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Fire District 3 getting new ladder truck



A newer ladder truck arriving from Kansas will help Clallam County Fire District 3 maintain its fire insurance rating, keeping fire insurance rates down for many property owners.

The 2000-model truck sports a 100-foot mid-mounted aerial ladder plus three ground ladders of 35, 28 and 20 feet.

The district’s board of commissioners approved the purchase at a Jan. 28 special meeting.

It will cost $475,000 versus $1.2 million for a new one. The financing isn’t finalized yet.

District personnel have inspected the truck, which is in Overland Park, just outside Kansas City, Kan.

Assistant Chief Ben Andrews said they began shopping for a ladder truck after a May 11, 2005, fire at the Greywolf River Apartments, when firefighters had to wait for Port Angeles’ ladder truck to arrive.

“We also had the new big box stores and we needed it to keep our fire insurance rating,” he said.
So the district bought a 1983 ladder truck for $60,000, which now will become the backup ladder truck.

“So this purchase was an evolution, not a whim.”

Fire Chief Steve Vogel said in addition to the reserve ladder truck, the district needs better fireflow by the big box stores, building inspections and training props to get a better fire insurance rating.

According to the Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau, the fire district is rated Class 5 inside the city of Sequim and Class 6 in the county if the structure is within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant.

A better fire protection rating can mean lower fire insurance premiums for property and business owners.

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 plus the recently annexed Gardiner area.

Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@sequimgazette.com.

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