Caiden Laur, 3, exclaimed, “I love that fire truck!” Laur was one of the hundreds of Yucaipa and community members who attended the “push in” ceremony Aug. 12, of a new brush engine for Fire Station 552 on Yucaipa Boulevard.
Yucaipa Fire Chief Grant Malinowski welcomed the large crowd on Monday afternoon. He introduced city council members and the fire personnel who built the engine, including Chief Ron Janssen, Captain Allen (Skip) Miller and Engineer A.J. Ponce. The Presentation of Colors by CAL FIRE Honor Guard was led by bag pipe musician Tress Maksimuk of Dark Isle Piper. Yucaipa Mayor Bobby Duncan welcomed guests. “I want to commend and thank the greatest firefighting organization in the world, CAL FIRE,” said Duncan. “We are honored and blessed to have them serve our city.”
Duncan also provided some specifics about the new brush engine. He said the new KME brush engine replaces the 24-year-old Mack brush engine. The new brush engine has increased ground clearance, firefighting equipment storage and double the pumping gallons per minute. It also boasts a four-wheel-drive to allow better access to all types of terrain. Chief Malinowski spoke about the history of the “push-in” tradition.
“The fire service has a deep-rooted history with honoring tradition, the push-in of the new fire engine has been around for over 120 years. I was honored to share this tradition with our community as we commemorate the firefighters who have served before us.”
The unity of efforts was a sight to see as attendees pushed the new fire engine into its permanent home.
“I’ve never seen this done before,” was a sentiment heard over and over. Guests were invited to go inside the engine and take photos in it.
Local dignitaries were present. Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh attended with her husband Greg Bogh. She said, “The ceremony is another example of how our city continues to help foster traditions in order to build a sense of community.”
Fire Chief Malinowski concurred.
“I was humbled and inspired by the display of pride and support the community gave to their Yucaipa Fire Department,” said Malinowski. “The overwhelming response from the community exemplified why Yucaipa is the best city to live and work in.”