Father Tryphon blesses Engine No. 7 and the VIFR team (Kate Dowling/Staff Photo).

Father Tryphon blesses Engine No. 7 and the VIFR team (Kate Dowling/Staff Photo).

Newest fire truck getting ready to roll

Vashon Island Fire & Rescue dedicated its newest engine in a traditional ceremony.

Vashon Island Fire & Rescue dedicated its newest engine at a public event on Dec. 21. Engine No. 7, the seventh in the fleet, was in large part made possible by the passing of the 2017 district levy.

“We are truly and sincerely thankful for the community,” said Chief Charlie Krimmert of VIFR, during remarks he gave at the presentation.

Volunteers, responders, district personnel and their families came to witness the dedication, a ceremony which dates back to the 1800s when water was carried by horse-drawn carriages. It consists of three parts: the “wet down,” the blessing and the “push-in.”

During the wet-down, water is taken from the oldest engine by the newest recruit and poured into the newest engine by the oldest recruit. This year, Jim Westcott, who passed his final exam less than 24 hours prior to the dedication, and Mike Kirk, who has held multiple roles at VIFR over the past 53 years, including as interim chief, did the honors. With a cheer from the crowd, Kirk poured the water into No.7.

Father Tryphon, the VIFR Chaplin for over 16 years, blessed the engine and VIFR team with a horsehair brush and holy water. He then adorned the Maltese crest with holy oil to protect the engine, the community and all who serve.

The final step of the dedication was the “push-in,” in which VIFR personnel ceremoniously pushed the front end of the engine, while the driver backed into the fire station. In the days of carriages, the horses would be disengaged from the pump carriage and pushed into the fire station by hand.

Mitchell Lawson, a sophomore at Vashon High School and part of the Explorers program, helped push in the engine.

“My dad and my brother are both firefighters and I have a really strong passion for it,” Lawson said.

He added that he hopes one day he can become a firefighter himself.

“I think it’s really cool what they do,” Lawson said.

Rick Brown, a training specialist, told The Beachcomber more about the importance of the new engine.

“[The engine is] specifically for island response,” Brown said.

With a smaller wheelbase and more room for equipment, the engine will be more nimble for the island community and its unique geography, according to Brown. The goal is to have the same vehicle added to the fleet as older engines retire, he said.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@vashonbeachcomber.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Vashon Emergency Operations Center COVID-19 Pandemic Situation Reports

Here’s what you need to know about July 20 to July 27.

Vashon superintendent announces online start for schools

All district schools will have weekly schedules, assigned work and attendance requirements.

Local services director pays visit to island community council

The Vashon-Maury Island Community Council will meet next at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, on Webex.

More people are experiencing homelessness in the county

Report finds 5% increase compared to last year. On Vashon, many are working to keep people housed.

Vashon Emergency Operations Center COVID-19 Pandemic Situation Reports

Here’s what you need to know about July 14 to July 20.

UPDATED: Bank employees newest island COVID cases

The bank was first locked and dark last Friday afternoon.

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Primary election 2020: Who will emerge as Inslee’s challenger?

Voting ends Tuesday in an election without big rallies and fund-raisers and face-to-face debates

Most Read