05/25/07 44 W - + 15 - 19 Station 28 Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony for Station 28 is scheduled for Tuesday, June 4, at 2:00 p.m., we're told. The event, open to the public, will include a housing ceremony for the engine. This traditional activity involves pushing the engine by hand into the station.

What are the origins of housing ceremonies?

From http://www.fortwashingtonfc.org/events.h..
“Housing” is a tradition among fire stations throughout the country. The records of many early fire companies mention the housing of new apparatus, though not actually using that term in all cases.

It was a tradition born in the 1830’s with the proliferation of fire and hose companies in our eastern cities. Many new companies purchased – or borrowed – used equipment from other companies. The selling company, usually in Philadelphia or New York, would often deliver the engine or carriage and have the honor of “housing” it at its new owner’s house. Many times, when a newly-built engine or carriage arrived, one of the city’s companies would be given the honor of escorting it to the owning company’s house and placing it in service.

Part of the traditional housing ceremony includes having the firefighters push the new apparatus into the firehouse which stemmed from the time of horse drawn equipment could not be easily be backed into the building by the horses.

From http://www.midlandtexas.gov/press_releas..
According to our research, firehouse legend holds that the housing ritual dates back to the early 1800s. Fire Engine companies would invite guests to the stations to see their new fire rigs. They backed their apparatus into the stations by pushing it into the stations instead of hooking up the horse teams. A “Housing Ceremony” was then started from those early days. The community would get involved along with the firefighters, in a gala event denoting a new start. The firefighters would clean and decorate the fire station, wear their best parade dress uniforms, and invite the community to help celebrate the fire company’s new good fortune. The ceremony includes pushing the apparatus back into the station three times, symbolizing the Holy Trinity. Due to the weight of modern day engines, engine power is used to assist the participants. For added luck, a dollar bill is sometimes placed behind one of the wheels before it is moved. In closing the ceremony, the fire apparatus is blessed into service.
Legeros - 05/25/07 - 21:41

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