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Firefighters cooking in a whole new way

Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue firefighters at Station 51 in Silverdale break for lunch in their newly remodeled kitchen and lounge area. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue firefighters at Station 51 in Silverdale break for lunch in their newly remodeled kitchen and lounge area.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

By RACHEL BRANT

Staff writer

Between 7:30 and 8 a.m., about 15 hungry men flock to the kitchen at Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue (CKFR) Station 51 to grab a quick breakfast before either beginning or ending a shift.

“We’ll go through a couple pots of coffee,” CKFR Capt. David Stebor said.

CKFR firefighters used to have to elbow their way into Station 51’s cramped kitchen, but as of last week, the newly improved facility can accommodate many firefighters.

Drury Construction of Poulsbo recently completed a 1,360-square-foot makeover at Station 51 on Silverdale Way in Silverdale. Construction crews, led by Project Manager Rob Owens, enlarged the kitchen and lounge area, updated appliances and installed solid surface countertops and new cabinets. The construction process took about three-and-a-half to four months, according to Owens.

Firefighters are still trying to get accustomed to their new digs, but after a week in the new kitchen and lounge, they seem to be pleased.

“Well so far, so good. We’re still trying to get used to it,” said Lt. Kevin Goodwin.

During the four-month construction process, Station 51 fire crews were forced to frequently dine out, putting a major dent in the firefighters’ wallets.

“I got to tell you, it seemed a lot longer (than four months),” Goodwin said.

Station 51 was built in 1979 and the last remodel of the kitchen was in 1980, so it was about time for an update, according to Goodwin. The old kitchen resembled a short hallway and made it difficult for eight firefighters on shift to prepare their lunches, according to Stebor.

“I think this is a better utilization of space,” Goodwin said.

The new kitchen includes three refrigerators, two freezers, a commercial dishwasher, microwaves, a gas cook top and an oven. Aside from the oven, which was purchased last year, all of the appliances are brand new. With more cabinet space at their disposal, firefighters no longer have to go grocery shopping every day and can store more items in the large kitchen cabinets.

“It’s more spacious,” Stebor said.

Station 51’s library now sits in the lounge as well as a new, large projection screen. The spacious area and projection screen make the lounge a great place to hold firefighter training sessions, according to Goodwin, which frees up the multi-purpose room for outside groups to reserve and use for meetings.

While taxpayers’ dollars paid for the kitchen and lounge remodel, Station 51 firefighters contributed $40 each for a nice addition to the lounge — a big screen television.

“It’s safe to say from what we got it’s a lot better than it was,” Goodwin said. “We appreciate the opportunity to have an update done on the building.”

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