Have we forgotten Tradition in the fire service ?!?!?

First off let me start off by apologizing if this blog offends anyone. If you feel like you are easily offended , please do not read. Other than that, you have been warned. I decided to write this post in response to a Facebook post I saw just moments ago (I plan to keep this short and to the point). While being respectful I will keep the names of the fire department and station private.  But it is on Facebook, so how much privacy is there really? So what I saw was a fire station looking for ideas to replace their traditional “Wetting down ceremony” of their new apparatus . The reason they were looking for new ideas was, they were told that promoting a Wetting down ceremony was a violation of church and state. Correct me if I’m wrong , It states that a Separation of Church and State is the distance in the relationship of organized religion and the nation state. How in the crap is promoting or participating in a wetting down ceremony a organized religion??? It”s no different from our own government smashing a champagne bottle across the bow of a new war ship. Its the same thing and still is a common practice with our government.

Has today fire service changed so much that people forgot where they came from? As soon as they get into an administrative role it sucks the life and common sense out of them. Firefighters need to stand up for them selves and their rights. In the world of budget cuts, budget short falls , and administrative pay increases. Tradition is all we have left to keep the brotherhood! Now they are trying to take that away from all of us. No matter if you are Union or not, we all need to stick together. Do not forget where you came from!!


Note: Wetting down a new fire apparatus started many years ago. It is a way christening a new apparatus very much like the government does to its Navy ships. To learn more about how wetting down the new apparatus got started, I suggest you do some research ( I do not give out free history lessons, you have to work to get something you want). By doing so, you can learn for your self and pass it down to the ones beside, below, and above you.





  • Chris Davis says:

    I swear sometimes what people try to do int the name of “political correctness” makes my sick! I have NEVER heard of a new rig not getting a wet-down. I thought that tradition was one of the biggest parts of our profession. If we have sunk so low as to forget our history then as upsetting as it makes me to say it, then I am glad I am retired!

  • Lee says:

    I am one of those administration folks that is trying to keep what common sense and life I have left. I agree with everything you say. Fire Department across the country are built on traditions…one tradition I saw go away was pushing in a new rig in the station by firefighters instead of backing in under its own power because they were worried of hurting someone. Give me a break.

  • XTRUKY says:

    Now days you can be suspended or terminated for putting water in a Probie’s boots. No more teasing the new kids? get real. If you are upset cause your feet got wet, and everyone laughed at you, then perhaps the Fire Service is not for you, pack up your panties and go to the police Department, they will welcome you.
    And I agree with the statement about when a good firefighter becomes Top Staff, their brains and common sense are suck out of them. I’ve seen many a good leader, now riding a desk, who has forgotten from where he came, it’s a dam shame.

  • Edward Mills says:

    Thats why last November I gave a one hour presentation to our explorers about the history and traditions of the Fire Dept. It seems that when you join a fire department today, you are trained on SOP’s and firefighting practices. You are trained on the use of all the equiptment BUT no one mentions history or tradition. Its a shame.

  • Edward Mills says:

    It is a shame! Tradition and knowing where you came from is as important as training. It brings a sense of pride that you carry on. I gave a class on tradition to our explorers, because I thought it was important. They have to know where the fire service came from and it’s beginnings!!

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