Fire truck Push-In event held on Wednesday
By Pat Dowling|
The North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Department held a fire truck Push-In event on Wednesday following City Council’s special called 2 p.m. meeting, to formally celebrate the arrival of its latest fire truck. The Push-In occured at Fire Station #1 at 1015 Second Ave. S. During the event, City Council members, Public Safety personnel and others pushed the new fire truck into its bay, cementing its arrival in the community. The public was invited to attend.
Fire truck Push-In events reportedly began in the time of horse-drawn firefighting equipment, which could not easily be backed into a building by the horses but had to be pushed in by firefighting personnel.
The celebration of the arrival of a new piece of apparatus has been a source of pride for volunteer fire companies for more than 100 years. The volunteers of the 18th and 19th centuries spared no expense in outfitting and decorating their new “engins” (a popular term in the 19th century).
For decades, 19th century volunteers in the largest cities retained the services of some of the most famous artists of the period including John Woodside, Thomas Sully and Joseph Johnson, who rendered incredible pieces of art on the rigs composed of patriotic, mythological and historical scenes. Many of these companies held soirees and other social events to mark the occasion of the new piece of equipment.
Norman Rockwell’s 1971 illustration “The New American LaFrance Is Here!”, captured the moment of a new engine’s arrival. Showing his hometown Victorian firehouse in Stockbridge, Mass., Rockwell conveyed the excitement in the town, showing children and adults rushing to see the modern fire engine. Next to it is the town’s retired 1920s-era pumper.
On July 15, North Myrtle Beach Fire/Rescue took delivery of a 2016 Pierce 95 foot Mid-Mount fire truck on an Arrow XT chassis. The new truck, which is now the city’s primary tower ladder, has been designated Truck 714 and is located at Fire Station #1.
The fire truck cost $1.2 million and was paid for out of the city’s capital improvements fund over two fiscal years. A fire truck of this type has an effective lifespan of about 20 years.
The new truck replaces a 1996 KME Aerial Cat 102 foot Rear-Mounted Aerial, which has been moved out to another fire station as a reserve apparatus. The KME has served the city well as its primary tower ladder for 20 years. It was replaced due to its age and condition.
With the purchase of the new Pierce, the department has its third operational aerial device within the city limits.