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PIT's Fire Department Hosts Traditional Housing Ceremony to Dedicate Its New Fire Truck


PITTSBURGH, PA (September 16, 2009) – The Allegheny County Airport Authority’s Fire Department held a Housing Ceremony on September 16, 2009 for Rescue 10, its new emergency response vehicle from Oshkosh Corporation. The event featured food and beverages sponsored by IAFF Local 1038.

“The safety of travelers and airport personnel is always the highest priority. Having the proper equipment is critical to ensuring the success of any emergency response. Our emergency response employees are continuously training and learning about the newest and most effective ways to protect the traveling public. We are pleased to be able to showcase our excellent resources in this unique way,” stated Bradley D. Penrod, Allegheny County Airport Authority Executive Director/CEO.

Rescue 10 is an Oshkosh Striker 3000, an aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) vehicle which is among the most advanced and responsive vehicles of its type in the world and provides the ultimate in airport emergency protection. The Airport Authority’s Fire Department owns other crash trucks made for responding to aircraft emergencies, but Rescue 10 is its first Striker truck.

“This truck will really enhance our capabilities and provide a more efficient and safer work platform for our firefighters,” said Deputy Chief Brian Colella.

Rescue 10 carries 3000 gallons of water, 420 gallons of foam and 500 pounds of dry chemical extinguishing agent. It’s also wider and has a lower center of gravity, which enhances stability while maneuvering. Another advanced feature of the vehicle is its ability to “pump and roll,” meaning firefighters can flow water from the truck while driving it at the same time. Other vehicles can only flow from a stationary position.

The $800,000 vehicle was largely paid for with a $600,000 Airport Improvement Program grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. PennDOT Bureau of Aviation provided $100,000 of the remaining cost and the rest was covered by $100,000 in Airport Authority capital funds.

The Housing Ceremony for Rescue 10 at Fire Station Echo reflected on traditions as old as the fire service. The first part of the ceremony includes transferring water from the retiring Rescue 16 to Rescue 10. Rescue 16 will be taken out of regular service and will be used in education at the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Training Facility.

“This part of the ceremony is the act of transferring old to new. Like many things in life, it is important not to forget the past. This water is ready to protect life and property and now we are moving it to our new apparatus,” said Firefighter Tom Cloonan.

For the next part of the ceremony, the crew will wash down the tires of Rescue 10. During the hub and spoke wooden wheels era, washing wheels kept the wheels from drying out after a fire and it cleaned the horse-drawn wagon before pulling into the fire station.

The final part of the traditional housing ceremony involves having the firefighters push the new apparatus into the firehouse, a fire service tradition that dates back to the 19th century. All presenters joined the ARFF crew in pushing Rescue 10 into the station.

“The Housing of Rescue 10 now begins its service protecting the traveling public and surrounding areas of Pittsburgh International Airport,” said Cloonan. 

 Photos from event below :

Rescue 10, the ARFF’s new emergency response vehicle.
ARFF fire trucks and fire fighter equipment ready to go!

ARFF ladder truck.
Brad Penrod speaks to the crowd in front of Rescue 10.

Nino Sapone thanks the Fire Fighters for their hard work and dedication.
Fire Chief Rick Wilson explains the benefits of the new fire truck.

Fire Fighter Tom Cloonan explains each part of the traditional housing ceremony.
Transfer of water from an old truck into the new truck is part of the traditional housing ceremony.

Those in attendance “push” the truck into the fire house, part of the housing ceremony.
Fire Fighter Jack Balkovec with son, Logan, check out Rescue 10.

Trish Cloonan catered the event.


Sep 15, 2009