “push back” tradition began when pumpers were pulled by horses. When a new pumper was brought to the station for the first time, the horses were unharnessed and the water from the old pumper would be transferred into the new, spilling over the sides and wetting it down or “christening” it. The firefighters would wash and dry the pumper down and then push it into the bay.
This was a great event to remember our rich history and bring pride for the crews that will serve on this beautiful new Engine 24! Thanks again to all of you that helped to make this happen!