This morning St. Cloud Fire Rescue Department welcomed the newest addition to their fleet; Fire Engine 32, custom built by Class A pumper by Pierce with a traditional ceremony known as a “wetdown” and “push back.”

Fire Chief Jason Miller led the ceremony in St. Cloud which included St. Cloud Mayor Nathan Blackwell, St. Cloud City Manager Bill Sturgeon, and a crowd of fires responders.

“This engine replaces a 2006 firetruck, which quite frankly, had the tires just about had the tires run off of it,” said St. Cloud Fire Chief Jason Miller.

A “wetdown” is a ritual celebrated by many fire departments in which firefighters ritualistically commission a new fire apparatus by anointing it with a hose and water sprayed from the truck being replaced.

Dating back to the 1800s when fire companies used horse-drawn equipment, a “Push back” pays tribute to the time when firefighters had to push the pumpers back into the firehouse because the horse wasn’t able to back the rigs in.