New Fire Engine Rolls into Service in Rochester

An old-school "wet down" ceremony helps dedicate the newest addition to the Rochester Fire Department fleet.

A new fire truck was pushed into its holding spot in the bay at the on Sunday morning in a ceremony complete with a good old-fashioned wet-down.

"The tradition is an old one that goes all the way back to the time when steam-powered fire trucks were powered by horses," Rochester Fire Chief John Cieslik said. "The tradition was that you unhooked the horses from the old engine to the new one, and then you took the hoses and wet the engine down."

Sunday, an engine from the provided the water for the ceremony.

Rochester's new engine was purchased for $360,000 as part of the city's budget this year.

"This fire truck is very special," Cieslik said. "It's a commitment from the council in these times to provide us with this type of state-of-the-art equipment."

The dedication ceremony followed a monthly pancake breakfast at the fire department and drew a crowd of more than 100 on the sunny morning.

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