PHOTO: More than 20 current and former Brentwood firefighters push the Brentwood Fire and Rescue Department’s newest apparatus, Ladder 53, during a push-in ceremony held Monday, June 10, 2019, at Fire Station Three in Brentwood, Tenn.
By RACHAEL LONG / Photos by Rachael Long
The Brentwood Fire and Rescue Department has a shiny, new truck among its fleet: a $899,943 custom Pierce ladder truck.
On Monday, June 10, fire department members and the Brentwood community welcomed the new apparatus into service at Fire Station Three with an old tradition called a “push-in” ceremony.
Fire Chief Brian Goss explained Monday the history of firefighting when equipment was pushed back into the station by hand.
“Beginning in the 1800’s — horse-drawn steam engines were used, but it was difficult to align the steam connections on the engine with those in the station, so the horses were unharnessed, and the steamers were also often pushed back into the station by hand,” Goss said.
The ceremony dates back to the 1600s, when hand-drawn fire engines were used, and though no such engines exist today, the ceremony is a traditional way to celebrate the present while honoring the past.
Vice Mayor Ken Travis spoke briefly during the ceremony, touching on that very sentiment.
“It is wonderful to live and lead in a city that has managed its budget well to be able to afford quality equipment like this,” Travis said. “Celebrating the present while honoring the past, is an excellent way to dedicate this new piece of equipment today, especially in the year Brentwood turns 50 years old.”
The city of Brentwood started its fire protection service for citizens in 1986 when the population was about 15,000, according to a city press release. Today, the population is 43,889 and the department averages nearly 4,000 calls per year.
The truck was built in a matter of ten months, according to a city press release, after the city approved the purchase last year. Lt. David Wright helped create and build Ladder 53 to meet the city’s specific needs.
City Manager Kirk Bednar detailed those needs at Monday’s ceremony, noting that the apparatus was designed to “exclusively to serve both the unique residential and commercial districts common to the Cool Springs area to which it will be assigned.”
The ladder truck features ground ladders and a 75-foot aerial ladder device, a water tank, a pump and hose lines. Another unique feature the new apparatus contains are LED lights in the colors red, white and blue, a safety feature which lights up the ladder to help firefighters see where their colleagues are on the ladder during a call.
For instance, if a firefighter is climbing the ladder in the red-light zone, his colleagues know he’s close to danger.
But that’s not all, Ladder 53 marks the department’s first “clean cab” truck. Lt. John LoPiccolo explained that the truck is designed so that contaminated equipment from a scene now does not have to be transported back in the truck’s cab.
“There are all sealed off compartments for the crew’s protection and the truck cab is made of hard surfaces, so it can be completely disinfected and cleaned,” LoPiccolo said.
This feature will help reduce the exposure to cancer causing chemicals in the fire industry, according to a city press release.
After several spoke about the Ladder 53, it was time to official welcome the apparatus into service. Together, more than 20 current and former Brentwood firefighters placed their hands on the truck and pushed it into the station for the first time as a commissioned engine.