Eleven Firefighters for Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue Community

Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue welcomed 11 new firefighters in 2020. The new hires were in response to increasing call volumes and retirements.  The positions are funded out of the District’s operating levy paid through property taxes.

CKFR funds daily emergency operations through two operating levies. One is a Fire Levy of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The other is a levy for emergency medical service (EMS) at $0.50 per $1,000. A small portion of revenue also is raised by reimbursed costs for ambulance transports.

At times, the District may ask voters for temporary funding through a Maintenance and Operations Levy. Voters approved an M&O Levy during the last recession that expired in 2019 as the economy improved.

Capital items – like stations, fire engines and ambulances – are funded through bonds. Currently, the District has a bond for apparatus that will be paid off at the end of 2020. CKFR is considering asking voters to approve a bond to improve its facilities that would take effect after the old apparatus bond retires. Fire Chief John Oliver says that the timing on this is strategic and deliberate in consideration of the tax impacts to citizens. 

“We can address our facility needs for the next 50 years while reducing impacts to taxpayers,” said Chief John Oliver. “This is a rare opportunity, which is why we’re having this conversation with our community now.”

For example, none of CKFR’s fire stations are up to current seismic standards. Engineers have identified several that would be in danger of collapsing even with a small earthquake. This could jeopardize the ability of personnel to respond to emergency calls during such an event. Several stations also are located significant distances away from populated areas, which increases emergency response times. 

Improving firefighter health and safety also is an issue. Cancer is a leading cause of death for emergency personnel. The current stations lack effective exhaust removal systems and decontamination areas that reduce firefighter exposure to carcinogens and infectious diseases. Many stations also are not equipped with modern fire and life safety systems such as security cameras, commercial fire alarms and sprinklers. 

The Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a public hearing on March 23, 2020 to take community input on the idea of a facilities bond. If the Board decides to place a bond on the ballot and voters approve it, taxpayers would see a net decrease in taxes they pay to the District in 2021 compared to 2019. This is because the M&O Levy expired and the apparatus bond will be paid off.

The District has developed a Capital Facilities Plan that identifies station projects to improve community safety and create a healthier work environment for firefighters. CKFR spent two years developing the Plan, a copy of which is available on the agency’s website at www.ckfr.org.

“We want our community to know how emergency services are funded,” said Chief Oliver. “We have given this careful thought and planning.”

Bathroom Fire

Shortly before 9:00 am this morning, crews responded to a possible residential structure fire. The caller reported smoke coming from her bathroom fan. All occupants and pets were out of the house. There was a small fire contained to the bathroom and the direct attic space above it. The County Fire Marshal was called to investigate. CKFR, Bremerton Fire, and Navy Region NW responded.

CKFR planning for fire station needs – Opinion, Kitsap Sun

I’m a firefighter with Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue. I want to encourage our residents to learn more about the plan to improve our community’s fire stations. These projects are designed to reduce response times and provide a healthier work environment for our firefighters.

Our part of the county has grown rapidly. Many of our old fire stations are not located near population centers. This means it can take longer to reach you when you have an emergency.

Our fire stations also have safety issues. None are up to current seismic standards and most would collapse in an earthquake. Many lack effective diesel exhaust removal systems and decontamination areas to reduce firefighter exposure to cancer-causing materials and infectious diseases.

The District is considering asking voters to approve a bond to fund facility improvements in 2020. The net cost in taxes to property owners would be less than they paid the District in 2019. I hope you’ll take time to learn more about the measure by visiting our website (www.ckfr.org/bond-proposal/) or attending a public meeting this spring.

Lt. Kara Putnam, Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue

Truck Fire Shuts Down Road

Crews responded to a truck on fire at Anderson Hill and Seabeck Highway at approximately 12:55 pm on December 20th. The driver was not injured, but there was heavy fire damage to the truck and the phone/cable lines overhead. Traffic was shut down temporarily on Anderson Hill

Suspicious Brush Fire

A brush fire behind the AM/PM on 303 was extinguished this afternoon. It was possibly started with a trash pile being lit on fire. The County Fire Marshal will investigate

Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue Passes Capital Facilities Plan

Silverdale, Wash. – The Board of Fire Commissioners for Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue unanimously approved a Capital Facilities Plan at its meeting on November 12. The Plan identifies consolidating and improving nine fire stations to enhance community safety and create a healthier work environment for firefighters.

Many stations are nearly 60 years old, and none are up to current seismic standards. Engineers have identified several that would be in danger of collapsing even with a small earthquake. This could jeopardize the ability of personnel to respond to emergency calls during such an event. Several stations also are located significant distances away from populated areas, which increases emergency response times.  

Improving firefighter health and safety also is an issue. Cancer is a leading cause of death for emergency personnel. The current stations lack effective exhaust removal systems and decontamination areas that reduce firefighter exposure to carcinogens and infectious diseases. Many stations also are not equipped with modern fire and life safety systems such as security cameras, commercial fire alarms and sprinklers.

The cost to complete the projects would exceed the fire district’s operating levies. As a result, community members may be asked to consider a bond sometime in 2020. There will be a public process to decide, but Fire Chief John Oliver says the time is right to make this request.

“The cost of the projects has been set at an amount where property owners would actually see a net decrease in taxes compared to what they are paying to the District in 2019,” he said.

The decrease is because a Maintenance and Operations levy is expiring and the fire district is paying off an old bond for apparatus. CKFR also identified savings on some projects to lower the total cost of the Plan. If the fire district decides to ask voters to approve a bond, the projected rate would be $0.32 per $1,000 of assessed property value. This is $0.02 less per $1,000 than property owners have been paying with the M&O levy and old bond.

CKFR spent two years reviewing its fire stations, and developing its Capital Facilities Plan. The fire district plans to hold community meetings after the first of the year to take input on the idea of bonding for the facilities. A copy of the Capital Facilities Plan, including a full list of station projects, is available on the CKFR website at www.ckfr.org. Fire Chief John Oliver also welcomes questions at joliver@ckfr.org or (360) 447-3566.

Capital Facilities Plan Available for Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue

Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue released a draft Capital Facilities Plan for public review. The agency has spent two years conducting a comprehensive assessment of its fire stations. The 635-page plan identifies needed facility improvements for community safety and firefighter health.

Many stations are nearly 60 years old, and none are up to current seismic standards. Engineers have identified several that would be in danger of collapsing even with a small earthquake. This could jeopardize the District’s ability to respond to emergency calls during such an event. Several stations also are located significant distances away from populated areas, which increases response times. 

The stations lack effective exhaust removal systems and decontamination areas that reduce firefighter exposure to carcinogens and infectious diseases. Many stations also are not equipped with modern fire and life safety systems such as security cameras, commercial fire alarms and sprinklers.

“Fire station locations and requirements are different than when we formed in 1942. Since that time, we also have learned that cancer is a leading cause of death in firefighters,” said Fire Chief John Oliver. “This plan is an important step in planning for the well-being of our community and its firefighters.”

The Capital Facilities Plan calls for consolidating, replacing or remodeling nine stations. The cost of capital projects would exceed CKFR’s operating levies. As a result, the District will consider asking voters to approve a bond sometime in 2020.

If approved by voters, property owners are projected to see a net decrease in the amount of taxes compared to what they are currently paying to the District. This is because a Maintenance and Operations Levy is expiring, and a bond for apparatus and equipment will retire before the new bond would take effect.

“We would deliberately hold the bond amount at a number that will result in a tax decrease for our taxpayers,” said Chief Oliver. “It’s a win-win.”

The first draft of the Capital Facilities Plan identified $63 million in facility improvements. However, the District identified cost-savings on some projects to lower that amount to $58.3 million. If approved by voters, the projected rate per $1,000 of assessed property value would be 32 cents. This is $0.02 less than the amount property owners will have been paying for the M&O Levy and prior bond. The District expects to have final numbers by the end of November.

The Board of Fire Commissioners will consider adoption of the Capital Facilities Plan at its regularly scheduled meeting at 4:00 p.m. on November 12 at the CKFR Administrative Building (5300 NW Newberry Hill Road, Silverdale, WA). Community members can find a copy of the Plan, including a full list of station projects, on the CKFR website at www.ckfr.org.

“There will be a public outreach process before a decision is made to go to ballot,” said Chief Oliver. “We appreciate our community being open to learning more about the proposal.”

Homeowner Alerted to House Fire

Around 7:00 am on October 30th, a homeowner on Frontier Place NW was alerted to a possible problem when her smoke alarms went off. As she was starting to investigate, there was a knock at her door. A passerby had observed smoke and flames coming from her house. He was able to help her evacuate safely and then he went to alert the neighbors. Crews arrived to find the residence fully involved. The fire was stubborn and took a while to extinguish. The house is a loss and the County Fire Marshal is investigating the cause.

Trailer Fire

CKFR crews extinguished a trailer fire in the area of the 12000 block of Holly Road . The trailer was fully involved upon crews arrival. They were able to extinguish it quickly and conduct overhaul. The trailer was abandoned and nobody was on the property at the time. The County Fire Marshal will investigate the cause.