Members of the Ryan Township Fire/Rescue Company in Barnesville celebrated their new 2013 KME engine/rescue truck over the weekend, conducting a truck housing, christening and two-day new truck celebration festival.
Volunteers said that the new truck replaces their heavy rescue and engine trucks. The new 450 horse power truck has a 2,000 gallon per minute pump, 1,000 gallon water tank, three hydraulic hose reels, high power generator, light tower, curtain air bags and so on.
The festival started off with a 66 truck parade, with the housing ceremony immediately afterward.
The Rev. Janet Kline of the Barnesville-Delano UCC Charge started the ceremony with prayer.
Fire Chief Paul Hillibush expressed his appreciation to all the volunteers who made their truck housing a celebration to remember.
"A big thank you to the Ryan Township community and each and every member that put their blood, sweat and tears in the fire company," he said.
Hillibush gave special recognition to the fire company's auxiliary, who helped with all company functions, as well as hold fundraising bingos every Thursday evening at the fire house.
"We enjoy helping the company," said Joann Herring, auxiliary treasurer and member since 1974. "We thank everyone that routinely come out to support the fire company."
Also present and providing words during the event were Ryan Township Supervisor Dave Morgan, Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage and Sen. David Argall.
Special recognition was given during the new truck housing to oldest living members John Zukas, 98, and Martin Hutira, 92.
"These volunteers have done a great job over the years," said Hutira.
He added that his son, Marty, has been an active firefighter with the company over 30 years.
Pointing out a little history, volunteer firefighters added that the old fire house used to be located adjacent to the Brown Bag Market in Barnesville. It moved to its new location, 945 Barnesville Drive, in 1975. They added that members worked hard to pay off the first mortgage in less than two years.
"The event drew a great crowd," said Tom Price II, Captain, Ryan Township Fire/Rescue Company. "The two-day event wouldn't have been possible without all the members and families chipping in."
Hillibush said that fire company is financing the new fire truck entirely on its own, adding that it isn't receiving any financial assistance from the state or federal grants to pay for the truck. He added that any donations can be made out to and mailed to Ryan Township Fire Company, P.O. Box 244, Barnesville, PA 18214.