A gathering of villagers, officials and of course firefighters ushered in the newest addition to the Harrison Hot Springs Fire Department on Friday (Jan. 6).
Harrison hosted a traditional push-in ceremony to welcome the brand new fire engine to the village.
Fire Chief Trevor Todd has been with the HHSFD for 11 years, and this is the second engine he has welcomed to the fire hall.
“It’s a big deal for us,” he said. “A lot of work went into getting this truck set up for us. It’s taken us two year to build it. We’re quite proud of this unit. This is a village piece of equipment, and without the village staff and the two councils, we would have never gotten to where we are.”
Todd added the public was invited to share in this moment of glory for the village and the fire department.
The new fire engine is a 2022 Spartan Metro Star Pumper Truck and costed $677,000. Fort Garry Fire Trucks designed the engine with an upgraded water monitoring system, improved maneuverability, expanded equipment storage and reduced emissions. Now that it’s completed its 2,100-kilometre journey from Winnipeg to Harrison Hot Springs, the new engine will take the place of the former 1992 model and is expected to serve the community for the next 20 years.
The new fire engine is a bit more compact than other models, which allows it to travel in tight spaces around the village. The movable shelves along the sides of the truck can be further customized, making it flexible for multiple equipment configurations.
Tipping the scales at more than 52,000 pounds – roughly 15 times heavier than the average, modern mid-sized sedan – there were some tongue-in-cheek doubts among the firefighters whether or not they could push the vehicle in. However, the actual pushing went off without a hitch and the brand new engine wheeled slowly but smoothly into its new home.
The push-in ceremony hearkens back to the 1800s back when fire engines were horse-drawn and equipment needed to be pumped by hand. After the equipment was separated from the horses, firefighters back in the day had to push the fire engine into the bay by hand. As the years went on, the push-in ceremony was born.
The original ceremony was scheduled for Dec. 19 but was postponed due to severe cold weather.