If you were anywhere near Schuylkill Township on Saturday at around 1 p.m., then you certainly heard quite a bit of activity.
That action was coming from the celebration being held in honor of the Brockton Fire Company's new KME fire engine, purchased in July of 2009.
Flags, emergency vehicles and emergency personnel, and the proud citizens of Brockton lined the main street of town to help the fire company celebrate a long overdue purchase.
To begin the celebration, a parade toured through all of Schuylkill Township with emergency vehicles from McAdoo, Tamaqua, Port Carbon, Hometown, Pottsville, Tuscarora, Lansford, Mary-D, Schuylkill Haven, Landingsville, and Coaldale.
In addition to emergency personnel, state Sen. Dave Argall, U.S. Congressman Tim Holden, and state Rep. Jerry Knowles were in attendance for the parade, chauffeured by both old-fashioned and modern cars.
The parade ended at the Brockton fire house.
The housing ceremony, organized by the Brockton Fire Company with help from the Tuscarora and American Hose Fire Companies, was called to attention by Brockton Fire Company's president, Frank Bassler, with the Pledge of Allegiance.
From there, Bassler began a litany of thanks that started with the citizens of Brockton, the auxiliary, and the American Hose and Tuscarora Fire Companies. Bassler noted that the fire company started with a "hand-drawn cart" and was proud to house the new KME, thanks to the generosity and support of the aforementioned people.
Bassler then thanked Holden, Argall, and Knowles for their continued support of the fire company, giving each of them a plaque.
Holden noted that this parade was a "great time to say thank you to all of our firefighters" for the sacrifice of their time both in training projects and the protection of our communities. He also noted that he was proud of the firefighter program that had begun in 2001 a federal government program designed to help support local and volunteer fire companies that has provided more than $14 million in support since its inception.
Argall noted that he had been affected by a fire close to home when he was in the sixth grade. It taught him what firefighters truly do, and he told the company to simply "keep doing what you're all doing."
Knowles mentioned that he had himself been involved, not extensively, in fire service and that he recognizes that massive effort it takes to acquire the resources necessary to make a purchase like this. He, too, commended the fire company on its efforts.
After many thanks had been given, member Jay Hollenbach introduced Rev. Fred Crawford of Mahanoy City, the official chaplain of the Schuylkill County Fire Fighter's Association, to complete the blessing and dedication of the engine. Crawford asked the crowd to help him as he read Psalm 66 and blessed the engine, asking that the engine "be an instrument which serves the well being of our citizens."
At the completion of the blessing, Robert Davidson, the oldest member of the Brockton Fire Company, came forward to christen the engine by breaking a bottle of champagne on it. The crowd cheered as he did so, and members of the fire company came forward to physically push the engine into their garage.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, people were encouraged to stay for a celebration that was similar to that of a local block party: entertainment, beverages, and good people.