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Living Images

Don Seabrook | It's about timing

A defining part of a photojournalist’s job is that we are consumed with capturing moments in time that tell a story in an interesting way. Planning, intuition and anticipation are the tools I use to be at the right place at the right time.

Reporter Pete O’Cain was working on a story about the Chelan County Fire Department’s move to its new station a couple of weeks ago. I had photographed the move of the historic fire bell earlier but this was the move of everything needed to respond to fires from the new location.

I arrived at the old station on Chelan Street as movers, firefighters and firefighting trainees were packing up boxes and taking stuff to trucks to be moved to the new North Wenatchee Avenue station.

One of the first things that caught my eye while looking around was a firefighting dummy used in training. It was laying on the ground but being ignored by the movers so I shot this photo and put it in the back of my mind to hopefully be there when someone was moving it out of the building.

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A trainee hauls a training dummy out of the old Wenatchee fire station on moving day Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. The Wenatchee fire department moved out of its historic site into a new station on Wenatchee Avenue.

I walked into the kitchen and noticed how outdated everything was, so I hung out there until a crew of trainees was told to pack up everything in it. The volunteers were dumping kitchen gadgets from drawers into a cardboard box and I positioned myself to capture this with the old stove in the background. The firefighters had mentioned to me earlier how much they were going to miss this stove and the grill on top.

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Fire academy students box up drawers full of utensils in the kitchen of the old Wenatchee fire station Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.

I decided to head to the new station. Not much was happening when I arrived but after a time the fire chief showed up in his truck and began moving supplies into the building. He had parked right in front so it was a chance to get a photograph of the exterior. When he pulled out maps of the county, I stayed back to shoot an overall.

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Chelan County One Fire Chief Brian Brett takes maps of the county into the new fire station on North Wenatchee Avenue on moving day Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.

I spent nearly an hour waiting there for the moving people to arrive but when that wasn’t happening, I headed back to the old station and was there when that training dummy was moved out.

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Ben Donnelly, a fire academy student, hauls a training dummy out of the old Wenatchee fire station on moving day Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. The Wenatchee fire department moved out of its historic site into a new station on Wenatchee Avenue.

I saw Sparky in the truck bay window and waited for a moving person to walk by in the background with a load.

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Sparky waits on a window sill at the historic Wenatchee fire house to be moved to the new fire station on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.

The hose-drying tower caught my attention and I climbed up the stairs, set my camera on all manual modes — including focus — and held it out over the center opening. I waited for someone to come underneath moving something and was blessed when a mover pushed a file cabinet directly underneath me while taking it to a truck. I thought it looked like an M.C. Escher drawing I’d seen in college with the spiraling stairs on the outside edges of the frame.

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Looking down from the top of the hose drying tower at the old fire station on Chelan Street, movers haul out a file cabinet to a moving truck Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. The Wenatchee fire department moved out of its historic site into a new station on Wenatchee Avenue.

I hadn’t captured an image of the exterior of the old building that would work good in a layout with the new building so I found a good spot to wait for a mover to descend the exterior stairs.

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A worker for Eagle Transfer removes office chairs from the historic Wenatchee fire station on Chelan Street Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.

Because nothing was happening inside the new building on my earlier visit, I headed back there after lunch. I found a fire crew installing window shades inside an office but still needed something to happen in the new engine bays.

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Chelan County fire captain Blake Larson hangs blinds in the new Battalion Chief office at the new fire station on North Wenatchee Avenue Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.

Eventually, movers came and hauled equipment cabinets to spots on the outer edge of the big garage, having to cross through the center of the building.

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Brad Jeffery with Eagle Transfer wheels an equipment cabinet into the new fire station engine bay on North Wenatchee Avenue Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.

I’m sure there were many moments that were missed but I think I came away with some interesting, storytelling images of the move. 

Don Seabrook: 661-5225

seabrook@wenatcheeworld.com

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