Pittsfield Fire Department christens new engine

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PITTSFIELD — Pittsfield firefighters ushered in a new fire engine on Monday with some good, old-fashioned manpower. Literally.

About a dozen blaze battlers gathered around the new 2019 Seagrave Capitol, squatting into their knees and leaning in as they pushed — with help from a rev or two of the engine — until the new apparatus inched into the department's headquarters on Columbus Avenue.

Not because they needed to, Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said. But because they can.

He said the new fire engine, now dubbed "engine 3," arrived last week with a price tag of $650,000. Funds for the vehicle fell under the capital budget for the current fiscal year, which ends at the end of the month.

Czerwinski called the new vehicle a "rescue pumper," meaning it's built to hold the department's rescue equipment, like the Jaws of Life.

He said the ceremonial push will hopefully grow into a new tradition. Firefighters would physically push new engines into the station back in the 1800s, he said, when they used horse-drawn steam pumpers to fight fires.

"It's an old tradition but it's making a resurgence," Czerwinski said.

The Rev. Peter Gregory also came to the station on Monday to bless the new engine.

"Bless it with your protection," he asked of a higher power. "Protect and shield it from harm."

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.


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