Athens Fire Department christens new truck, a centuries-old tradition

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ATHENS, Texas (KETK) – The Athens Fire Department held a christening ceremony for the introduction of Engine #2 that will service the North Athens Fire Station.

“This is a monumental day for the City of Athens,” said Mayor Monte Montgomery.

The new fire truck was manufactured in Wisconsin and features modern technology designed specifically for today’s response duties. It carries a 1,500 GPM pump, holds 1,000 gallons of water, and 25 gallons of Class A foam.

Friday’s ceremony included a blessing from Father Nolan Lowry of St. Edwards Catholic Church and a lesson on firefighting history and tradition by Fire Chief Russell Marshall.

The tradition dates back to the 1800s during the early day of fire services. Continuing the practice, the Athens Fire Department used water from the old truck to ‘wet down’ the new fire engine before city officials were given towels to dry it. Then everyone gathered around to symbolically push it into the bay where it will be housed.

“I think this truck goes a long way in saying we appreciate you, we support you, we want you to have the best. We are here for you,” Mayor Montgomery said. “We appreciate what you do for the citizens of Athens.”

Mayor Montgomery also praised the work of Athens City Council for making it possible to purchase upgraded equipment.

“First, I’d like to say the council has ultimate trust in Chief Marshall. We appreciate everything he’s done for the City of Athens since he’s been here,” he said. “Number two is the commitment from the council to always supply our firefighters with the best equipment we can.”

Former Engine #2 was redesignated as #3 and put into reserve status.

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