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New fire station opens at Blyn

Firefighter and paramedic response times east of Sequim will be reduced and property owners could see decreased insurance premiums as a result of Clallam County Fire District No. 3's new Blyn fire station that opened Monday.

"You're going to see some lives saved and you'll know you're a part of it," Clallam County Fire District 3 Chief Steve Vogel told the crowd that included firefighters plus Clallam

County and Jamestown S'Klallam tribal officials.

The two-story, 7,563-square-foot station at Sophus Road and U.S. Highway 101 across from the Longhouse Market & Deli will be staffed 24 hours a day by one firefighter and one paramedic.

It will serve 44 square miles from east of Sequim to the Jefferson County line and Diamond Point.

"I want to acknowledge the tribal elders and council that made this happen," Vogel said.

The Jamestown Tribe donated about $1 million to the project, including the land and most of the building's construction and the fire district contributed $400,000 mostly from the maintenance and operations levy approved in 2002.

The building was designed by Gentry Architecture Collaborative of Port Angeles and built by Grinnell Construction of Sequim.

Work began in January and finished in April, Vogel said.

The station has been staffed by volunteers since then but now will be a career firefighter station, he said.

He waited to open the new station until it had enough beds and other furniture, three firefighters were hired and the weather was good enough for the outdoor ceremony, Vogel said.

The Sequim area's growth is to the east and this station will reduce the response times to Blyn from 15 minutes to one and to Diamond Point from 20 minutes to six to depending upon traffic, he said.

It also will allow access to areas east of Sequim where car wrecks block the highway, Vogel said.

The Washington Surveying and Ratings Bureau is ready to re-evaluate the district's fire insurance rating - now a 7 but 5 within city limits - because of the new station, Vogel said.

Having a fire station within five miles of your property can result in reduced fire insurance rates, he said.

Jamestown tribal chairman Ron Allen said, "The Jamestown community is very, very proud to bring this fire station here.

"This is putting Blyn back on the map. We benefit from the community and we want to give back. We're very proud of what we're doing," he said.

Following the speakers, Jamestown spiritual leaders Patrick and Patsy Adams conducted a ceremony entitled "Honoring the Four Directions" as a blessing for the station.

The station's 1981 pumper truck also was retired and replaced with a 2008 model.

The new station includes individual bedrooms, a television room, a kitchen with two stoves and three refrigerators, one for each shift.

It replaces a small volunteer-based station at Louella Road that the district was leasing from the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

Clallam County Fire District 3 serves about 30,000 residents in 135 square miles from east of Deer Park Road to the Jefferson County line.

It has two other career firefighter stations at Sequim and Carlsborg and four other volunteer stations at Dungeness, R Corner, Diamond Point and Lost Mountain.

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