Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services held a “wet down” ceremony today at the Cherokee County Administrative Offices for five new fire engines.
The new fire engines were delivered about a month ago and will be put into service next week. According to Assistant Fire Chief, Eddie Robinson, the new trucks are 2017 E-One Typhoons that each have a 1500 gallons per minute (GPM) pump. The trucks also have seating for 6 firefighters and on board generators for emergency flood lighting and equipment.
Assistant Fire Chief Robinson thanked the Cherokee County taxpayers, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners, County Manager, Jerry Cooper, and Cherokee County firefighters for their help in obtaining the new trucks. The Cherokee County Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax (SPLOST) was used in funding the new trucks which cost approximately $400,000 each.
Before the wet down ceremony, Robinson spoke about the history behind wetting down new fire engines. The tradition of wetting down the truck dates back to the horse-drawn pumper days, when horses were wet down to cool them off after a fire. A wet down is a large celebration in which the fire department will share in the joy of a new fire engine or truck by wetting it down before it goes into service. The engine is a firefighter's lifeline; this is why great care is given to its maintenance and appearance.
After a prayer from Cherokee County Fire Chaplain, Dana McPherson, members of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners came forward with water in buckets to help with the wet down of one of the new fire trucks.
The new fire trucks will be put in service on Monday at the following stations; Station 1 in Oak Grove, Station 3 in Hickory Flat, Station 17 in Lake Arrowhead, Station 19 on Highway 92 West and Station 24 on Georgia Highway 5 near the Sixes Road intersection.