ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The brand-new Ladder One was unveiled Wednesday afternoon on January 4, at what is known as a push ceremony. Cande Flores, Abilene Fire Chief, said this ceremony represents tradition and the past.
“It’s based on tradition, where they used to have to physically push in equipment because it was drawn by horses,” Flores explained.
The ceremony signifies the engines start of service. This one, however, is special. The engines design is dedicated to Dyess Air Force Base to signify its relationship with the city of Abilene.
“Dyess is in the grill, it lights up when the equipment is lit up, it also says we support our troops,” Flores said. “There are little things here and there that just kind of all point back to that relationship and symbolize how we support those that support us as well in our Dyess community.”
Dyess has two planes that have painted designs to honor Abilene, a C-130 named the Spirit of Abilene and a retired B-1 that was named the Star of Abilene.
Master Sergeant Travis Clawson, Chief of the Dyess Fire Department, said it was an honor to be invited to the ceremony.
“They have a very nice truck here,” Clawson said. “It’s very respectful that they took the time to actually pay dedication to the base and all the little, small tabs, the details, is very much showing that it’s appreciation to the base. It’s very military friendly community,” explained Clawson.
The new engine, which had a price tag of 1.28 million dollars, also comes equipped with brand new technology, making it more maneuverable and allowing smoother rescues.
But this engine isn’t the only new project up the fire departments sleeve. Fire Station No. 9 was approved this past election and the process towards construction could be starting soon. This new station would help speed up response time to South Abilene and Wylie areas.
“We’re probably going to get things moving that direction next month, February. So, we’re starting to talk to local architects trying to determine which direction to go there. We really want to keep things as local as possible,” Chief Flores explained.
If all goes as planned, the estimated completion date is set for January of 2025.