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Island County Fire District 3 unveils two new pumper trucks

Island County Fire District 3 maintenance chief Michael J. Cherry shows off one of the district
Island County Fire District 3 maintenance chief Michael J. Cherry shows off one of the district's two new pumper trucks at the Bayview Fire Station on Monday. 'It's the best thing we've ever done,' Cherry said of the purchase.
— image credit: Roy Jacobson / The Record

Two new fire engines were delivered ahead of schedule to Island County Fire District 3 and will go into service by the end of the month, Fire Chief Rusty Palmer said.

“For efficiency and safety, these are really going to help us,” Palmer said.

Added district maintenance chief Michael J. Cherry, “They’re wonderful things, top of the line. As an investment, it’s the best thing we’ve ever done.”

“The twins” — two 1,500-gallons-per-minute pumper trucks — have been deployed to the Clinton and Bayview fire stations, where they will be further outfitted while district personnel train in their use before the vehicles are ready for service.

The engines, which cost about $800,000 total, were purchased from General Fire Apparatus, Inc. of Spokane, and built in South Dakota. General Fire was the low bidder on the acquisition organized by Deputy Chief Mike Cotton.

The new additions bring the total number of large pumpers in the district to six, one for each station. One of the replaced pumpers will be retained as a backup vehicle, Palmer said.

Each of the new state-of-the art vehicles can carry six fully equipped firefighters in its enclosed passenger space, and is loaded with the latest in safety technology, Palmer said.

Meanwhile, at Palmer’s request, the district’s commissioners approved spending about $39,000 to convert three staff vehicles into fully-equipped command units to keep pace with increasing emergency call volumes.

Commissioners also voted to spend up to $24,000 to replace a fourth staff vehicle that has been a black hole for repair costs during the past five years, Palmer said.

“This will give us four command vehicles for the price of one,” the chief said.

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