Open house Saturday at Samish Way fire station


BELLINGHAM - Fire engines, a new apparatus building and a new water tender truck will be on display from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at South Whatcom Fire Authority's Samish Way Station, 5070 Samish Way near Interstate 5.

The public is invited to tour the new facility, see the emergency vehicles and talk to firefighters about fire and medical equipment.

At 2 p.m., a new flagpole will be dedicated to the memory of former fire commissioner and volunteer firefighter Winton Wefer, who died in April at age 87. Wefer was an organizing member of the Lake Samish Volunteer Fire Department and had been a fire commissioner since 1957, with some 57 years in the fire service.

South Whatcom Fire Authority, which has a mix of full-time and volunteer staff, was formed in 2009 from the former all-volunteer fire-protection districts serving the communities of Sudden Valley, Geneva, Yew Street Road, Lake Samish and Chuckanut Drive.

Its $327,348 water tender, built by Spartan ERV in South Dakota on a 2013 International cab and chassis, features a 3,000-gallon water tank to support firefighting operations in areas that don't have hydrants. It supplies water to fire engines, which generally carry 500 to 750 gallons of water.

South Whatcom Fire added its 2,500-square-foot apparatus building in September 2013 as part of a commitment to staff its Samish Way Station with a three-member engine and ambulance crew for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Strengholt Construction Co. of Lynden was hired for the project, which cost $362,129.

For more information about the open house or South Whatcom Fire, go to, the South Whatcom Fire Authority page on Facebook, or call 360-676-8080.

Contact Robert Mittendorf at 360-756-2805 or at

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