Valdosta Fire Department honored early firefighters with a Push-in Ceremony on Friday, March 24, 2023. The ceremony commissioned its newest 2023 Sutphen Fire Engine 8 and placed it into service.
Fire Chief Brian Boutwell began the ceremony by explaining its tradition and history, saying that it dates back to the 1800s when horse-drawn apparatuses had to be pushed into the bays. Many fire departments hold push-in ceremonies as a tribute to early firefighters and encourage community members to participate.
Following a prayer led by Deputy Chief Marcus Haynes, the community was invited to push the fire engine into the bay. Scintilla Charter Academy students, fire personnel, parents, and other citizens took part in pushing the apparatus into the station. Following the engine’s placement into the bay, the children cheered, “We did it! We did it!”. Afterward, children and other community members were invited to explore the new unit.
“The community’s outstanding support for this event is profound,” Chief Boutwell said. ” I am proud to serve a community that demonstrates such a strong commitment to its first responders.”
The Valdosta Fire Department thanks the community and organizations who supported and participated in welcoming the new engine.