The new “Squad 1” unit features specialized equipment designed to respond to a wide range of emergencies for which the county formerly had to rely on neighboring departments for assistance, fire officials said.

Paulding County Fire & Rescue will officially commission its new “Squad 1” unit into service Friday, Aug. 23.

Firefighters are set to participate in a traditional “push-in" ceremony for the apparatus at 10:30 a.m. at Fire Station 1 at 169 Thomas B. Murphy Drive in Dallas, said Lt. Steve Mapes of Paulding County Fire & Rescue.

Mapes said Squad 1 will be staffed with trained tactical rescue personnel and carry specialized equipment designed to respond to a wide range of emergencies, including structural collapse, complex vehicle extrications, high-angle and rope rescues, hazardous materials, water rescues, and trench and confined space rescues.

Squad 1 is also designated to respond, along with engine and ladder companies, to all structure fires countywide and is equipped with high intensity scene lighting and crew trained in rapid intervention techniques.

Fire Chief Joey Pelfrey said in a news release, “This is an exciting day for Paulding County. “

“In the past, depending on the incident and type of equipment needed, we were reliant on mutual aid assistance from surrounding departments," he said.

“Today, Squad 1 significantly expands our local capabilities. It also helps us vastly reduce the amount of time needed to get specialized equipment and personnel to the scene of nearly any emergency situation.

Pelfrey said Squad 1 "is a tremendous piece of apparatus that will help us protect the lives and property of our citizens.

“Paulding County has grown rapidly. With that growth we’ve experienced a dramatic increase in the number of complicated emergency situations.

“We are very excited to commission Squad 1.”

Mapes said the "push-in" ceremony planned for the new equipment is a long-standing tradition and celebrated by many fire departments in the U.S.

He said the ritual dates to the 1800s when horse-drawn pumpers were used throughout the nation's fire service.

Any time new horses or pumpers were purchased, neighboring fire departments, political figures and residents of the surrounding community would celebrate by helping to push the fire wagon into its newly assigned firehouse, Mapes said.

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