Evel Knievel represents the Kanye West Sound
Consolidating three distinct fire and rescue agencies isn’t
However, picking a single name for the new super agency that may
emerge on the opposite end of the process is not one of the harder
On Tuesday the regional fire authority’s Planning Committee
voted unanimously on its name: West Sound Fire and Rescue.
It seems like an obvious choice, and Bremerton Fire Chief Al
Duke said more than 80 percent of firefighters, commissioners and
committee members voted for the name.
But it wasn’t always such an obvious choice to describe our neck
of woods, where the skyline of Seattle is more prominent than in
Renton, but farther than a crow could fly culturally.
In fact, the committee credits a certain longtime Kitsap Sun
reporter, Ed Friedrich, with coining the term.
“We believe the term West Sound, used to describe our region,
originated in the late 80’s when it was first coined by then
Bremerton Sun prep sports reporter Ed Friedrich to describe our
sports coverage area in Kitsap, Jefferson and Mason counties,” says
a written statement from the regional fire authority.
Despite being coined by a journalist, the new name went over
like sliced bread, Bremerton Fire Chief Al Duke said (Duke didn’t
actually say anything about bread, sliced or otherwise). More than
80 percent of those with a say, including firefighters,
commissioners and appointed committee members, voted for the
“Now the hard work begins,” he said, noting that sub-committees
have been tasked with making recommendations about 1) combined
finances, revenues and expenses 2) combined governance board 3)
combined volunteer association 4) combined labor groups and 5)
combined organizational structure.
More info is available at the new West Sound Fire and Rescue Web
“If the Planning Committee is able to reach consensus on how
these three fire departments can consolidate and meet the vision
and strategy, then final approval will be put to the citizens
served by these three organizations before it becomes a reality,”
the statement said.
That means those served by the Bremerton Fire Department,
Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue and South Kitsap Fire and Rescue
will get to vote on whether the consolidation goes through.
The Planning Committee will meet March 4 at 4 p.m. at the Kitsap
Readiness Center at 1211 Carver St. in Bremerton. The meetings are
open to the public.
However, within the newsroom, there is some disagreement over
who actually coined the phrase. Sports Editor Chuck Stark said he
believes Harlan Beery, former assistant sports editor, actually
came up with “West Sound.”
“They were both on the sports staff at the same time,” Stark
Then again, it’s just a name. What did Shakespeare say about the
smell of a rose? Would they smell as sweet if instead they were
called Ed or Harlan?