The extra fire truck added to West Seattle in February of last year — which has responded to South Park incidents along the way, including the recent million-dollar business fire – will be gone after this Sunday. Ladder 13, based at Highland Park’s Station 11, will be taken out of service as of Monday morning, leaving Engine 11 alone at the station.
Ladder 13′s primary purpose, as explained on our partner site West Seattle Blog when it first arrived, was to make sure West Seattle would be adequately covered despite the fact Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project work complicated WS Bridge access for the emergency units that come from the other side of the bay when there’s a major incident. Now, the new 1st Avenue South onramp is about to open for emergency vehicles (it wo’t .
Last year it was also explained that Ladder 13 would help cover South Park, which won’t have fast access from crews east of the Duwamish till the new SP Bridge opens more than a year from now.
After originally publishing a version of this story on WSB last night, we received SFD’s answer to some followup questions. Spokesperson Kyle Moore notes that West Seattle’s “permanent ladder truck,” Ladder 11, will continue to be based at Station 32 in The Triangle, staffed by a four-person crew. Regarding South Park, he says:
South Park is served by Fire Station 26 located at 800 South Cloverdale Street. The station is staffed 24 hours a day with four firefighters and a fire engine.
The loss off Ladder 13 will have a nominal impact on the response times to the South Park area. The Seattle Fire Department looked at response times with the bridge closure in order to ensure the residents of South Park received the same level of medical and fire care. Our analysis shows that response times were not significantly affected by the bridge closure.
Ladder 13′s staff will be returned to duties elsewhere in the city, Moore says.