CKFR welcomes three new firefighters

There are three new faces working on the front line at Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue.

Firefighters/EMTs Owen Rhodes, Adam Smith and Stuart Stranahan were hired on Jan. 1 and now that they have completed the nine-week Fire Academy at Bates Technical College in Tacoma they are ready to join the crew at CKFR Fire Station 51.

“I’m looking forward to getting out there and working with the crew as a team,” Rhodes said. “We all want to go out and fight fires, it’s exciting and fun and hopefully we’ll make a difference in someone’s life.”

While training at Bates, Rhodes, Smith and Stranahan learned and developed their basic firefighter knowledge and skills in several areas including fire behavior, fire codes, tactics, fire prevention, public education, hazardous materials, rescue techniques and salvage and overhaul. They are continuing their education in the areas of emergency medical services delivery and apparatus operations. All three new hires, who will join the crews in the coming weeks, have experience in the fire service.

Smith, a 1999 Central Kitsap High School grad, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduation. He served as an aircraft rescue firefighter and in 2003 he was deployed to Iraq. Not wanting to return to Iraq, he recieved an honorable discharge in January.

“I’m excited to get out and do what I love,” Smith said.

Growing up in Silverdale, he says he admired the professionalism of CKFR and the positive image it presented.

Rhodes graduated in 1999 from Sehome High School in Bellingham. After graduation he enrolled at Bates where received an associate’s degree in fire science. He was a volunteer resident firefighter at Maple Valley Fire & Life Safety Department for four-and-a-half years. He also has another associate’s degree in fire science from Bellevue Community College. He says he always wanted to either be a firefighter or an NFL player.

Stranahan also has volunteer experience. Before he was hired by CKFR he volunteered with the Bainbridge Island Fire Department. He also served as a responding captain with Vessel Assist in the Seattle area. Stranahan grew up in Colorado and has a U.S. Coast Guard Master 100-ton license and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

“I always wanted to be a firefighter, I just got distracted for a little while,” Stranahan said.

He says he’s looking forward to the camaraderie of a fire service family and going in as a family to help people.

As with all new CKFR firefighters, Rhodes, Smith and Stranahan have to complete one year as probationary firefighters and will continue to train within the department.

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