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Fire Rescue Push-In Ceremony to be held on Ft. Clarke Boulevard at 8:30 a.m. on August 2

Press release from Alachua County

ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. – Alachua County Fire Rescue invites the public to join them for a “Push-In Ceremony” for their new Heavy Rescue unit on Tuesday, August 2, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. at Station 23 (1600 Fort Clarke Boulevard, Gainesville). The outdoor event includes comments from Fire Chief Harold Theus and local officials, followed by a ceremonial “wash down” of the vehicle. Then it will be pushed by hand into the apparatus bay of its new firehouse.

The “Push-In Ceremony” is a fire service tradition dating back to the 1800s. The apparatus was not easily backed into the station with the horses, so after a call, firefighters would disconnect the fire equipment from the horses and push the apparatus back into the bay.

Heavy Rescue 23 will respond to a variety of emergencies across Alachua County. In addition to standard medical and fire equipment, the unit carries an array of specialized equipment, including an air cascade system to refill firefighter’s Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) at fires, technical rescue equipment for below-grade and high-angle rescues, and heavy extrication equipment designed for vehicles such as semi-trucks, buses, rail cars, and airplanes. 

“We welcome this critical piece of equipment that will improve the safety of our residents and firefighters,” said Fire Chief Harold Theus. “Beyond our personnel and the construction of a new fire station, this is the single largest investment that our organization can make—an investment that is only possible with the support of our residents, County Manager, and County Commissioners.”

Heavy Rescue 23 is a 2021 E-One Typhoon Custom built on a non-walk-in rescue chassis. It represents a nearly $1 million investment in the safety of Alachua County’s citizens and visitors. The state-of-the-art vehicle was designed and outfitted by Alachua County Fleet Services and Alachua County Fire Rescue Apparatus Committee members. It replaces Squad 23, a 2005 E-One of similar design that has been in service for nearly 20 years as a front-line response vehicle and has amassed more than a quarter of a million miles answering service calls.

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  • I am very thankful and appreciative of our Fire-Rescue group in Alachua County. Thank you all for the great work you do!

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