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Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at 10:09 PM

Fallon/Churchill VFD Push-In Ceremony

Fallon/Churchill VFD Push-In Ceremony
Newest edition to the FCVFD crew, Engine #4. Photo by Victoria Crystal.

Jarod Dooley Fallon/Churchill Fire Department Chief opened the Push-in ceremony with a huge thank you to Mayor Ken Tedford, Councilman Paul Harmon, Councilwoman Kelly Frost, Councilwoman Karla Kent, and Chief of Staff Bob Erickson, the city members; and Commissioner Chair Myles Getto, Commissioner Justin Heath, Commissioner Bus Scharmann, and County Manager Jim Barbee. These two groups make up the Fallon/Churchill advisory board for the Fire Department. In this capacity, they gave many hours of their time helping the department write the bids for the purchase of the engines and many more hours assisting the department with the purchasing process. “This teamwork helps to keep our citizens safe,” Dooley stated.

More than four years ago, the Fallon/Churchill Fire Department started down the long road that would eventually lead them to Engine 2 and Engine 4, representing all the newest and best technology available in fire service today. They are 40 feet long, 12 feet high, and 34 tons of fire suppression. Each engine will hold more than 2700 gallons of water and house the newest pump and foam technology on the market. These two new 2023 WS Darly Company Fire Engines are the front line as first-out firefighting apparatus to serve the citizens of the city and the county.     

Chief Dooley said, “Many of you are probably asking the same question, ‘What is a push-in ceremony?’…To my knowledge this type of ceremony has never been done for our department. Today, we are starting a new tradition here at the Fire Department. The history of the push-in ceremony dates to the 17th century when hand-drawn equipment needed to be pushed into the station after returning from a run. In the 18th century, firefighting equipment was getting heavier, and horses were commonly used to pull apparatus. It was difficult to control the horses while backing the equipment in, so firefighters would often disconnect the team and push the apparatus back into the station themselves. As fire departments from yesteryear received new apparatus it became a tradition to invite the public to a ceremony where they would ‘push’ the new equipment into their place in the fire station. Nowadays, the equipment is still backed in; we just use less horses. The push-in tradition is honored all over the world by all fire departments and is a great way to involve the community in their Fire Department.”

Chief Dooley also thanked the volunteer firefighters of Fallon/Churchill for their tireless dedication to keeping this community safe. Their commitment never ceases to amaze him. They spend thousands of hours a year dedicated to training and fighting fires to make this a better place. Firefighting can be dangerous work. Sometimes, the difference between life and death is the available equipment. “I’m proud to say that these two engines are the best equipment that any fire department can bring to bear in an emergency. In short, the best firemen deserve the best stuff,” Dooley said. He also thanked mechanics Brandon Acquistapace and John Ezzell for all the work they have done to get these engines ready to be put into service since their purchase in November 2023. “I don’t know any better firemen… so enjoy these Engines boys!” 

“To the citizens of the City of Fallon and Churchill County, the biggest thanks of all goes to you.  During election season, the Fire Department asks for your support in voting for the Property Tax Override. These Engines are a direct reflection of the support received from that vote. We cannot thank you enough,” Dooley concluded.

Reiner Harper, Command Chaplain for NAS Fallon, graciously agreed to bless the two engines. In the great tradition of push-in ceremonies, Chaplain Harper prayed for the personnel's and engines’ safety when these units are called upon for service.

Then, the #1 Engineer took his place in the driver’s seat, and the firemen began the “push-in” of Engine #2. “After tonight, this will be our first-out apparatus,” stated Chief Dooley.

The evening was enjoyed by those attending with food, ice cream, fire truck rides, cornhole, fire safety booths, raffles, and of course dancing.

Push In - Engine #2. Photo by Nancy Chapman.