I want to thank our Central Whidbey Island Fire & Rescue commissioners for agreeing to place a bond on the November general election ballot. If approved by voters, the bond would renovate the station on Race Road and replace three fire engines.
I am a firefighter who works at Station 53 on Race Road. The facility has been well-maintained, but it needs more space. Presently there are no sleeping quarters inside the main station, only outside in a trailer. When firefighters get a call, they must cross the parking lot and enter the main station through a keypad-locked door. The entire process adds from 30 seconds to 1 minute to our response time.
The station also needs improvements for firefighter health and safety, such as systems to remove diesel fumes, decontamination units, and storage for our bunker gear. There is an increase in cancer-related deaths in firefighters because of our exposure to hazardous materials from emergencies and on our protective clothing.
We appreciate our fire commissioners trying to solve these problems, take care of emergency personnel and better serve our community.