Public Invited to "Push-In Ceremony" to mark the Introduction of New Fire Engine

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 December 2017 12:39

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                 Asst. Chief Ryan Scharnhorst

Friday, Dec. 15, 2017                                        Capt. Eric Reiber





          PULLMAN—The Pullman Fire Department is inviting the public to attend a “push-in ceremony” that will mark the introduction of its new fire engine on Friday, Dec. 22 at 2 pm at Fire Station 1 at 620 S. Grand Ave. The public can check out the new engine, tour the fire station and enjoy some light refreshments after the ceremony.

          Asst. Chief Ryan Scharnhorst said fire departments are rich with tradition and this ceremony goes back to the days of the horse drawn fire equipment.  After the ladder or steam pumper was displayed, firefighters needed to push in the wagon back into the station.  In this case, “there will be someone driving the new fire engine with a little help from our firefighters,” Scharnhorst said.

          The new 2017 engine weighs around 45,000 pounds and carries 500 gallons of water, according to Capt. Eric Reiber, who put the specifications together and helped design the new engine built by Spartan Emergency Response Vehicles.  Reiber said Pullman’s hills and streets drives the cost of the fire engine when you factor in the size of the motor, transmission, gear ratios and rear driveline required to maneuver some of our city streets with 11 to 15 percent grades.

          Reiber said it can be three to four years before a new piece of equipment finally arrives to be placed into service.  He said from the time the department gathers all the material and lists the specifications, to the bid process, and then the construction—which in this case included four on-site visits near Sioux Falls, South Dakota by Reiber and the city’s automotive repair supervisor, Chris Arvas—before the equipment finally arrives in the city.  Then once it arrives, crews need to place Pullman equipment on the rig.

          The public will notice that the new engine is close in design to the engine that the city put in service two years ago at Station 2. “But, just like in new cars, there are changes in the electronics in this engine, changes in the heating and cooling system and there are new restraints to protect personnel if the engine is involved in an accident,” Reiber said.   Older fire engines have manual valves and levers that fire engineers need to move up and down to control water flow. “There are no levers on this engine,” Reiber mentioned, “it’s all done electronically.”  This engine and its two- year-old close cousin both are equipped with cabinets to store turnouts that firefighters wear when fighting fires.  He said Washington state law requires, what national fire guidelines recommend, that all used gear be in closed cabinets to prevent firefighters from breathing in any harmful chemicals that their clothing may have acquired while they were fighting a fire.  Loose equipment is no longer allowed in the cabs to prevent injuries in the event of an accident. 

          The previous engine the city purchased came with financial assistance from a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant.   The price tag on this engine was $650,000 and was paid for without grant money.  The city picked up more of the cost but Washington State University contributed 20-percent or $136,000 towards its purchase.                


(Written by Glenn Johnson, PFD/PIO)