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New Countryside fire engine being dedicated Saturday | News

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New Countryside fire engine being dedicated Saturday
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New Countryside fire engine being dedicated Saturday

Clearwater, Florida -- Clearwater residents are invited to attend the dedication of a new fire engine at Station 50 in Countryside on Saturday morning.

Mayor George Cretekos and Fire Chief Robert Weiss will speak at the event, which begins at 9 a.m. Vice Mayor Paul Gibson and Council Member Bill Jonson also are planning to attend.

Station 50 is located just east of Countryside Mall at 2681 Countryside Blvd.

The station serves the many neighborhoods and businesses located in the northern part of the city.

The engine will be dedicated to the memory of Lt. Glenn Witko, who worked for the fire department from 1995 to December 2010. He passed away late in 2010.

The new vehicle, which cost about $500,000, replaces one that is 14 years old.

"It's similar to buying a new car," said Ron Gemsheim, assistant chief of health and safety for Clearwater Fire & Rescue. "There comes a point when it's more cost-effective to purchase a new one rather than continue to pay all of the repair costs associated with an aging piece of apparatus.

"It also ensures that the apparatus is dependable and everything will function as it's supposed to during critical and possibly life-saving tasks," Gemsheim added.

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