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Somers Firemen Celebrate With Wetdown

SOMERS, N.Y. - The Somers Volunteer Fire Department inaugurated new equipment on Saturday at the Amawalk Fire House by holding a traditional Wetdown, a ritual where firefighters from neighboring towns welcome the new gear by washing it down with their own fire apparatus. Fire teams were there from Mahopac, North Salem, Mt. Kisco and farther.

The five new vehicles on display included Engine 183, Ladder 48, Tower Ladder 18, and Ambulance 80B3. But the star of the show was Utility 5, dedicated in honor of Charles “Chuck” Purdy, Jr., who was Fire Police Lieutenant from 1993 until his death in 2010. Bob Totten, commissioner of the Somers Fire District, said, “Chuck was just a phenomenal guy. He really went out of his way to help us.” Referring to the dedication of the truck, he said, “This is well deserved.” A memorial plaque was placed on the truck.

Totten explained that Utility 5 is a general purpose vehicle. “Basically, what the fire police do is they’re the guys who go out when there are trees down, wires down in the road, or if there’s a fire, they close the road. The utility vehicle carries pumps and a spare Hurst (Jaws of Life) tool for car accidents. There are big arrows on three sides of the truck. It’s a very important part of our department.”

All of the new fire-engine-red vehicles were manufactured by the Sutphen Corporation, of Ohio. Mike Meyers, Sutphen’s New York sales representative was on hand for the event. “These have all the new (National Fire Protection Association) standards on them,” he said. “The firefighters have a lot of protection.”

After the wetdown, refreshments were served in a large tent with seating for everyone.

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