KERN COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT POI JONATHAN DRUCKER–
Last week, a brand-new Kern County Fire workhorse rolled into the City of Ridgecrest, making its home at Station 84. This new fire engine has arrived to replace old engine 84, which has served the residents of Ridgecrest for the last 15 years. The heavy demand for performance and long hours of use has required that the KCFD replace the trusty old engine. The new Pierce Enforcer fire engine comes from Pierce’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Appleton, Wisconsin. From there, it is made field-ready by Kern County Fire’s equipment specialists in Bakersfield, CA. Loaded with new fire tools and equipment, including new, battery- powered, cordless Jaws of Life, this fire engine is ready to support firefighters in their mission to protect Ridgecrest and her residents.
Formerly Station 74, Station 84 has been renamed as part of a re-organization of the eastern Kern fire stations. Previously part of Battalion 7, which included the Lake Isabella and Kernville region, the stations in the Ridgecrest area have been separated into a new group, Battalion 8. This “desert battalion” is managed by its own Battalion Chief, no longer pulling a chief away from Lake Isabella and making the chief more available when needed by the desert firefighters.
Battalion 8, often referred to by firefighters as “The Last Outpost,” is a unique region within the KCFD. Significant incidents in Ridgecrest are usually handled by 3 Kern County fire stations: 81, 83, and 84, with the nearest help after that requiring extensive time to arrive. This has been a challenge to firefighters but also a point of pride. They are required to hold the line and rise to the occasion and are honored to do so. Working together as a team will build a strong bond, which is what happened in this case. The work environment strengthens the camaraderie within the crews in Ridgecrest. All involved have benefitted from this fact, not the least of which is the public they serve.
The Kern County Fire Department is proud of our firefighters’ service. We are excited to provide this new fire engine for our excellent crews to utilize in their service to the Ridgecrest community and the surrounding areas.