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Engine 26 back in service

The first major upgrade of North Whidbey Fire and Rescue District equipment has been completed and Chief Marv Koorn told commissioners last week that Engine 26 would be back in service May 16.

Due to budget constraints, the district opted to have its engines and tenders upgraded and refurbished, rather than purchase new ones. The repair work was done by H&W Emergency Vehicle Services in Hillsboro, Ore.

“The cost of the upgrade is right at what we estimated it to be, about $35,000,” Koorn said.

Had the district decided to purchase a new fire engine, the cost would have exceeded $125,000.

Koorn said there were a few items included in the upgrade that hadn’t been planned on but were done, such as putting hose covers on.

“The major cost involved replacing every component in the electrical box under the pump,” he said. “Everything had to be replaced.”

The fire engine’s transmission and motor were also worked on, as well as the pump.

Refurbishing the district’s equipment is part of a four-year plan whereby one fire engine and one tender will be sent out for repair every year.

Commissioners discussed sending H&W another engine right away for an upgrade rather than a tender, but Koorn advised against that idea.

“I don’t want to send another engine down at this time of year,” he said. “We experience an increased amount of grass and brush fires during the summer months and an increased demand for fire service responses.”

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