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Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue (CKFR) Chief Ken Burdette stands in front of one of the 12 new fire engines the department received last week. The rigs were funded through a 2006 fire levy to replace CKFR’s aging fleet. - Jesse Beals/staff photo
Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue (CKFR) Chief Ken Burdette stands in front of one of the 12 new fire engines the department received last week. The rigs were funded through a 2006 fire levy to replace CKFR’s aging fleet.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/staff photo

CKFR receives 12 new fire engines; may hit the streets next week.

Santa Claus brought Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue (CKFR) 12 shiny, red fire engines this Christmas.

CKFR received 12 brand new engines last week. Four engines are designed to carry fire, rescue and medical equipment while seven other engines are designed as smaller, quick attack engines to carry fire and medical equipment. The final vehicle was designed by the Department of Natural Resources for the fire department to use on wildland and brush fires.

CKFR spokeswoman Theresa MacLennan said the brush engine went into service in July at Chico Fire Station 64 and is equipped with a foam system designed to protect homes from wildland fires. The remaining engines are not yet in service, but the new rig for CKFR Station 45 on Trenton Avenue N.E. in Bremerton may be on the streets next week.

MacLennan said firefighters, both career and volunteer, are being trained on the new engines and putting the equipment on each rig.

“No matter what station they are working at they’ll know where everything on the engine is,” she said.

The new fire engines were funded through a 2006 fire levy to replace the department’s aging fleet. MacLennan said some of CKFR’s current engines date back to 1969, making it both costly and time consuming to repair and maintain the rigs.

“It really is a challenge trying to repair anything from 1969,” she said.

MacLennan said a design committee spent about a year-and-a-half reviewing design specifications and CKFR was able to customize the fire engines how they liked.

“We were able to create these because we were doing a large order, so we were able to get them to our exact specifications,” MacLennan said.

The new engines have closed cabs as opposed to the open cabs on the old engines. The new vehicles also have enhanced lighting systems, ventilation inside the cab, an advanced foam system, a supplemental restraint system inside the cab, air bags, adjustable seats and seat belts and computerized rollover protection.

“We’ve been able to incorporate all of that new technology in the new engines,” MacLennan said.

The engines have more reflective striping so people can easily identify the emergency vehicles.

“It’s hard to miss a big engine on the road, but you’d be surprised,” MacLennan said.

The engines also have additional storage compartments, so fire crews are able to carry more supplies.

“We’re able to carry more equipment that we would not be able to carry otherwise,” MacLennan said.

MacLennan said nine older engines will be surplused and CKFR would like to recoup the costs of the new engines by selling the old.

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