Firefighters and visitors bow in prayer of dedication for the new CES Fire Station in Kasilof.
Two years ago the voters in Kasilof voted in a bond proposition to build a fire and emergency response station. Last weekend rather than the traditional community ribbon cutting a fire hose was ceremonially uncoupled by Central Emergency Services Chief Chris Mokracek and Borough Mayor John Williams officially declaring the station open and operational. “The future is certainly here in Kasilof and the community has a right to proud of this new facility. We started construction one year ago this past week and it’s a credit to everyone involved to have brought this project to fruition within a year’s time frame,” commented Mayor Williams.
Borough Mayor John Williams and CES Chief Chris Mokracek uncouple a fire hose to ceremonially open the new Kasilof Fire Station.
The Kasilof fire station is number 6 for the Central Emergency Service (CES) area and Chief Mokracek invites everyone to stop by the new community facility, “We want the community to come in and take a look at their new station, they voted in the bond to build and it is truly their station. We have staff and personnel on duty who can answer questions, take you for a tour, and explain the community services available here as well as provide a wealth of fire prevention information, it’s here for the community and we are proud to be able to serve the community from this new station,” said Mokracek. In addition to the new fire station the $2.5 million dollar bond funded the remodeling of CES’s Funny River Road Station. The new station will also provide the community with quicker response to medical emergencies and will be staffed with at least one firefighter and one paramedic 24 hours a day.
The official dedication ceremony provided an opportunity for the Kasilof community to receive another distinction, that of being the first certified FireWise community on the Kenai Peninsula and the second in all of Alaska, “It’s a big effort for a community to achieve a FireWise status and is a great credit to the Kasilof community on behalf of the work they have accomplished in creating defensible spaces around property and structures and getting rid of dead trees and shrubbery and providing a place for Coho and Kasilof residents to be able to take that debris and have it safely burned in order to protect their property from wild fire,” explained Chief Mokracek. Roberta Wilfong, program manager for the Spruce Bark Beetle Mitigation Program presented Bill Casey, president of the Coho FireWise committee with the official certification, “There’s only one other community in Alaska that achieved this FireWise certification and that is Horseshoe Lake so that makes this an historic achievement for this community,” said Wilfong.
To maintain the FireWise certification, the Coho community will have to continue with their work according to Wilfong, “Each year another application stating the work that has been accomplished that year is submitted in order to maintain the certification. Actually we have the opportunity for 20 FireWise committees like we have in Coho/Kasilof on the Peninsula, and I’m hoping anyone interested will come and join us the first Monday night of the month here at the new Kasilof fire station at 7:00pm,” added Wilfong. The hose uncoupling ceremony included activities for the kids including an appearance by local clown celebrities Capt. Burn-E and Edith along with the CES smoke building trailer and fire prevention information booths at the station’s community meeting room.
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