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Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue reaches new heights

Children and others in the community help give Ladder 51 a big push into Station 51 on Silverdale Way Saturday. The 105-foot ladder engine is the newest addition to Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue
Children and others in the community help give Ladder 51 a big push into Station 51 on Silverdale Way Saturday. The 105-foot ladder engine is the newest addition to Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue's fleet.
— image credit: Shannon Jackson/contributed photo

A new-used fire engine with a 105-foot ladder has been with Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue since the end of May.

Last Saturday, Ladder 51 entered service with a ceremony and community open house.

Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue bought the used aerial fire truck for $240,000 from the Feasterville Fire Company, a volunteer group, in Pennsylvania. The price was a steal in a market where a new aerial ladder can cost upwards of $800,000.

For six years, commercial buildings in Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue's coverage area, higher than 35 feet, paid a "building impact fee" to cover most of the purchase for Ladder 51. The fund does not include money from residential homeowners.

The tax and the interest accumulated during the six-year collection period totaled $194,347, according to Ileana LiMarzi, CKFR spokeswoman.

The rest, about $45,653, came from CKFR's capital improvement budget along with its operating budget.

Last October, 17 CKFR firefighters took Ladder 51 to the Fire Training Academy in North Bend and ran through training exercises for ventilation, search and rescue and ladder dynamics. Since the aerial ladder arrived last year, the fire truck has also been equipped with proper equipment. The cost for equipping the ladder truck and the training for it has been $181,466 to date, LiMarzi said.

Prior to Ladder 51, the fire department's ladder apparatus was a 1970 Mack with a 50-foot reach.

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