PORTAGE — The Fire Department welcomed its newest piece of equipment, a rescue unit, with a traditional wetting ceremony.

The ceremony, Assistant Chief Dan Kodicek said, dates back to when fire department equipment were drawn by horses.

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Firefighters, and often the community, wash down the new piece of equipment and push it through the bay doors into its new home, signaling the apparatus is now in service.

Portage's new rescue unit will be housed in Station 1 on Swanson Road. The cost of the unit, with its equipment, was $297,500.

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.