Lehi Fire Department christens new fire truck

LEHI -- Firefighters began what they said is a new tradition for Lehi City's fire department, hosting a "christening" ceremony for a new fire engine before it is put into service.

American Fork, Saratoga Springs, Lone Peak and Pleasant Grove fire departments and Airmed were represented at the event, which was preceded by a barbecue dinner. Each fire department brought a fire engine to hose down the new engine. Firefighters' children also participated in the wet-down.

"It's a new tradition here, but it's something they do back east," said Captain Kim Beck.

The East Coast tradition began when pumpers were pulled by horses. When a new pumper was brought to the station for the first time, the horses were unharnessed and the water from the old pumper would be transferred into the new pumper, spilling over the sides and wetting it down or "christening" it. The fire fighters would dry the pumper down and then push it into the bay.

"It's to start a tradition. We think it's healthy for our citizens and for our fire department," said Fire Chief Dale Ekins.

Captain Ricky Evans called Utah County dispatch to initiate activating the new vehicle. "Old Engine 81 is out of service and new Engine 81 is now in service for the Lehi Fire Department," said Evans into the radio.

"Copy, new Engine 81 is now in service," responded the dispatcher, and with that, the ceremony was concluded.

"It will be a nice addition to our fleet," said Ekins. "We hope it will be with us for quite a while."