The Branson Fire Department would like to invite the public and media to attend a special “Wet Down Ceremony” to celebrate its new ladder truck on Friday, May 3 at 6 p.m. at Fire Station #2, located at 251 Branson Meadows Drive. The Wet-Down ceremony is a long-standing tradition in the fire service. Firefighters will wet down the new ladder truck from a hose line provided by the truck being replaced. Firefighters and guests will then dry the truck and push it back, by hand, into the fire station bay. This historical ceremony represents the days when firefighters had to wet down the horses used to pull fire engines and push the steam fire engines back into the fire station bay.
The Fire Department was able to purchase and outfit the new 107’ Velocity Ladder Truck with funds from the Public Safety Sales Tax that voters passed in 2017. The Fire Department was able to purchase the truck for about $25,000 under the $1.1 million dollars budgeted for the truck. The Fire Department also saved taxpayers an additional $300,000 by buying a demonstrator unit instead of a brand new truck.
This ladder truck will become the first-out at Fire Station #2 with the 12-year-old 105’ ladder truck moving to reserve status for back-up or when additional ladder trucks are required. The current 23-year-old 75’ reserve ladder truck will be sold by competitive bid. The Fire Department tries to have first-out fire apparatus serve for 10 years and then an additional 10 years in reserve status as identified in the City’s Strategic Plan.
The ceremony should last about 30 minutes and will be followed by tours of the fire station and the new ladder truck that will begin its service immediately following the ceremony. Please join the Branson Fire Department, City officials, residents and guests as they celebrate “progress as promised” from the new Public Safety Sales Tax.