On Monday, October 30, $ 1.7 million worth of equipment was put into service with a “wet down and push in” ceremony. One ladder truck and two engines (E-One Brand, 78’ aerial ladder) now service the Siloam Springs Community
The Siloam Springs Fire Department’s vision is to be a tradition rich, technologically advanced, regionally respected, full-service fire department. The ceremony is in direct correlation with the Department’s vision.
A "wet down" and a "push in" ceremony is a traditional ceremony for new apparatuses. It has several historical references. The wet down referred to the original bath given to horses before being placed into the stable. Horses were used to pull the early hose carts and steam engines. Another reference was to neighboring fire districts welcoming in the new fire apparatus. Neighboring jurisdictions would wet down the new vehicle by using their master streams (large discharges that can spray a large volume of water). The third reference was also involving neighboring fire districts. Firefighters would hook up to the water tank of the new fire engine and begin pumping water into it. The new apparatus would begin to pump their hoses and if they couldn’t” keep up”, the water tank would fill up and overflow the tank. The overflow would come out of the top of the tank and wet down the fire engine. The push in portion of the ceremony referenced when fire departments pushed in their new apparatus before gas power; when the equipment was pulled by horses.
The new equipment replaced a 1997 truck, 1988 E1 and two 2005 model commercial cab fire engines. It was paid for with the Fire Department’s portion of the dedicated one-cent sales tax that was reallocated in 2013. The new equipment will serve the Fire Department and Siloam Springs community for decades to come.