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Vigil honors Vancouvers Fire Station 6

first_imgThey’ve known it was coming since July. But that didn’t help to dull the anguish of the 30 people gathered to mourn the closure of Vancouver Fire Station 6 Thursday night.Today is the last day the station will be open, the victim of drastic city budget cuts. They lit candles and shivered in the cold to pay their respects to what some felt was the loss of a neighborhood friend.“They’re part of our hearts and our community,” said Mary Elkin, an Image neighborhood resident who started Friends of Fire Station 6 to lobby the city council to keep its doors open. “The loss of this fire station will be felt by everyone. We will not give up. Our community needs this firehouse.”She called on those in attendance, occasionally interrupted by honks from the busy nearby street, to keep fighting and petitioning the city council to find the money.Retiring Fire Chief Don Bivins, whose last day on the job is also today, had to cut $1.8 million from his budget. He has said closing the Burton station, at 3216 N.E. 112th Ave., was the “least worst” choice, because it is centrally located and the neighborhood can be covered by multiple surrounding stations.Truck 6, which was housed in the station, will no longer be in service.The city shuttered its two remaining medical rescue units last year because of the budget. Overall, 18 uniformed firefighter positions were cut through retirement and attrition, along with numerous support jobs and sworn investigators in the fire marshal’s division. The area around Fire Station 6 now becomes a “doughnut hole” that will add at least two minutes to the department’s overall response time of 8.5 minutes.last_img read more

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