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Placentia’s new fire department begins service with ceremony, then an emergency call

Placentia Fire Chief John “Pono” Van Gieson looked on from the edge of the driveway in front of Fire Station 2 on North Valencia Avenue at 8 a.m., Wednesday, July 1, when Orange County Fire Authority Engine 34 left the station for the last time.

Moments later, a brand new engine for the new Placentia Fire and Life Safety Department backed in for the beginning of its first shift. As Placentia police blocked a lane of traffic, members of the new fire department gathered in the front of the engine. On command, they all began pushing the engine into the station – a tradition officials said dates to the days of horse-drawn fire wagons – as a small crowd stopped to watch and cheered when the job was completed.

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