Palmetto Bay’s Fire Station 50 inaugurated service for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s new Engine 50 on Monday, Apr. 8, with a traditional “push-in” ceremony.
Dozens of Miami-Dade Fire Department personnel and Policing Unit officers were joined by village officials, VIP guests and local residents to welcome the new state of the art fire engine on a day with perfect weather.
The push-in tradition goes back to the days when fire engines were horse drawn wagons that had to be manually backed into a fire station’s garage bay since there was no “reverse gear.”
Mayor Karyn Cunningham made the introductions and Vice Mayor John DuBois, Councilmembers Patrick Fiore and Marsha Matson were there on behalf of the village. Miami-Dade Fire Chief Dave Downey and more than a dozen firefighters participated as did members of the village police department. Miami-Dade County District 8 Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava spoke, and Omar Blanco, president of Metro-Dade Firefighters IAFF Local 1403, represented union firefighters.
“We are super excited to be here,” Mayor Cunningham said. “I want to say a big thank you to [Miami-Dade] County Mayor [Carlos] Giminez and the commissioners for putting this in the budget.”
She introduced the firefighters as very special people there because they are all about saving lives. She then presented a large key to the village to the fire station and crew. Engine 50 will be staffed by four personnel, an officer, driver/operator and two firefighters.
Fire Chief Dave Downey accepted and also expressed gratitude to the county.
“I am pleased that our mayor and the Board of County Commissioners have recognized the need for this new service and approved the necessary budget to make this a reality,” Chief Downey said. “In order to continue to provide the highest level of life-saving care to this community, we must keep pace with growth and this new service is an example of just that.”
Blanco said that a fire engine at that location had been needed for some time and that this new one was a big step forward.
“Engine 50 is designed with the newest technology,” Blanco said. “It has a clean cab design with a separate storage area for the gear that the firefighters wear so that the toxic chemicals that accumulate while fighting a fire don’t contaminate the crew.”
Levine Cava came to the microphone to share her thoughts about the event, and to say thank you to station personnel.
“When I look at this beautiful truck I see the men and women who ride it fearlessly to save everybody’s lives and help everybody in need, so my special commendation, honor, applause and respect to all of you, each and every day.”
Everyone from fire crews to officials, residents, adults and children gathered at the front of the engine and along the sides to push the gleaming new engine into the garage.
Fire Station No. 50 is located at 9798 E. Hibiscus St., directly across the street from Village Hall.