Presidio Fire Department houses new engine
October 25, 2012
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. -- Community members took part in a time-honored tradition during a fire truck-housing ceremony on Ord Military Community Oct. 9.
Not only did the ceremony involve "housing" the newest fire truck, but the youngest and the oldest fire fighters also gave the engine's tires a traditional washing, and the garrison commander and command sergeant major, Col. Joel J. Clark and Command Sgt. Maj. Olga Martinez, brought a Navy tradition to the event by christening the truck with champagne.
Fire protection is steeped in tradition; the housing ceremony is a tradition that dates back to the mid-1800s, when horses still pulled fire wagons to the burning structures.
Afterward, when the fire brigade returned from the fire and the horses were unhitched, the wagon had to be manually pushed back into the fire house because the horses could not push backward.
In modern times, the ceremony is traditionally conducted for new vehicles and involves "pushing" the apparatus into the station.
While the industry standard is to replace engines every eight to 10 years, the Army's goal is to keep a fire truck for 15 years. However, Engine 6111 replaces a fire truck that served the Army for more than 25 years.
Increased responsibilities for the Presidio's Fire and Emergency Services require an upgraded equipment capability, explained James Laughlin, director of Directorate of Emergency Services.
With this new vehicle, the Presidio of Monterey Fire Department staff will be better able to serve the Presidio community and military families, and, if called, come to the aid of friends and partners in the surrounding communities for years to come.
The mutual-aid capability of the vehicle is important, said Laughlin, because the vehicle will be "placed in service for the good of the greater community under mutual- and auto-aid agreements."
Engine 6111 features a powerful motor for steep hills on a short wheel-base chassis for narrow roadways. It carries four firefighters, holds 500 gallons of water and 40 gallons of firefighting foam, and can pump as much as 1,500 gallons of water per minute.
It also carries enough rescue equipment to respond to nearly every type of emergency possible on or around POM. It also has an advanced emissions control system to reduce toxins from the exhaust, making it more eco-friendly.