By Patrick Lacombe, The Belton Journal
The Belton Fire Department’s Roll-in Ceremony for its new Pierce Custom Cab Pumper Truck was held Monday at 1:30 pm at the Central Fire Station, 203 S. Penelope. The truck was placed into service on Feb. 12 by Fire Chief Francisco Corona.
The City Council previously authorized purchase of the truck following a recommendation by the 2013 Capital Improvement Plan Committee. The truck was purchased for $395,760 and has many updated features not found on the older pumpers that are in service with Belton’s Fire Department. Corona Thanked Mayor Marion Grayson and City Manager Sam Listi along with the City Council for authorizing the purchase.
The new pumper is now designated as Engine 1, replacing the older pumper purchased 20 years ago.
“The old pumper will now be known as Pumper 2, and we will keep the old pumper in service for a while longer,” Corona said.
The Chief also mentioned that the new pumper has already seen action at three fires since being placed into service, including the blaze which destroyed Capital Truck and Equipment in Belton. Firefighters reported seeing heavy smoke and flames as the first units arrived to the scene at 9:42 p.m. on Feb. 19. One firefighter was injured by falling debris and was treated at the hospital and later released back to duty. No other injuries were reported.
Chief Corona also explained the significance of the Fire Department Roll-In for new equipment.
“Back when fire departments used horses and fire wagons to respond to fires, the horses could not back the wagons into the bays, so the Fire Fighters would unload all the equipment, then they would push the wagon into the bay,” he said. “Nowadays, when a new piece of equipment comes into service, we transfer equipment to the new truck and the firefighters push the new truck into the bay.”
Because of the massive weight of the new trucks, the roll-in is symbolic and the driver actually backs the truck into the bay while firefighters push from the front.
Helping with the roll-in were firefighters from both Belton Fire stations, along with Mayor Marion Grayson and Councilmembers Craig Pearson, Dan Kirkley and Jerri Gauntt.