Poulsbo Fire’s fleet ranks top-notch

Poulsbo Fire Department fleet manager Brett Annear and mechanic Parker Lowrie received top honors for their work with the department. - Brad Camp/Staff photo
Poulsbo Fire Department fleet manager Brett Annear and mechanic Parker Lowrie received top honors for their work with the department.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff photo

Mechanics crew recognized for keeping

citizen-saving vehicles in shape.

POULSBO — For a two-man crew, Brett Annear and Parker Lowrie have their work cut out for them. Annear, fleet manager for the Poulsbo Fire Department, and Lowrie, fleet mechanic, tend to the department’s 30 vehicles, including its five fire engines, six medical units and two 30-gallon water tenders.

“Everything that is mechanical we fix at one point or another,” Annear said, and that includes equipment too, from chainsaws to lawnmowers.

Annear and Lowrie are the ones who, in part, make it possible for fire fighters to put the wet stuff on the red stuff, and not only have they just received an award for outstanding efforts from a third-party assessor, but they’ve done it all while going green.

“We have constructed over 300 pumps tests in the last three years (and in excess of 1,000 engines in 16 years),” stated a letter to the department from Anacortes-based Fire Service Repair LLC, “and this is the first time we have ever been able to issue Pass/Pass reports on every piece of equipment.

“This is due to the high level of competence and integrity of the fire mechanics you employ. ... Perfect test scores have not been issued to any other department to date.”

Each of the department’s fire trucks contain water pumps, which must undergo what Annear likened to blood pressure checks every year to ensure they’re performing to the standards they were built to meet. Poulsbo’s engines range in age, from those built in 1992 to those from 2001. All, he said, are still functioning just as they were meant to.

Along with its pump testing recognition, the department received a five-star Envirostar rating, the only department to nab the honor in King, Pierce, Jefferson, Whatcom and Kitsap counties.

Annear said the distinguishments belong to the department as a whole, from mechanics who are no longer working to staff and the board of commissioners; as a team they’ve made efforts over the years to keep the department’s vehicles and operation in tip-top shape.

“We’ve all set a program up to make sure we’re spending the district’s money as wisely as we can,” Annear added.

But when it comes to the job, there’s no playing down its significance. Annear and Lowrie may be a part of a well-oiled machine, but like all the others, there’s is an integral one — be it behind the scenes.

“We don’t have the option for failure,” Annear said. “When a fire truck or medical unit goes out the door, goes out to a scene, it’s our job that they get back safely.”

He’s worked for the department for eight years; Lowrie, 22, is working for the department after serving an internship there.

“Our guys are our customers,” Annear added. “We take it personally because it is our fleet of vehicles.”

Theirs is a dedication that goes above and beyond to get the job done right: PFD Public Information Officer Jody Matson said not only have they earned an impressive reputation in the fire tech industry, they’ve proved reliable even in middle-of-the-night situations.

“You won’t see your average mechanic doing that kind of stuff,” she said.

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