Georgetown Township Fire Protection District has recently taken ownership of a 105′ Smeal Ladder, the staff at GTFD worked long and hard to find such an outstanding value for a piece of equipment that is going to last this district for years to come. The objective of the ladder, known as,”The Little Chief,” is to be able to reach multiple stories and rescue trapped individuals from a greater distances. Smeal is one of the top manufacturers of ladder apparatus within the business and with the purchase of L.T.I., it tops the list. GTFD would love for everyone to come to 5610 Corydon Ridge Road and check out station two with a tour of the facilities, a meet and greet of the firefighting staff, and to have their picture taken with your new ladder truck, “The Little Chief.”
We have a tradition here at GTFD of naming our large apparatus; our Quad was named after our former Chief James F. Kron, he had a saying everyday when people ask him how he was doing, he would always say, “Living the Dream,” so there you go our Quad 22’s is named, “Living the Dream.” We had a competition for naming the engine, out of station one’s, every child in Georgetown Elementary came up a with saying or name they wanted for the engine, that is only a minute away from them and their primary response apparatus, and the top ten were selected. A committee was created and every member of the District voted on the top ten names from the Georgetown Elementary School children and Engine 21’s received the name, “The Bearcat,” which happens to be the mascot for Georgetown Elementary. Our new ladder truck has a different kind of back story regarding the name. The story starts with a little girl battling cancer, her name was Harper. She was a student at Georgetown Elementary School and was a big fan of riding horses and fire trucks. The District had a request from Harper and her family to come in and visit the station, when she did every member of the District that met her immediately fell in love with her desire to fight, her warm smile, and her beautiful bald head. Harper and her family came in and became part of our family. Harper was named honorary Chief of Georgetown Township Fire Protection District and received the badge and helmet shield to signify that position. We, as a membership, decided to deviate from our standard procedure of letting a group of children have a chance to name the new ladder truck and decided to instead allow one little girl that honor. Harper took several months to come up with a name, at first it was something goofy that you would normally get from a nine year old, I, told her, “you have got to come up with a better name than that.” Harper then took on the challenge and responsibility of naming such a prestigious piece of apparatus and decided finally on the name, “The Little Chief.” This name signifies not only the leadership and staffing of this District but it serves as a reminder of this little girls will and desire to work as hard as she could to beat this tragic disease. The staff here at Georgetown maintains this idea and will, with great honor and pride, maintain the name for this new ladder truck and all new ladder trucks in the future to not only honor a young lady that lost her fight with cancer, but to honor the idea of bravery and fight that we owe to the members of this community. I would like to think that Harper is happy with her name choice for the new ladder, and that she is checking in on us from time to time to make sure we keep up our end of the bargain. The people on this Fire District that had the honor and privilege to meet little Harper are better for it and we will strive to ensure that her namesake within this District is an apparatus that will serve this community in her honor for years to come.