West Pierce Pushes Back New Medic Unit
University Place, Wash. – On Monday, February 2nd, West Pierce Fire & Rescue brought a new medic unit into the fleet. A second medic unit will go into service within a few weeks. These units will become two of the busiest in the fire district, with one responding out of Station 31 in University Place and the other responding out of Station 21 in Lakewood.
While the typical life span of a medic unit is 12 years, the units being replaced have been in service and on the streets for 15-18 years, due to conscious budget constraints. West Pierce Fire & Rescue has been waiting to replace them in an effort to save taxpayer dollars and reduce overall costs. One of these new medic units was purchased with federal grant dollars, thanks to an award of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program.
A dedication ceremony was held this morning, where firefighters took ownership with a push back ceremony to officially put the medic unit in service. The ceremony began with a welcome and thanks to those in attendance, then the Chaplains blessed the new unit, as well as the citizens and firefighters that will rely on it.
This tradition began when pumpers were pulled by horses. When a new pumper was brought to the station for the first time, the horses were unharnessed and the water from the old pumper would be transferred into the new, spilling over the sides and wetting it down, or ‘christening’ it. The firefighters would wash and dry the pumper down and then push it into the bay.
West Pierce Fire & Rescue is thankful to have two new units join its fleet and replace those that were overdue.