GALENA — The Genoa Township Fire Department received a new addition to its fleet on Nov. 19.
“In celebration of the arrival of a new fire engine, personnel banded together to physically push it into its garage bay, a firefighting tradition,” states a post on the township’s website. “The new engine takes its place in the garage along side of a new medic vehicle, which was purchased without using any tax dollars.”
Among those who participated in the push-in ceremony was Genoa Township Trustee Karl Gebhardt, who wrote about it on his Facebook page.
“The firefighters actually pushed the engine into the station, signifying that it is officially in service,” Gebhardt said. “Rumor has it this comes from the days of horse-drawn firefighting wagons when the horses were literally pushed into the station, a great tradition continues.
“The township has established a replacement schedule for our safety service vehicles — money is put aside each year based on anticipated length of service — when its time to replace the vehicle the money is there, so there is no added cost to the taxpayers,” Gebhardt continued. “I want to thank the voters for their continued support of our township’s safety services — and thank our police and fire staff for the job they do in protecting and serving our township. Cost of this engine/rescue? When its your family or house — its priceless.”
According to the fire department’s website, Genoa has more than 40 personnel, including 36 certified firefighter/paramedics and six firefighter/EMTs. The department provides emergency medical services, fire suppression, rescue, hazard mitigation, fire prevention and public education services. Based at 7049 Big Walnut Road in Galena, the department has three engines, two medic vehicles, a water rescue boat, and a hazardous materials decontamination trailer. The department’s primary response area is the township’s 21.5 square miles, but it also provides automatic aid to eight neighboring townships and three neighboring municipalities.
The fire department’s mission statement is “to promote fire safety awareness in the township and respond in times of fire, accident or other emergency to preserve lives, property and the environment.”
The new engine comes on the heels of the passage of a fire levy back in November. It was one of three levies township residents approved, along with police, and parks and recreation.
“This levy will fund our department for the next five years and allow us to continue to serve our community at a high level,” said Chief Joe Ponzi on Facebook.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.