The Diligent Fire Company No. 3 of Jim Thorpe dedicated its new pumper Saturday in a ceremony held at the firehouse in the Heights section of the town.
The new piece of firefighting equipment is a 2010 KME Custom Pumper built locally at the Kovatch Organization in Nesquehoning.
Following tradition – after opening remarks from company Captain Kevin McArdle, an invocation by the Rev. James Ward, and the Pledge of Allegiance – the new piece of equipment was christened in much the same way as a new ship.
The honor of breaking a bottle of champagne against Engine 1114's front bumper went to District Justice and Diligent Fire Company Vice President Ed Lewis.
As the champagne flowed freely from the broken bottle, firefighters from Jim Thorpe and surrounding communities cheered and applauded the event.
This was followed by yet another age-old tradition with roots going back to the days of horse-drawn equipment – the Housing Ceremony.
With the muscle of about a dozen or so members of the fire company, the new apparatus was pushed into the firehouse, where on this day it did not stay for long.
That was because, shortly after these parts of the dedication ceremony were completed, the new engine and others from the Jim Thorpe Fire Department and nearby communities participated in a fire truck parade from the Diligent Fire Company across Jim Thorpe to Memorial Park on the east side of town.
After everyone settled in under the outdoor pavilion at the park, proceedings continued with the speeches, acknowledgments, presentation of awards, and hot food and refreshments for all participants.
Live musical entertainment for the reception part of the dedication was provided by a popular local band, Becky and the Beasts.
During the presentations at the park, a special plaque and heartfelt thanks were presented to Pino and Michele Buzzetta, the owners of Dom N Ali's Restaurant, for their support and dedication to the Diligent Fire Company.
Prior to the presentation of the plaque, Pino presented a check to the fire company in support of their fundraising efforts and Dom N Ali's Restaurant also supplied a diverse menu of hot foods for the reception in the park.
Adding a little extra to the day, was the presence at Memorial Park of the company's previous 1977 Mack pumper, which had been purchased by a collector from New Jersey who takes it to parades and car shows.
Also on display was a scale model of the old engine, which was built and donated to the fire company by Chris Yocum from Folsom, Pa.
Under the heading of something old and something new, the new pumper carries the original bell from the old 1977 Mack engine, which was removed and restored and now has a Mack Bulldog mounted on top of it.
The new fire apparatus will continue the Diligent Fire Company No. 3's uninterrupted service to Jim Thorpe and surrounding communities since the company's founding in 1874.