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'Wetdown' ceremony to kick off Upper Mountain recruiting drive

by jmaloni
Sat, Oct 1st 2011 06:55 pm

Firefighters and other first responders from across Niagara County will be on hand Saturday, Oct. 8, at 11 a.m. when the Upper Mountain Volunteer Fire Co. christens its newly purchased fire engine during a "wetdown" ceremony on the company grounds at 839 Moyer Road.

The ceremony, one of the most enjoyable traditions celebrated by firefighters though the years, will kick off a series of activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Upper Mountain's annual Community Open House. It will also serve as the formal kickoff for Upper Mountain's recruitment drive.

Scheduled as part of national Fire Prevention Week, the open house will feature a cookout, fire and rescue demonstrations, fire safety education, blood pressure checks and fire truck rides. Fire Prevention Week's message this year is: "Keeping you, your family, and your community safer from fire."

"This event will be an opportunity for community members to see what Upper Mountain is all about, tour our facilities, see the apparatus, watch demonstrations, ask questions and even join," Chief Lee Casper said.

One of the busiest all-volunteer fire companies in Western New York, the Upper Mountain Fire Company provides fire protection, technical rescue and emergency medical services to residents and businesses in the Town of Lewiston. The company has already responded to nearly 1,100 calls for service this year.

 "We invite all members of the community to attend the event," said Upper Mountain President David Bialas. "As a fire department, some may get the impression that it is all about the fire trucks and ambulances, but as a volunteer corporation there is a business aspect that is needed to keep our vehicles on the road. We always need help planning events, fundraising, working on budgets and assisting with the business operations of the department. There is always a need for volunteers and everyone has a skill that we can put to use at Upper Mountain."

Upper Mountain's new fire engine is a 2011 Rosenbauer Custom Aluminum Body Fire Apparatus on a Spartan Metro Star Chassis. Powered by a Cummins ISC 350 diesel engine it has a 750-gallon water tank, 30-gallon foam tank and 1,750 gallon-per-minute Hale pump.

The scheduled "wetdown" is the fire service's way of celebrating the activation of a new firefighting vehicle and commissioning it into service. Neighboring fire companies join in the fun by bringing their fire engines and hosing down the new vehicle. The ceremony also borrows from the tradition of christening a newly commissioned ship.

For more information, contact Bialas at 297-0330.

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