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Friday, September 30, 2016
Allenton Volunteer Fire Department Wetdown Cake
A long standing tradition in the fire service, a "wet-down" is a ritual celebrated by many fire departments in the United States in which firefighters commission a new fire apparatus by anointing it with water sprayed from the retiring pumper's tank water or from a neighboring firehouse's apparatus. The ritual dates back to the late 1800's when horse drawn pumpers were used throughout the nation's Fire Service.
Horses that were commissioned for service would be washed along with the pumper at their newly assigned firehouse and backed into the firehouse bay. The firefighters would then fit the new horse with its harness placing the company in service. After every run, firefighters had to hand push their pumpers back into the bay and ready themselves for the next alarm.
When new horses or pumpers were purchased neighboring firehouses, department chiefs, and citizens from the surrounding community would attend the ceremony to celebrate the new powerful addition to their neighborhood firehouse. Local clergy came to bestow blessings upon the horse throwing holy water unto it for long life, strength, speed and good health. The blessing would serve to ward off any evil spirits or "gremlins" that could affect the firehouse's newest addition.
Today, fire departments continue to celebrate this tradition with the help of a driver in the seat and the company's transmission in reverse. After being wet-down and blessed, the company is slowly rolled backwards into the bay while firefighters assist by pushing upfront. Nowadays, the integration of Fire and medical services, Rescue Trucks have earned the right to be included in the ritual.
I was honored to do the cake...
Glitter water and marshmallow tires..oh my
Dozens of local residents joined the Allenton Fire Department on September 28 2016, to dedicate a new fire truck.
It’s not a common occasion—it’s only once every several years that the city can afford such a purchase—but it was an eye-opening and touching ceremony that has a proud tradition.