Cedar Fort gets new Fire Truck
New Cedar Fort fire truck part of 9/11
CEDAR FORT -- The "Pride of Liberty Place," a shiny red-and-white fire truck, has come to Cedar Fort from Franklin Square, New York, to become the town's main large-fire responding unit.
"This is a big step for Cedar Fort," said the town Fire Chief Nyle Jacobsen.
Before its noteworthy cross-country trip to Utah, the 35-foot-long 1994 Pierce Lance pumper truck had already become a part of history as one of the New York fire trucks that responded to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
The Franklin Square volunteer firefighters named the truck "Pride of Liberty Place" as a distinction for its area of assistance on 9/11. The name is emblazoned over the truck's cab in gold lettering.
"The title is part of the history of the truck. We're going to keep it," Jacobsen said.
One of the Cedar Fort Volunteer Fire Department firefighters who traveled to New York to bring the truck to its new home shares some 9/11 history of his own. Jack Homen was one of the Utah firefighters from the Unified Fire Authority who traveled to Ground Zero in 2001 to help secure the site in the days following the attacks.
In remembrance of the disaster that united firefighters across the country, Homen drove the truck and the Cedar Fort crew to Ground Zero while they were in New York. Homen's son, Anthony Homen, also one of the Cedar Fort fire relay drivers, described the scene as solemn.
After flying to New York on Thursday and training on the truck on Friday morning, seven Cedar Fort volunteer firefighters took turns driving the truck from Franklin Square on Long Island, New York, to Cedar Fort from Friday afternoon to Monday morning. Leaving Franklin Square at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 11, the firefighters drove nearly nonstop in two-hour shifts. Ben Angus joined the crew in Rock Springs, Wyoming for the final leg of the journey, arriving in Cedar Fort at 1:30 a.m. on Feb. 14, traveling a distance of 2,272 miles in 43 hours.
Jacobsen said that all along the way at gas stations, truck stops and restaurants, people gathered to admire the fire truck and ask about its intriguing title.
"Everybody was nice and polite. The truck drew quite a crowd," Jacobsen said.
The Cedar Fort Volunteer Fire Department paid $60,000 for the used fire truck with a federal grant for $66,500. The remainder of the funds from the grant will be used to outfit the truck with firefighting equipment. The Franklin Square firefighters reduced the cost to the Cedar Fort force by passing along some of their used equipment.
"Beyond the truck acquisition, they gave us hose and ladders," said Angus, who wrote the grant application in June 2010.
According to Anthony Homen, the Franklin Square firefighters gave their beloved truck a generous send-off, including more than 1,100 feet of hose, three ladders and as much personal turn-out gear as they could spare for their fellow firefighters. They also trained the Cedar Fort firefighters on the truck and shared lunch.
"They spoiled us," Jacobsen said.
Brant Jensen, Cassie Sommer, Evan Jacobsen and Colby Burgess completed the truck transfer crew. All of the drivers had to have their Apparatus Driver Operator certification from the Utah Fire Rescue Academy to operate the truck.
The fire truck's fully-enclosed cab can seat up to 10 firefighters, a safety and comfort feature that made the long trip with eight firefighters possible. The truck also features a mid-mount pump to enable the engineer to better see a fire scene, and a bumper extension for easier hydrant hook-up.
"It's got more gadgets than we've ever seen before," Angus said.