Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue Postpones Facilities Bond Request

The Board of Fire Commissioners for Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue decided to postpone its request for a facilities bond to replace and renovate its fire stations. The Fire District had spent several years preparing to place the measure on the August 4, 2020 Primary Election ballot.

“Many in our community are facing economic uncertainty due to the pandemic,” said Fire Chief John Oliver. “We’ve decided to pause and give our citizens and businesses the opportunity to recover before we ask for these projects.”

Chief Oliver says that everything the District has is going to operations to support the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This has to be our focus at the moment,” said Chief Oliver. “We’re giving it everything we have, and we will beat this virus. Our community and nation will be stronger as a result.”

Chief Oliver says that the need for adequate facilities is important now more than ever to ensure the safety of the community and firefighters.

This disease has shown the need for pandemic-resilient facilities. The station projects had previously identified the need for improved decontamination areas for personnel that respond to not only fires but also medical emergencies.

Though the economy is struggling now, these “shovel ready” station projects will help stimulate the local economy and create jobs when most needed. The preliminary site studies have been completed, the stations have been designed, and several of the projects are ready to go when funding is approved by voters. This will represent jobs for those that have been sidelined due to the work moratorium.

“This is not the time to ask, but when our economy begins to recover, it will be an opportunity to put people to work and dollars into the community,” said Chief Oliver.

The District acknowledges that the timing would have been ideal for the current bond request. It had retired a bond for apparatus, and a Maintenance and Operations Levy had expired. As a result, property owners would have seen a net decrease in what they paid in taxes to the District in 2019.

If the local economy begins to recover this summer, the Board of Fire Commissioners will consider the November General Election as its earliest option to ask voters to fund these community projects. More information on the facilities bond proposal can be found on the District’s website at ckfrdev721.wpengine.com.

Kids’ Day 2020 Canceled Due to Coronavirus

Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue’s Annual Kids’ Day event has taken place in Kitsap County for decades and has grown to such popularity that citizens “just know” to be at the fairgrounds on the first Saturday of June.

“The event is 100% free and we pride ourselves on offering life safety messages while providing entertainment and educational opportunities with our amazing community partners,” said Ileana LiMarzi, PIO and Kids’ Day Coordinator for CKFR. “Canceling our 35th Kids’ Day was a difficult decision.”

Approximately 4,000 people attend the nearly 5 hour event each year and are treated to live fire and car extrication demonstrations, over 40 booths, bounce houses, hot dogs grilled by firefighters, watching Airlift Northwest land, an opportunity to get a free, properly fitted bike helmet, and much more.

“The response I’ve received so far to this decision has been positive. People understand the changes that need to be made in the world right now. We’re all in this situation together and we’ll gather to celebrate 35 years next June,” said PIO LiMarzi.

Kids’ Day will take place on June 5, 2021

For more information please contact PIO LiMarzi at ilimarzi@ckfr.org or 360-536-8678.

CKFR Partners with Kitsap Transit to Provide a Safe Haven for Firefighters

As firefighters continue working on the frontline in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s impossible for them to practice social distancing, therefore they risk exposing their families every time they return home from a shift. This is especially concerning for firefighters that have a vulnerable family member at home. CKFR now has an established “safe haven” for First Responders. This facility will be used only for EMS personnel that have not been knowingly exposed, are asymptomatic and continue to be schedule for work.

“These frontline Firefighters and EMS personnel are risking their lives every day, they should not be asked to risk their loves ones at home, especially if they are vulnerable to the COVID-19 disease,” said Fire Chief John Oliver.

As an organization that places our employees as our greatest asset we’re grateful for a unique relationship that had previously been established with Kitsap Transit regarding the surplus building at 1480 NW Sid Uhnick Drive.

Over the past month, CKFR was allowed to use the structure for training. The building has now been outfitted as a safe haven.

When the Mattress Ranch heard about the project, they generously donated 11 twin mattresses for use in the facility.

“The battle with COVID-19 is being fought at the local level across this nation, collaboration between local government and private business such as this will help our community weather the storm, “ said Chief Oliver.

Kitsap Transit’s support of those on the frontline is incredible. They have pledged to continue maintaining the mechanical and sanitary systems while we take care of internal furnishing and cleaning. CKFR will make this safe haven available to other essential service workers as needs arise.