After remembering former fire chief Ralph Green, who was killed in a horse-related accident Monday, Fire Chief Steve Moody went on with the christening of the newest fire engine, Fire Engine 10, Tuesday evening.
“I pondered whether we should cancel tonight’s event,” Moody said.
He asked Fire Department Captain Max Brown his thoughts.
“Max said Ralph would be ‘super angry’ with us if we cancelled the event,” Moody said.
Moody recognized Ralph’s wife, Nancy, who was in attendance.
Nancy had told Moody her husband had planned on coming to the christening and she was not going to miss it.
After thanking Ralph’s wife, Nancy, for being present, he continued by recognizing those instrumental in the acquisition of Fire Engine 10, including the city commission, mayor and city manager.
He also thanked retired fire chief Ken Nakaten, who planned and orchestrated the purchase of the fire engine.
Other thanks went to the truck committee, made up of Brown, Jack Zimmerman, Troy Jellison and Shane McCoy.
“The most important people of all to thank are the citizens of El Dorado,” Moody said. “They are the ones who’s hard-earned dollars purchased Engine 10.”
A prayer was then offered for Engine 10 and the firefighters.
He prayed the truck would be used for the service and good of all people. He also prayed for strength and resolve for the firefighters to fulfill their calling. The prayer concluded with asking to keep Engine 10 and the firefighters safe from the dangers they strive to suppress.
Before moving the activities outdoors for the ceremonial washing and drying of the tires on the fire engine, Moody gave some history behind the actions.
“The historical tribute of christening fire trucks can trace its roots back nearly 200 years to the 1800s when fire wagons were pulled by horses,” Moody said.
He explained upon returning from a fire, they would unlatch the horses and the community would gather to assist the firemen in pushing the wagon back into the station. Before they could do that though they had to wash the dirt from the wheels. The children helped with the drying of the tires.
Nakaten then drove the truck outside, where firefighters washed the wheels, then the children in attendance dried them. Nakaten also had the honors of being behind the wheel when the fire truck was pushed back into the fire station. Once back inside, Brown placed Engine 10 officially into service, through a reporting in service to dispatch, which acknowledged the call.
The event included with refreshments.
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Julie Clements can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.