Brentwood, Tenn. – Dating back to the 1600’s, when hand-drawn fire engines, ladder wagons, and hose carts were used, the equipment had to be manually pushed into the fire station by hand. At Brentwood’s Fire Station Three, located at 1750 General George Patton Drive, members of the Brentwood Fire and Rescue Department, were able to celebrate the present, with a nod to the past on Monday, June 10, 2019.
Brentwood Vice Mayor Ken Travis thanked the crowd of city leaders, citizens, business owners, and fire staff for attending. “It is wonderful to live and lead in a city that has managed its budget well to be able to afford quality equipment like this. Celebrating the present while honoring the past, is an excellent way to dedicate this new piece of equipment today, especially in the year Brentwood turns 50 years old,” Travis said.
Last year, the city approved a $899,943 purchase for a custom Pierce fire truck. A committee of Brentwood fire staff, led by Lt. David Wright, helped create and build Ladder 53 to meet the specific needs of Brentwood. Brentwood City Manager Kirk Bednar said, “the apparatus was designed exclusively to serve both the unique residential and commercial districts common to the Cool Springs area to which it will be assigned.” The versatile, multi-use apparatus consists of ground ladders and an aerial ladder device, water tank, pump, and hose lines. Brentwood Fire & Rescue currently has three Pierce fire apparatus in the fleet, with the new truck being the fourth. Pierce Manufacturing is based in Appleton, Wisconsin, where it started manufacturing fire trucks in 1913.
The truck was built from the ground up in ten months, based on the exact specifications that Brentwood desired. The truck pulled into Brentwood for delivery on May 7, 2019. Lieutenant John Piccolo explained the unique features of this truck including that it is the first “clean cab” type of truck now in Brentwood. “It is designed in such a way that contaminated equipment from a fire scene does not have to be transported back to the station in the cab. There are all sealed off compartments for the crew’s protection and the truck cab is made of hard surfaces, so it can be completely disinfected and cleaned,” Lt. Piccolo said. These new features will help reduce the exposure to cancer causing chemicals in the fire industry. The apparatus is especially unique due to the 75-foot ladder and the easy maneuverability.
The City of Brentwood started its fire protection service for citizens in 1986 when the population was about 15,000. Today, the population is 43,889 and the department averages nearly 4,000 calls per year. Fire Chief Brian Goss enlightened Monday’s crowd about the history of firefighting when equipment was pushed back into the station by hand. “Beginning in the 1800’s — Horse drawn steam engines were used but it was difficult to align the steam connections on the engine with those in the station, so the horses were unharnessed, and the steamers were also often pushed back into the station by hand,” Chief Goss said.
Once motorized engines went into service, the hand pushing was history. “The fire service is rich with tradition, so that is what we are doing today with the push-in—we want to pay homage to the past,” Chief Goss added. More than twenty current and retired Brentwood firefighters then placed their hands on the new ladder truck and collectively pushed it in Fire Station 3.
Deputy Chief David Windrow thanked the team members and reminded them “while this honors our former fire members, it also reminds us of the unity among current staff.”
Community Relations Director | City of Brentwood
Photos: Harrison McClary/News & Observer