OCALA, FL—Ocala (FL) Fire Rescue (OFR) welcomed a new aircraft rescue firefighting (ARFF) apparatus on December 14 during a “Push-In” ceremony.
Elected officials, community members, and firefighters gathered at Fire Station No. 4 to witness as OFR welcomed ARFF1, the first vehicle of its kind manufactured by E-ONE.
The ceremony included a brief address by Fire Chief Shane Alexander, who spoke of the apparatus’s features, the project’s funding sources, and the history behind the ceremony to follow. The “pushing-in” of the apparatus proceeded. With an ARFF team member, Edward Floyd, behind the wheel of ARFF1, firefighters lined themselves in front of the apparatus and prepared to “push” it into the fire station bay.
Having completed the tradition dating back to the 1800s when horse-drawn steam engines were pushed back into the station by firefighters after a call, ARFF1 was announced to be officially in service.
“During my career with Ocala Fire Rescue, I’ve witnessed the addition of two ARFF vehicles to our fleet,” said Ocala Fire Chief Shane Alexander. “Considering these purchases occurred 21 years apart, receiving this state of the art apparatus, custom-built to fit Ocala’s aircraft firefighting and hazard mitigation needs, is exciting and humbling.”