Juneau and Douglas firefighters kept with a century-old tradition on Monday with a ceremonial push-in of the brand new Engine 21 at the Douglas Fire Station.
Capital City Fire/Rescue Chief Rich Etheridge said it’s been 28 years since Douglas had a new engine. The $641,500 apparatus was funded by regular contributions into the department’s 20-year fleet replacement savings fund. Money is withdrawn for a new engine when an older engine reaches its 20th year.
The brand new Pierce fire engine can hold 700 gallons of water and pump at least 1,500 gallons a minute. It’s identical to two newer engines at the downtown and airport fire stations.
The old KME model Engine 21 will replace another apparatus at the Auke Bay Station that will be moved to replace an older Seagraves model at the Lynn Canal Station.
The Seagraves engine will eventually be designated as surplus and may be handed over to a small Southeast Alaska fire department.
“Push-in” for new Engine 21 at the Douglas Fire Station on Aug. 11, 2014. The engine’s diesel motor was turned on so the brakes could be disengaged.
Etheridge said the push-in ceremony originated with horse-drawn fire engines. After a fire call, the horses would be unhitched from the engine and firefighters would push it back into the station.