Morris Engine 5 makes the rounds on Bantam Lake
Morris First Selectman and Morris Fire Company member Tom Weik and his daughter, Juli, aboard "Engine 5 Marine" on Bantam Lake on Labor Day weekend. Contributed photo
Morris First Selectman and Morris Fire Company member Tom Weik spent considerable time transforming his pontoon boat into a tongue-in-cheek replica of a fire truck nicknamed “Engine 5 Marine” just in time to set sail on Bantam Lake for the Labor Day weekend.
The watercraft was painted red, with “wheels,” insignia on the bow, ladders, spouting water and strobe lights, and complete with sound effects, even a firehouse dog.
“The first day on the water, we gave out ice-cream and the second day we distributed candy dockside,” Weik said. “People loved it and showed it with cheers and thumbs up. Many people were taking pictures and videos and we were even covered by a drone. It was a good, fun way to raise awareness for the new Morris Fire Company and the need for support since they are starting from scratch.”
On Sunday, the crew consisted of Weik, his wife, Lisa, their daughters Juli and Jackie, and Grace Dotson, all of whom were actively engaged in hailing passing boats and groups on the shore to offer ice-cream compliments of the Morris Fire Company. They were collecting donations for the fire unit, which also has a GoFundMe account under support-the-morris-fire-company. .
On Labor Day, Morris Fire Chief Rob Ebner, firefighter Beth Ebner and their children and fire company engineer Dwayne Pond joined Weik for a leisurely cruise around the lake. They stopped at docks and pulled alongside other boats on the lake.
“Our members have a lot of excitement about the new Morris Fire Company and are eager to share that enthusiasm,” Ebner said. “This was an innovative way to raise awareness of fire safety and at the same time, be a fun part of the community. It was very encouraging to us to see all the positive reactions.”