The Waxahachie Fire Department welcomed its newest member Friday, Oct. 8. Firefighters, city leaders, and community members gathered at Station No. 2 to push a new fire engine into the apparatus bay to signal its start of service.

Before the ceremony, department chaplain Bruce Zimmerman gave a prayer asking for God’s protection.

“As we put this truck into service for this community, Lord, I pray that every person that rides in that truck would sense the importance of what they are doing,” Zimmerman prayed. “Lord, I thank you for the way you have provided for this. Thank you for this fire department and this city that serves its citizens so well.”

Fire Marshal John Rodgers shared a bit of the history behind why a brand-new apparatus is wetted down with water and then pushed into the bay.

“During the days when fire pumps and other rescue equipment were mounted on wagons and pulled by horses, firefighters would unhitch the horses, take them to their stalls, and feed and water them as soon as they returned to the station,” Rodgers said. “They would then clean the apparatus to get it ready for the next call. Once this was accomplished, they would push the apparatus back into the fire station bay. As it was then so it is now: The men ensure the apparatus is ready for the next call before they attend to their own needs.”

Rodgers said the ceremony is the way firefighters dedicate themselves to a time-honored tradition.

Following Rodgers’ presentation, a call went across the radio thanking the previous Engine No. 2, a 2011 model, for its 10 years of front-line service and its move into reserve status. It will continue to serve the city on a limited basis as Extra Engine No. 1.

Rodgers then thanked members of the apparatus committee for their hard work in selecting the right engine to serve the city for years to come.

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