Cave Spring Fire Depart­ment us­ing re­fur­bished en­gine that is part of 9/11 history

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By KEVIN MYRICK Editor

A new fire en­gine be­ing put to good use in Cave Spring was once part of the re­sponse to one of the most tragic days in Amer­i­can history.

The story of the re­fur­bished fire en­gine put into op­er­a­tion ear­lier this sum­mer with the Cave Spring Fire Depart­ment started dur­ing the process of bring­ing the truck back to work­ing con­di­tions and a find on the in­side of a door.

The truck was pur­chased by the City of Cave Spring a few months ago to be used as a backup en­gine, ac­cord­ing to fire chief Randy Lacey, or what fire­fight­ers call a “sec­ond out en­gine” in case it is needed to fight a fire.

“It’s now En­gine 17 for us,” said Jack Karch, a vol­un­teer fire­fighter and pas­tor of Holy Trin­ity Lutheran Church in Gar­den Lakes. “In­side the front pas­sen­ger door, what we call the cap­tain’s seat, it says it was an 1998 E-1 fire en­gine that was used by the D.C. Fire Depart­ment as En­gine 18.”

Karch did some re­search once the plaque was found on the re­fur­bished fire en­gine, and he got in touch with the Washington, D.C. Fire Depart­ment to see if the truck was in­volved with the re­sponse at the Pen­tagon on Sept. 11, 2001 when Amer­i­can Air­lines Flight 77 crashed into the side of the build­ing.

It turns out that it was one of the many trucks called out to re­spond that day.

In a re­sponse from re­tired Lt. James Em­brey of the D.C. Fire Depart­ment by email, he said the en­gine in­deed was part of a first group of trucks called out to the Pen­tagon that day to help the Ar­ling­ton Fire Depart­ment in its re­sponse to the fire.

Be­cause the Pen­tagon is lo­cated in Ar­ling­ton County, Va., it holds ju­ris­dic­tion over the build­ing in terms of fire re­sponse.

“Ac­cord­ing to En­gine 18’s com­pany jour­nal for that fate­ful day, En­gine 18 was in­deed op­er­at­ing,” Em­brey said by email to Karch.

Much of the depart­ment’s re­sources were un­der use that day.

Even­tu­ally, En­gine 18 was re­tired from the D.C. Fire Depart­ment’s fleet of ve­hi­cles, Lacey said, and was put into re­serve be­fore be­ing bought by M3 Fire Ap­pa­ra­tus and the City of Cave Spring.

Now Karch hopes to celebrate its history by re­mind­ing Cave Spring res­i­dents of what they now have here at home con­nect­ing the small town to big­ger his­tori- cal events.

“We’re all a brother­hood and we re­mem­ber 9/11 whether it was at the World Trade Cen­ter or the Pen­tagon,” he said. “The men of that en­gine com­pany were do­ing things at the Pen­tagon that day to save peo­ple.”

Karch and Lacey both said they’d like to put a plaque up in the fu­ture that will de­scribe the history of the en­gine.

“We want peo­ple to know that there’s a his­toric truck amongst them in Cave Spring,” he said.

The Cave Spring Fire Depart­ment’s new re­serve en­gine was once owned by the Washington, D.C. Fire Depart­ment and was one of the first set of trucks to re­spond to the at­tack on the Pen­tagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

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