Honoring Heroes With Patriotic Fire Trucks

By: Kendra Potter Email
By: Kendra Potter Email

With two brand new fire engines, the Pueblo Fire Department continues to honor our nation’s heroes.

Two new pumpers were put into action for the first time this week. They replaced Engine 1 and Engine 8 that the department has used since 1988.

The patriotic trucks continue along with the department’s Red, White and Blue Campaign. Their goal is to have every truck repainted with the special red, white and blue paint scheme to honor both active and former military personnel.

Proudly displaying the names of the four Pueblo Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, 13 stars representing the medal ribbons, and commemorative coins, the fire chief says these trucks carry the “Home of the Heroes” message on wheels.

“They respond to thousands of calls every year, they go to training, to public community events, so they are in essence a rolling billboard or advertisement for the “Home of the Heroes,” and we are extremely proud of that and proud to carry that distinction for the city of Pueblo,” said Fire Chief Chris Riley.

The engines are Sutphen Pumpers. It cost about $727,000 for both. The city manager and city council approved the funds. The departments received them last month and they went into service this week. The newer engines have a larger cab and can hold more equipment. It includes a 500 gallon tank, and 1250 GPM pump.

“Ultimately the fire engines are to serve our citizens and we are very much committed to providing world class fire rescue services to the city of Pueblo and our community. And having these two fire engines is part of providing that world class service,” said Fire Chief Riley.

Fire department officials say the engines that they replaced could not be refurbished anymore. They say these new pumpers will last the department for a long time. They say in about 10 to 15 years they can be refurbished and will be like brand new.

The trucks that proudly display the American flag and our nation’s colors have received national attention over the years. In 2008 the department kicked off their Red, White and Blue campaign, and the first commemorative truck was displayed at the Fire Rescue International Tradeshow in Denver.

The department continues the Red, White and Blue campaign. Their goal is to replace all the old yellow engines with the new red, white, and blue engines. The new engines are bought with the custom paint job, while their old engines are being painted. It’s a campaign based solely on donations.

Including the two brand new engines, the department has bought four engines with the custom paint job. And they have raised enough donation funds to paint two trucks they already had. At this point, they are close to having enough to paint one more.

Fire officials hope people will get involved in the campaign again and help them raise enough to have their entire fleet painted in this patriotic design. Since 2008, they have received numerous private donations and even donations from businesses.

They have seven front line trucks that still need to be painted. It cost about $10,000 for each paint job. So far they have six engines complete. The two new engines will be on display in Denver at the International Association of Fire Chiefs International Conference.

The fund raising campaign is in cooperation with the Pueblo Medal of Honor Foundation. The Pueblo City Council approved the privately funded campaign to repaint all Pueblo Fire Department apparatus.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the project can make donations out to the Fire Truck Account and send them to the:

Pueblo Medal of Honor Foundation
P.O. Box 4040
Pueblo Co, 81003

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 23, 2011 at 11:45 AM
    It's about donations for another patriotic distraction. Spend your money on bread.
  • by FF on Jul 22, 2011 at 06:51 PM
    @Jen: These apparatus were ordered LONG before the current mess our elected officials seem intent on getting us into started. Besides, what does this have to do with the economy? Answer: NOTHING. Get over it.
  • by FF on Jul 22, 2011 at 06:50 PM
    @MSP: The reason why Pueblo does this is that it has the highest number of Medal of Honor recipients per capita, of any city in the U.S., which is something the city (and fire department) takes great pride in. That is why the 4 MOH recipients names are on the trucks, and the city has named streets after them.
  • by ER on Jul 22, 2011 at 05:11 PM
    On the other hand at least Pueblo has a legitimate reason to use "hero" You'll probably want to spend your money on everyday things, though.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 22, 2011 at 05:03 PM
    Hopefully the firemen will get paid so they can drive their inspirational trucks to a fire.
  • by Jen on Jul 22, 2011 at 04:21 PM
    Could we just have one day without the patriotic hero orgy as our country disappears? I guess if you must donate it's better to do it while the dollar has any value.
  • by MSP Location: Colo. Spgs on Jul 22, 2011 at 04:11 PM
    With all the military bases in Colo. Springs, you'd think the city of Colorado Springs would do something like this. Oh wait we are still trying to pay for a building and get a sign done for the USOC! Nice get the sign done after the Womens Open and when summer is over, maybe when the roof is covered with snow....that's the ticket.
  • by FF on Jul 22, 2011 at 02:37 PM
    NWO, what does your comment about police cars have to do with this story? This is a very good thing that the Pueblo FD is doing...and you're being pretty dumb.
  • by NWO on Jul 22, 2011 at 12:59 PM
    Let's put DHS emblems on police cars while we're at it. Oh wait, I think that's already being done.
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