If you’re a frequent user of emergency response dispatch apps or often see South King Fire and Rescue engines out in the community, you may notice something a little different.
Last week, all of SKFR updated all of their engine and aid identifying numbers in coordination with the Zone 3 consortium, according to the department’s press release. South King Fire and Rescue remains a part of the “60” series (for example, Engine 63) and will now also be identified by its zone.
A zone is a predetermined area that incorporates a large number of fire departments to break up the dispatching of King County, SKFR wrote.
Due to Seattle Fire Department’s size, the agency is considered their own zone and identified as Zone 5.
Zone 1 includes areas such as Bellevue, Eastside Fire, Mercer Island, Woodinville and reaches over to Snoqualmie Pass.
South King Fire and Rescue is located in the south end of Zone 3, which covers from Burien down to South King Fire’s jurisdictions of Federal Way and Des Moines, and from Vashon Island to Maple Valley.
Beginning Oct. 24, South King Fire and Rescue engines previously identified as “Engine 62” will no longer be dispatched with those numbers. Engines will now read as “Engine 362” or “Aid 362” to represent Zone 3.
“This might be a small change for you, but for us it is the end of a nearly two decade run of being identified as ‘Engine 62,’” SKFR wrote. “The last time we changed identifiers was back in 2001 when SKFR joined Valley Communications Center.”
This update means South King Fire will be providing service for local residents, as well as considering the bigger picture of emergency scenarios.
If the area is hit by a major earthquake or other disaster situations requiring multiple agencies to respond to the same location, this change will allow all three dispatch centers to communicate directly and dispatch the closest unit in the zone, which results in faster response times to you during an emergency incident, SKFR explained.
“We will continue to provide the same level of care and excellence you have come to expect from your fire department, no matter what our unit identifier is whether it be Engine 61, Ladder 64, or Engine 361, or Ladder 364.”