COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Members of the Columbus Fire Department gathered at Station 10 on Monday morning to welcome a new fire truck to the fleet. This is the first new fire truck to join the fleet in five years, according to the Columbus Fire Chief, Salvatore Scarpa. 

The new fire truck cost $800,000 and was funded through the American Rescue Plan funds that the city received as well as, funds from the general budget. Chief Scarpa said the truck came fully equipped with the new technology and equipment that is ready to use. 

“These trucks are obviously going to be far more dependable. Our old trucks are pretty tired and they spend a lot of time in the shop which means a lot of downtime, which means we have a truck out of service for a period of time until we get another truck in. Response time for our community should be more consistent and we should be able to get a resource that’s dependable and on scene in a quick amount of time,” said Chief Scarpa.

Several firefighters participated in a “push-in ceremony” where the firetruck was washed for the first time and pushed into the station by the firefighters as its initiation. According to Chief Scarpa, the tradition dates back to the 1800’s when the trucks were horse-drawn. The horses couldn’t push the truck back into the station after a call and the trucks had to be physically pushed. 

Chief Scarpa said the department is expecting to get several new trucks in the fleet. There will be five fire trucks and two ladder trucks added to the department over the next five months. 

“We’re very thankful to our Mayor and council to provide us the truck, this is one of several that are coming in over the next several months. We have a fleet that is in need of repair and replacement so we’re appreciative of them being able to provide us with this equipment and we’re looking forward to getting some more,” said Chief Scarpa.