ELKHART — The Elkhart Fire Department unveiled the Quint 7 as they welcomed the new fire truck to active service on Sunday, Oct. 29.

“The Quint serves the dual purpose of a fire engine and a ladder truck,” said Courtney Bearsch, Director of Communications and Constituent Services for the City of Elkhart.

According to Bearsch, the timely replacement of older equipment helps to ensure the department has adequate tools to respond to emergencies and to protect the citizens and property of the city Elkhart.

“The new Quint 7 will replace an older truck that has been used by the department for several years,” said Bearsch.

In the fire service, there is a longstanding tradition to putting a truck into service, according to Bearsch.

“The ceremony was planned by the firefighters," said Bearsch. "These men and women take great pride in their service to the community and everyone was welcomed to the ceremony, especially young children who are interested in learning more about their local fire department."

The ceremony started off with Fire Chief Chad Carey thanking everyone for coming out. Assistant Battalion Chief David Cushwa talked about the brief history about pushing a new fire truck into the station.

The statement read:

A ceremony is celebration of accomplishment and a special event. As part of the proud history of the fire service, we discover that when it comes to placing a new rig into service, the firefighter actually pushing the rig into the fire station like in the olden days.

A brief history:

Early hand drawn fire engines, ladder wagons, hose carts, and so on had to be pushed back into the station by hand.

The horse drawn steam engines that followed could be backed up by the engineers, but it was difficult to align the steam connections on the engine with those in the stations, so the horse were disconnected and the steamers were often pushed back into the station by hand.

All of this backing in by hand became unnecessary when the self-propelled motorize engines went into service, but the fire service is deep with tradition, and companies make every effort to honor and pay homage to past members that had to push their engine into the station by hand.

While we honor those that have gone before use- it's a tradition that displays unity among the current members.

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