Tulsa Fire Department fire welcomes two new trucks to its fleet with traditional fanfare, US
The Tulsa Fire Department welcomed two more to their more than 40-strong fleet on Monday, 19 April 2021, with traditional fanfare. The ‘Wetdown and Push-In Ceremony’ is a tradition dating back to horse-drawn pumpers. For a more than 100 years, fire fighters have stood side-by-side pushing their brand new apparatus into its bay. In such times, fire fighters washed new wagons before pushing them into the station backward so they’d be ready to hitch up to horses and roll out when the alarm sounded. All to say 'it's now in service' and 'ready for runs.’ It was Stations 20 and 24's turn on Monday. Although most fire stations today have pull-through bays, Tulsa fire fighters still wet down a new truck and manually push it backward into its station to signify that it’s ready for its first call for service. What used to be done by sheer manpower, however, now requires a touch of horsepower. The ladder truck that replaced its 21-year-old predecessor at Station 20, near 61st Street and Mingo Road, weighs 71 000 pounds.
And that’s not the only change. The 2021 model has cameras, parking guides, digital displays, enhanced colour coding, some new onboard equipment and an auto-levelling system for the truck’s hydraulic stabilisers, an important safety and time-saving feature for a ladder that can extend almost 11 storeys.
Time-saving technologies are a driving factor in the department’s ongoing effort to replace outdated trucks.
City mechanics do a great job, Deputy Chief Chuck French said but there have been times when older fire trucks break down on their way to a call. Other trucks are sent in their place, of course but, “that’s a delay in service,” Deputy Chief French said. “That’s a delay to someone’s emergency.”
Ladder 20’s predecessor is in the shop and will serve as a reserve vehicle for training when it’s back to working standard.
Another new truck went to Station 24 in north Tulsa.
Deputy Chief French said the roughly $2,8 million purchase is a step in the right direction in what can seem like a losing battle to keep the apparatuses updated. It’s no one’s fault in particular, he said. The mayor and City Council have worked to support the department but strained budgets and inflation are against them. “That’s just the way budgets work with government,” Deputy Chief French said.
Sources: Tulsa Fire Department, Tulsa World, News on 6