Meet the chief

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Central Emergency Services has been going through a lot of changes in the past few months. So, this Progress Days CES has decided to open its doors to the community and share first hand some of the additions residents have helped fund.

"We've always said the community paid for this equipment so they should drop in and see what you get for your money," said Gary Hale, fire marshal at CES station one in Soldotna.

CES has recently acquired two new ambulances, a new tanker, fire engine and rescue boat to its ranks and all the equipment, old and new, will be on display Saturday at station one on Binkley Avenue following the parade until around 2 p.m.

"People can look at them, check them out and even climb in them," Hale said.

The open house also will be an opportunity for the Soldotna community to meet Fire Chief Jeff Tucker, who replaced Len Malmquist as the CES chief in mid-June.

He and the assistant fire chief, Hale, the training officer and the on duty crew will all be on hand to answer any questions inquiring minds might want answered regarding equipment or what CES does on the peninsula.

There is a lot of people don't know about CES' role in the protection of the central Kenai Peninsula communities, Hale said.

For example, crews are cross trained to be able to respond to all calls, both fire and emergency related.

While the open house will be an opportunity for CES to inform its public, it also will provide some entertainment for curious passersby.

Everyone who stops by will fill out a raffle ticket and toward the end of open house the two winners will be able to see Soldotna's Progress Days from the bird's eye view of the station's ladder truck.

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