Once a firefighter, always a firefighter. At least, that’s what Captain Dean Brennan would tell you, if you were at the ‘Wash-Down and Push-In’ Engine ceremony on Wednesday morning.
Current and retired Casper firefighters gathered at Fire Station 2, located at 3900 S. Coffman, on Wednesday to unveil and dedicate their newest fire engine, Engine 2.
“Both the ‘wash down’ and ‘push in’ ceremonies are steeped in tradition,” Casper Fire-EMS wrote in a press release. “The wash down ceremony is performed by utilizing water from the outgoing fire engine to ‘wash’ the new engine – both to clean accumulated dirt from the delivery drive, and to bridge the old and new engines together.”
It wasn’t just the engines that were bridged – it was the generations of Casper firefighters as well.
“It was a special moment to welcome Captain Dean Brennan (Ret; 1957-1988) back to show us that, even in his early 90’s, he still knows how to move an attack line,” Casper Fire-EMS wrote in a social media post. “Assisting Captain Brennan is another treasured retiree from our department, Engineer Mike Magee (Ret; 1991-2019).”
It was truly a beautiful, heart-warming sight to behold as Captain Brennan manned the firehose like it was 1983 all over again. He still showed the strength (both physically and strength of mind and heart), the stamina, and the tenacity that it takes to be a firefighter. He even criticized the newer guys for taking too long to turn the water on!
It was a moment that he, and everybody watching, will remember forever.
Following the ‘Wash Down’ portion of the ceremony, firefighters all joined together to push the new fire engine into service!
“The ‘Push In’ ceremony dates back to the days of horse-drawn fire apparatus,” Casper Fire-EMS wrote. “With horses unable to push the fire apparatus back into a station, it would be up to the firefighters to push the horse-drawn engine back in following every response. This ceremonial function is demonstrated with all of the fire company’s members ‘pushing’ the apparatus into place.”
That’s exactly what our Casper firefighters did, and the smiles on their faces couldn’t be contained.
“Funding for all three engines was approved by voters during the 2016 One-Cent cycle,” they wrote. “Engine 3, a 2006 American LaFrance, was traded in upon purchase of the new Engine 3. The current Engines 2 and 6 (both 2009 Spartan Gladiator chassis) will be converted to reserve/stand-by engines.”
There were multiple ceremonies throughout the week, with the latest one happening on Friday, September 23 at 9:00 a.m. at Fire Station 6, located at 185 Valley Drive.
“The new engines are 2022 Rosenbauer Commander series chassis, equipped with a Waterous 1500 gallon-per-minute pump, and a 750-gallon water tank,” Casper Fire-EMS wrote. “All three apparatus also feature all-LED warning and scene lighting packages. New innovations include ‘clean-cab’ filtration systems, able to scrub airborne contaminates from the passenger areas of the apparatus.”
These engines will certainly be put to the test over the coming years, but they will get the job done. They will serve as faithful steeds to the men and women manning them. They will put out fires and they will save lives. These ceremonies are designed to honor who and what has come before, and to prepare for what is yet to come.
“Moments like this are far too brief, and we treasure them greatly,” Casper Fire-EMS wrote. “In the presence of these generations of Casper Firefighters, one can almost feel the presence of the very first Firefighters who organized our department, 127 years ago.”
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