Old fire station in Kitsap to be remodeled

One of the oldest fire stations in Kitsap County will be remodeled to better comply with building codes and community needs.

Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue officially broke ground on the project July 13 for the demolition of the North Perry Community Fire Station No. 45. The station was built in 1965 and was the oldest staffed one in the district until its doors closed June 6.

“Station 45 has served the community dutifully for over half a century, and now it’s time we rebuild for the next generation,” fire chief Jay Christian said.

Station 45 is one of nine fire stations scheduled to receive updates or complete remodels after voters passed a 20-year, $58.3 million facilities bond program in 2020, of which property owners in the CKFR district are paying around 32 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

Guy Earle, board vice chair of CKF&R, said: “For example, none of the stations were built to current seismic code and would likely collapse or be unstable in the event of a major earthquake. Although the economic times were uncertain, all of our stations had critical needs that still needed to be addressed. Thanks to our community’s support, we are addressing those needs through the facilities bond.”

Station 45’s new building will be approximately 8,600 square feet and will include two engine bays, sleeping quarters for five, a small lobby and corresponding working space. Chaplain Brian Compton said that the updated station will help with the overall response time on emergency calls and that it represents a big step in ensuring the best possible outcome.

“I’ve seen firsthand how minutes and even seconds count, and sometimes it’s the difference between thriving or not and even living or perishing, and what we’re celebrating today is a seed being planted after this building is taken down.”

The North Perry station will also include updates to help combat health hazards such as occupational cancer, which is a leading cause of death for firefighters, Christian said.

“All of our new stations will include clean and dirty zones to allow the firefighters to decontaminate themselves, their equipment, to protect themselves against cancer-causing carcinogens from the emergency calls they face,” he said.

Construction is expected to be completed next summer. During construction, response for the Illahee area will primarily come from Station 41, but CKFR will continue to use the method of “closest unit dispatch.”