The Fire Department welcomed engine 94 with a tradition dating back to horse-drawn carriages.
The Ormond Beach Fire Department welcomed its newest addition to their fire engine fleet on Thursday, June 28, with a traditional housing ceremony involving the washing of its wheels and pushing it into the bay.
Battalion Commander Nate Quartier led the ceremonial inauguration of the department's new 2018 Pierce Saber engine into Fire Station no. 94. It is replacing a 1999 engine, which will be moved to reserve, and that one in turn will replace a 1995 Pierce Arrow engine.
Quartier said this new engine was tailored to the department's needs, from its water tank setup and pump to its crew cabin.
"It's not something you just go down to the lot and buy," Quartier said. "It's unique to the needs of our department."
Some of the new engine features include a water pump that emits over 1,000 gallons per minute and inside storage for its ladders.
The housing ceremony performed dates back to when fire departments used horse-drawn carriages for their fire engines. Since horses cannot be walked in reverse easily, firefighters used to unlatch the horses and push the carriages into the bay themselves. Before that though, they would wash the wheels to keep the bay clean of mud and horse feces.
"That tradition has stuck around even through motorized fire apparatus," Quartier said. "We may not be physically backing it in now, but this is kind of a nod to the past — a tip of the helmet."