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Rolling out the fire-engine red carpet

The new Bremerton Fire Station No. 1 opens its doors to the public June 9. Officials hope to have the 16,000 square-foot building operational by then. The station replaces the Art Deco style Fire Station No. 1, which was originally built in 1931. Additions to that building were made in the 1950s and 1980s. - Photo by Jesse Beals
The new Bremerton Fire Station No. 1 opens its doors to the public June 9. Officials hope to have the 16,000 square-foot building operational by then. The station replaces the Art Deco style Fire Station No. 1, which was originally built in 1931. Additions to that building were made in the 1950s and 1980s.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

After the finishing touches are made, the Bremerton Fire Department will throw open its doors to its new Fire Station No. 1 located at 911 Park Ave.

A grand opening and ribbon-cutting are scheduled for 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. respectively, on Thursday, June 9.

The $3.1 million fire station was financed by a public safety bond measure. It is about 3,000 square feet larger than the current station, but is state-of-the-art.

Its spaciousness is apparent as soon as one enters the foyer. The bay door allows the department to display its antique 1931 fire engine. Now the engine sits in the basement of what will soon be the old station.

On a recent tour Bremerton Fire Department Chief Al Duke points out the amenities at the new station.

Off the main entry, there’s a large classroom space that could double as a community meeting room. It is equipped with the latest audio and video systems and is on the main level. At the current station classes convene in the sub-basement.

Down the hall are four workstations and a shift supervisor’s office. There also is a TV room with a monstrous TV cabinet and room for the standard La-Z-Boy chair for relaxing. There’s also a large kitchen with a dining area.

Firefighters at the old station had little privacy, bunking together in a large room. Each person will have a separate bedroom and bathroom at the new station.

Perhaps the biggest change is the apparatus bay. The small doors on the old station required crews to back in the equipment with only inches to spare on each side of the vehicle. The new station allows the engines including the ladder truck to be driven forward into the bay.

In addition to parking the trucks, there is plenty of parking for staff, visitors and firefighters.

While Bremerton Fire Department staff are excited about moving, it is not without its headaches, Duke said.

“Think about moving your house, you’ve got 2,000-3,000 square feet. Here you’ve got 15,000-16,000 square feet,” he said.

Both stations will be up and running for a period of time to make sure the new station’s dispatch and telecommunications systems are working flawlessly.

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