I have started to incorporate little bits and pieces of fire service history and traditions in my various training classes. In order to make sure I'm passing along accurate information, I'd like to verify the history and origin of some of the more common FD traditions. I wonder if as a group we could assemble an accurate overview of some of the most common fire service traditions.
For example: Housing Ceremony for New Fire Apparatus
Part of the traditional housing ceremony includes having the firefighters push the new apparatus into the firehouse. The origin is reported to be from the time of horse drawn equipment which could not be easily be backed into the building by the horses. In some places water from an old unit was transferred to the new apparatus often leading to spillage which then required the unit to be wiped down. In some places when the new engine or piece arrived, one of the mutual aid companies would be given the honor of escorting it to the fire company's firehouse and placing it in service. I have heard several reasons for why the unit is pushed in three separate times - What's your version of the reason for three "push back's"??
Other traditions and ceremonies for discussion might include the reasons and purpose of the various symbols used in FD badges and patches; history and overview of common apparatus design features like the Mattydale hose load or booster lines; bells on fire apparatus; etc. etc.
We've all heard various stories and reasons but I sometimes wonder which stories are the most accurate. Maybe this group can collaborate and pull together accurate information.