Fire District 1 to unveil new heavy rescue unit at Edmonds Station Friday

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The new technical rescue unit that will be based at Edmonds Fire Station 16.

Snohomish County Fire District 1 will celebrate the arrival of its new heavy rescue unit with a traditional fire service “housing” ceremony this Friday, March 18, 9 a.m., at Edmonds Fire Station 16, 8427 196th St. S.W.

“This new unit is a valuable regional resource that will be available to respond to a wide range of emergency situations requiring specialized rescue equipment. This includes major disasters with building collapses like we’ve seen in Japan,” said Fire Chief Ed Widdis.

Friday’s “housing” ceremony to welcome the rescue unit to its new home at Fire Station 16 dates back to the 1830s. Part of the ceremony includes having firefighters push the new truck into the firehouse, a custom from the days of horse-drawn equipment, which could not be easily backed into the station.

Several members of Fire District 1’s Technical Rescue Team are expected to be on hand for the ceremony. The team is made up of 38 firefighters with advanced training in urban search and rescue, confined-space operations, trench rescue, high- and low-angle rope operations and ice and surface water rescue.

The new rescue unit is specifically designed to support the team’s operations. It replaces a 20-year-old retired fire engine that had been converted to hold rescue gear. The new unit can carry more than twice the gear and equipment.

A federal grant paid $320,000 of the rescue unit’s total cost of $450,000. The remainder was paid for by Fire District 1.

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