Upton’s blue fire truck during wet-down ceremony on June 2, 2014
On June 2, 2014 the Upton Fire Department decided to take part in a long-standing tradition in fire services, a “wet-down.” This ritual is celebrated by many fire departments in the United States when the department commissions a new fire apparatus. Firefighters in the department anoint the new truck with water sprayed from the retiring pumper’s tank water. The ritual dates back to the late 1800’s.
Over the past three years the Upton Fire Department’s Vehicle Replacement Committee performed a considerable amount of work exploring ways to replace two trucks which were moving towards retirement. The committee determined a Quint would be the best replacement and found a used Quint in Walkersville MD. At the Annual Town Meeting in May the Town approved the purchase of the Quint.
On June 2 the Upton Fire Department performed the wet-down ceremony on the newly acquired truck. During the ceremony Upton Fire/EMS Chief Ron Goodale took a moment to thank the vehicle replacement committee, the fire department, and some of Upton’s Legends (or retired) who were instrumental in the three-year process in making the selection. He also thanked the Town Manager, Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee, Capitol Planning Committee and the Town Treasurer.
Goodale also thanked the people of Upton, “Thank you to the tax payers, the citizens of Upton, who came to town meeting and agreed with us and allowed us to buy this beautiful blue truck.”
Goodale told those who were at the ceremony, “The results of what you see are a change in service delivery for us, a change in efficiency, a safer way of going about our business, and a cost savings of approximately five hundred thousand dollars versus buying a brand new truck. I think we were fortunate in being able to find the vehicle we were looking for.”
Dr. Jan Gregory-Charpentier of the United Parish Church in Upton performed the blessing on the new truck.
After the blessing Chief Good said, “What we have here is a wetting down process; it’s ceremonial. We will usher out the old and bring in the new by wetting down our new truck using our old truck with using our old truck.”
The new truck is a bright shade of blue; according to Fire Lieutenant Shaun Marchand it might be the only blue on in the state of MA.
The Upton Fire Department will be keeping the truck blue.