You can check out some video footage of the event at the Joplin Globe Online.
I honestly didn't expect this event to be so entertaining. I thought I'd snap a couple pictures and then be on my way. But it was more than just presenting a new fire truck. It was an actual ceremony, complete with rituals that are apparently shared with other fire departments.
Closeup of all the dials and switches. I have no idea what any of this does:
You can see the one they retired behind the new one. The old one was made out of steel, which required painting and upkeep so it wouldn't rust. The new one is made of aluminum, which will not rust or lose its color.
Transferring the water from the old model to a new one is part of the tradition:
Another tradition: wetting the wheels. I missed the explanation of this, but I think it's to test the tread of the wheels.
It's beautiful, isn't it? I love red and black together.
Those are two lamp-hatted miners holding the Elizabethan shield. The miners names are "Dexter" and "Sinister." I'm not making that up. The emblem features bars of zinc and a royal crown. Over the shield is the arm of a miner with his pick-ax in hand, and under is a ribbon stating "Zinc is King." Yeah, we were all about mining. We have the chat piles to prove it.
This was a really neat way to get an up close look at the apparatus that our models recreate. The tradition and ceremony were fascinating. Do any of my readers know some other rituals that are observed around the country, or even worldwide? I'd love to compare what we do.