News

SCFD8 Receives 2018 Management Excellence Award

The Washington Fire Commissioners Association awarded Spokane County Fire District 8's leadership and management team with 2nd Place in Washington State for Management Excellence in category "A" class fire departments during their annual conference in Yakima on October 26th.

WFCA designed the Management Excellence Program (MEA) to provide recognition to fire districts and regional fire authorities for their outstanding leadership, innovative ideas, and progressive achievements. SCFD8 participated against fire departments with budgets greater than $4,000,000, and has placed 1st or 2nd for the last three consecutive years.

The Management Excellence Award Program provides a means of sharing information, innovative ideas and the variety of activities taking place throughout the state of Washington. In addition, the program provides recognition to those in the fire service who have demonstrated progressive achievement. MEA is a benefit to all fire districts and regional fire authorities in the state, regardless of size, location, budget, or number of personnel.

Fire Chief Tony Nielsen said, “We are humbled to have been selected for this award. When you have strong citizen support and great members you can really create a high performing organization."

 

Commissioner Lee Boling: 20 Years of Service

At the Washington Fire Commissioners Association annual conference in October, Commissioner Lee Boling was recognized for his 20 Years of Service as a Fire District 8 Fire Commissioner. 

Commissioner Boling began his service with District 8 in 1984 as a Volunteer Firefighter and Fire Investigator.  He was elected and has served as Fire Commissioner from 1994 – 1999, 2004-2009, 2010-2015, and he began serving his fourth six-year term in 2016.

Commissioner Boling brings a number of years of experience to the Board through his work as a trooper and sergeant with the Washington State Patrol, and with the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

Thank you, Commissioner Boling, for your dedication to the fire service and to our community!

 

Fall 2018 Fire 8 Flyer

There is so much to share with you in the Fall 2018 edition of the Fire 8 Flyer. Our members are focused on response and safety, and in Chief Nielsen's message you will learn why Fire District 8 recently participated in a program called the Fire Department Exchange. We also want to help you prepare in the event Disasters Happen near your home; and we share a list of important items that you should include in your Disaster Preparedness Kit.

In Look, Listen, Learn, Be Aware, Fire Can Happen Anywhere our educational focus is on the three steps to reduce the likelihood of having a fire, and how to safely escape if it happens.

Did you know Fire District 8 is a part of our state's fire resource mobilization plan? In Neighbors Helping Neighbors you'll read how fire agencies in Washington State help each other when wildfire strikes.

With all this happening we believe our community, and Fire District 8 is One of the Best Places to Work in the Inland Northwest - apparently The Journal of Business does too!

We hope you find the Fall 2018 edition of the Fire 8 Flyer informational. Stay Safe!

 

 

Fire Prevention Week 2018

This year's Fire Prevention Week theme, Look, Listen, Learn, Be aware - fire can happen anywhere helps to identify basic but essential ways people can reduce their risk to fire and be prepared in the event a fire happens.

SCFD8 members visited local elementary schools in October to show why everyone needs to have an escape plan, and shared these important messages:

To learn more about Fire Prevention Week, visit www.nfpa.org

 

Best Places to Work Inland Northwest

Spokane County Fire District 8 was recently named as one of the Best Places to Work Inland Northwest. The Journal of Business and Best Companies Group created the third annual list of the Best Places to Work Inland Northwest.

This survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best employers in the Inland Northwest, benefiting the region’s economy, workforce, and businesses. The list is made up of 35 companies. Spokane County Fire District 8 has been named one of this year’s Best Places to Work Inland Northwest.

To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a for-profit, not-for-profit business or government entity
  • Be a publicly or privately held business
  • Have a facility in the Inland Northwest region (Spokane, Pend Oreille, and Stevens counties in 
       Washington State; and Kootenai and Bonner counties in Idaho.)
  • Have a minimum of 15 full-time or part-time employees working in the Inland Northwest
  • Be in business a minimum of 1 year

    Companies from across the region entered the two-part survey process to determine the Best Places to Work Inland Northwest. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems, and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process, analyzed the data, and determined the final rankings.

    The list-making companies will be honored at an awards ceremony on September 26, 2018, at the Davenport Grand Hotel in Spokane.  The rankings will be published in the September 27 issue of the Journal of Business.

     

     

    BoFC Meeting Notice

     

    The Board of Fire Commissioners will hold their next regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at Station 82, 12100 E Palouse Hwy,Valleyford, Washington, beginning at 6:00 pm.

    The public is welcome to attend.

    BoFC meeting agendas and minutes are available here.

     

     

    Evacuation Guidelines

    Do you know how to prepare before a wildfire nears your home? Just remember these simple 1, 2, 3 evacuation guidelines:

    Level 1: Get READY to Leave

    Level 2: Get SET to Leave

    Level 3: GO, Leave Immediately

    Greater Spokane Emergency Management has developed these simple Evacuation Guidelines and an Emergency Evacuation Grab & Go List to help you prepare before an evacuation happens in your area.

     

     

    CPR Save

    On the morning of February 12, 2018, crews from E81, E82, and Spokane E14 were participating in a pit crew CPR training at Station 81.  At 10:16 a call came in for a 31E EMS Echo; all three engine companies responded.  Upon arrival, they entered the residence and found an adult female inside in full arrest.  Captain Wood initiated timekeeping and recorder and spoke with the patient’s family to obtain information.  Division Chief Hatley arrived and remained with the family to secure additional information.  FF/PM Williams ran the incident on the EMS operations.  FF/PM Mertens was in charge of airway.  FF/PM Collins was in charge of drawing up medications for the medics.  FF Flatt and Lt. Cress were in charge chest compression.  All of the crews performed their assigned positions, and after several minutes they were able to get pulses back and the patient was transported to an area hospital. All were recognized at the Board of Fire Commissioners meeting on August 14th. Thank you all for your amazing work and for the life you saved!

     

    Firefighter's Oath

    Three new fulltime members took their Oath of Office at the Board of Fire Commissioners meeting on August 14th. Firefighter / EMT Jeff Higgins, Firefighter / Paramedic Blaine Holman, and Firefighter / Paramedic Jack Collins completed an intense 16-weeks of training at the Spokane Regional Recruit Academy and graduated on July 20th.

    We are excited to welcome you to the District 8 family - Congratulations!

     

     

    McNally Oath

    Chief Nielsen administered the Firefighter Oath of Office to Volunteer Firefighter, Aaron McNally, during the regular Board of Fire Commissioner meeting on July 10th. McNally was a District 8 Support Service member and is one of two Chaplains for the District. He completed an eleven week firefighter academy and is a member of Recruit Academy 2018-1. Aaron's family was in attendance and his badge was pinned by his daughter.

    Thank you Firefighter/Chaplain McNally for your service to our community!

     

    Recruit Class 2018-1 Graduation

    Seven new SCFD8 members were recognized and offically sworn in during Recruit Academy graduation on June 12th. Each new volunteer member completed an intense eleven weeks of training in wildland fire, search and rescue, fire behavior, Hazmat awareness, CPR and much more. We are excited that these dedicated individuals are prepared and ready to serve their community.

    Welcome to the District 8 family: Gordon Bentler, Ethan Dreves, Aaron McNally, Jonathan Purcell, Jennifer Raudebaugh, Christopher Rodgers, and Sarah Williams. Completing the academy and joining our neighboring agencies are: Devin Billington, SCFD2; Brett LaShaw and Patrick Marcalus, SCFD11; and, Ryan Wilson, SCFD12.

     

    Annual Inspection Time

    During the week of June 5th - 8th, Chief Officers conducted annual inspections at all four of District 8's fire stations. Inspections included personnel, lockers, personal protective equipment (PPE), stations, apparatus, and company records. District facilities and apparatus are a reflection of all personnel who are assigned to a station and we are proud of the effort and committment our members put into being prepared to answer your call at a moment's notice.

    Pictured right: Lt. Ellison, FF/PM Miles, Fire Chief Tony Nielsen, Assistant Fire Chief Lonnie Rash, Division Chief Tom Hatley, and Division Chief Marty at Station 82.

     

    Fire Service Day Open House

    It was great to see all of you at Station 81 on May 12th at our 6th annual Moran Prairie Fire Service Day Open House.

    Fire Station 81 is your neighbor on the Moran Prairie. If you were able to stop by during the Open House you had an opportunity to tour the fire station, check out the fire trucks, and meet many of your local firefighters and paramedics. There were fun family activities as well as fire safety and prevention information and firefighter demonstrations. Many kids took the junior firefighter challenge and became junior firefighters - and Smokey Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog were there to cheer them on!. We look forwarding to seeing you again next year!

     

    Fill the Boot 2018

    SCFD8 members spent their day at 57th and Regal on Saturday, June 2nd filling their boots for Muscular Dystrophy. Thanks to you, more than $8,000 was raised to help families, friends and neighbors in our area who are battling Muscular Dystrophy.

    From SCFD8 & Local 3711, Thank You for your generous donations!

    To learn more about MDA and what you can do to help visit www.mda.org

     

    Our Award Winning Team

    We are happy to share that SCFD8 and it's members were recognized for outstanding service by Spokane County EMS & Trauma Care Council during their 2017 EMS Award ceremony on May 8th,

    Lt. Nate Hawley and FF/PM Amanda Austin received the “EMS Hero” award, and Fire District 8 once again received the “EMS Agency of the Year” award. In addition, as members of the Inland NW Fire Chaplains, SCFD8's outstanding chaplains, Aaron McNally and Dave Simboli received "Special Services" awards.

    We are so proud of Lt. Hawley, FF/PM Austin, Chaplain McNally and Chaplain Simboli and all of the SCFD8 team who have committed themselves to providing the best possible patient care to those we serve.  Well done!

    Spokane County EMS & Trauma Care Council 2017 Award Winners

     

    Spring Debris Collection Day

    It was a very wet, very cold spring Saturday but SCFD8's annual Debris Collection Day was another great success. On April 7th, District 8 members volunteered their time to unload trucks and trailers full of yard and garden debris. It was an excellent opportunity for those in our community to rid their yards of all that winter yard and garden debris and get ready for summer. Thanks to all who participated in this event!

     

    Unit Citations Presented

    At the March 13th Board of Fire Commissioners Meeting, three members of the District were recognized for their response during the Freeman High School shooting on September 13, 2017. Pictured left to right are Firefighter Bob Lundy, Lieutenant Joe St. John, Firefighter Elliott Tenner, and Fire Chief Tony Nielsen.

    Thank you to all of our Volunteer Firefighters for your service and dedication to our community!

     

     

    SCFD8 Improves Insurance Protection Class Rating

    After an extensive review of Fire District 8's firefighting capabilities, water supply, emergency communications and fire safety control, the Washington Survey & Rating Bureau (WSRB) has upgraded the Fire District's rating from a Protection Class 5 to a Protection Class 4. The new rating will be effective May 1, 2018.

    Fire Chief Tony Nielsen said, "This is exciting news for Fire District 8 and our citizens. Thanks to the support of our citizens, we've spent the last four years making significant service improvements that now may also result in lower fire insurance costs for our residents and businesses. I encourage residents of our community to contact their insurance agents to see if this new rating will affect their insurance premiums."

     

    SCFD8 Award Recipients

    SCFD8 gathered on February 2nd to the celebrate the achievements and successes of our members. The following people were recognized for their outstanding contributions in 2017: Amanda Austin, Career Firefighter of the Year; Nate Hawley, Career Firefighter of the Year; Jason Wilkins, EMS Provider of the Year; Todd Ullrich, East Battalion Firefighter of the Year; Seth Feist, West Battalion Firefighter of the Year; Jonathan Sells, Resident Firefighter of the Year; Joe Dietzel, Part-time Firefighter of the Year; Eric Choker, Recruit Firefighter of the Year; Marty Long, Fire Chief's Commendation; Chris Wyrobek, Distinguished Service Award; Aaron McNally, Commissioners Award; Dave Simboli, Commissioners Award.

    Unit Citations were presented to Engine 81B, Engine 82B, Engine 84B, and E85B in recognition for actions taken at an active shooter incident at Freeman High School on September 13, 2017. Crews from each engine company provided lifesaving emergency medical assistance to injured students. As a result of their skills, patients were treated and transported to a local trauma facility where they received ongoing medical treatment and were eventually released. We are extremely grateful for the livesaving actions of our members.

    The following SCFD8 members were also recognized for their years of service: Matt Carrier, 5 Years of Service; Dave Simboli, 5 Years of Service; Chris Wyrobek, 5 Years of Service; John Celestino, 10 Years of Service; Jeff Moe, 15 Years of Service; and Richard Slover, 20 Years of Service.

    Thank you Chief Hatley for once again capturing time with your 2017 Year in Review.

    Photos by Richard Slover

     

    Toys for Tots

    Thank you to all that joined SCFD8 members at Albertsons, near Highway 27 and 32nd, in Spokane Valley on Saturday, December 16th. Our local community generously donated many new, unwrapped toys totaling $7,000 for children in our community and helped to bring joy to hundreds of kids in our area.

    Since 1947, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program has collected and distributed toys to children providing a message of hope and assisting them in becoming responsible, productive, and patrotic citizens.

    Thank you for your support! toysfortots.org

     

    Our Pets are Family too

    SCFD8 visited VCA Manito Animal Hospital during their annual open house on October 7th.

    The crew from Engine 81 gave tours of the engine, showed visitors the pet rescue oxygen mask carried on the fire truck, and shared public safety and fire prevention tips.

    Our pets are important members of the family and creating a plan to care for them in the event of an emergency may save their life. The best way to protect your pets from the effects of a fire is to include them in your family plan. When you practice your escape plan, take your pets with you. It's also a great idea to pet proof your home: don't leave pets unattended around any open flame, choose flameless candles, and ensure electrical wires and power cords are out of your pet's reach.

     

     

    SCFD8 Goes Pink

    SCFD8 members show their support in the fight against breast cancer by wearing pink on their uniforms during the month of October. Cancer affects thousands of people each year - and many are healthy today thanks to early detection and improved treatments. Become informed and learn how you can help save your life and the lives of your loved ones.

    Visit the American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Awareness website.

     

    Station 84 Open House

    It was great to see all of you at Station 84 on September 20th for our first annual Station 84 Open House.

    Station 84 is your neighbor in the Ponderosa and is located at 4410 S Bates Road in Spokane Valley. SCFD8 Firefighters and Paramedics were on hand providing tours of the station and fire trucks - and we hope you found their important fire safety and prevention information helpful.

    We'll see you again next September!

     

    National Preparedness Month

    September is National Preparedness Month and we can all take action to prepare because, "Disasters Don't Plan Ahead. You Can." We are all able to help first responders in our community by training how to respond during an emergency and what to do when disaster strikes — where we live, work, and visit. The goal of National Preparedness Month is to increase the overall number of individuals, families, and communities that engage in preparedness actions at home, work, business, school, and place of worship. We invite you to visit www.ready.gov/september to learn what you can do.

     

    Hands-Only CPR Can Save Lives. Most people who experience cardiac arrest at home, work, or in a public location die because they don't receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. As a bystander, don't be afraid. Your actions can only help. When calling 911, you will be asked for your location. Be specific, especially if you’re calling from a mobile phone as that is not associated with a fixed address. Answering the dispatcher’s questions will not delay the arrival of help.

    How to Give Hands-Only CPR. If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, call 911 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of any tune that is 100 to 120 beats per minute. Immediate CPR can double or even triple a person's chance of survival. For more information, please see cpr.heart.org.

     

     

    Save a Life with PulsePoint

    Did you know your smartphone can help you save a life? PulsePoint, a free smartphone App in Spokane County, enables subscribers who are CPR trained to be alerted to a sudden cardiac arrest at the same time emergency responders are notified. Registered users will be notified when a sudden cardiac arrest has occurred in a public place within their vicinity. PulsePoint will give the citizen responder mapping directions, notify them of any automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in the area, and provide radio traffic of the emergency responders. Early CPR is the key if a sudden cardiac arrest victim is to survive. When a person goes into sudden cardiac arrest, their heart, brain, and other vital organs no longer receive oxygen. Researchers have found that without early CPR within the first 3 to 5 minutes, a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival are dramatically reduced. The free PulsePoint app can be found in the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

    Learn how you can help save a life with this message from SCFD8 Fire Chief Tony Nielsen and Spokane County Medical Program Director, Dr. James Nania: PulsePoint video

    • Find the app on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
    • Install the app.
    • Choose agency and alert options.
    • Learn about other features.

    You only need to be willing to do “Hands-Only” CPR. According to the American Heart Association, Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR in the first minutes of sudden cardiac arrest. Subscribers can also view active fire and emergency medical incidents and monitor emergency radio traffic. http://pulsepoint.org/


    Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

    Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can be sources of carbon monoxide.

    Keep your family safe by practicing these important Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips from the National Fire Protection Association.

     

    Defending Your Home and Property

    Studies show that as many as 80% of homes lost to wildfire may have been saved if brush around the homes were cleared and defensible space created around structures. Washington State Department of Natural Resources is currently offering Small Fund Grants of up to $1500 to assist Firewise Communities, their designated representative, and prespective Firewise Communities reduce the risk and effects of wildfire in wildland-urban interface areas. To learn more and see if your community is eligible visit DNR Defending Your Home and Property.

     

    Do You Have Working Smoke Alarms?

    According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), smoke alarms are essential to home fire safety and should be properly maintained. To promote fire safety in your home, remember to:

    Put smoke alarms on every floor of your home, including every bedroom and the hallway outside of each sleeping area;

    • Test smoke alarms monthly;
    • Change the smoke alarm battery at least once per year;
    • Replace smoke alarms that are more than ten years old; and
    • Develop a home fire escape plan so that everyone knows two ways out and knows a safe place to meet. Practice your plan twice per year.

     To learn more about fire escape planning, check out this USFA public service announcement.

     

    Burn Awareness Week

    Burn awareness week is observed nationwide during the first full week in February and is meant to bring awareness to fire safety and burn prevention. The focus this year is on how to prevent scald injuries. Over 450,000 burn injuries occur each year in the United States that are serious enough to require medical treatment. Between 2007 and 2013, the proportion of burn center admissions due to scald burns increased from 29.8% to 33.7%.

    Join us in the fight to prevent severe burn and scald injuries!  For more information please view this link from splashflash.org.

     

    Fire Safety

    Make fire safety a priority on your "to do" list.

    Plan ahead with these Escape Planning Safety Tips.

     

    Wood Heating Reminders

    It is wood heating season for many in our region and with the current, widespread power outages, even more people are using wood burning fireplaces and wood stoves to keep warm. To be safe and protect our air, Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency is providing these wood heating reminders:

    • Make sure your chimney is clean and safe for wood burning. Certified chimney sweeps can be found online and in the phone book.
       
    • Keep combustibles a safe distance away from your fireplace or wood stove.
       
    • Burn only dry firewood or manufactured logs/pellets. Burning trash and other items is prohibited and can damage your wood burning device, lead to creosote build-up in your chimney, and produce toxic air pollutants.
       
    • When burning, be sure to allow enough air to the fire to fully burn and not smolder.
       
    • Avoid burning wood from the recent windstorm. This is "green" or "wet" wood and therefore provides little heat value and more creosote build-up in your chimney, which can be dangerous. Windstorm debris may be taken to local transfer stations and the Waste-to-Energy facility, or it may be split, stacked and covered to fully dry for next heating season.

    Cold, clear and calm weather conditions are in the forecast for the next several days, which means there may be a build-up of wood smoke. If wood is not your only source of heat, consider cutting back on burning so that those who are relying on wood heat due to lack of power can stay warm and our air quality does not suffer too much.

    For more information on wood heating, please visit www.spokanecleanair.org/wood-heating.

     

    Don't Wait. Communicate.

    Make a plan with your community, your family, and for your pets. 

    Plan how to stay safe and communicate during the disasters that can affect your community. To learn more visit ready.gov.

     

    Defend Your Home from Wildfire

    It’s important that land owners take the steps necessary to prevent catastrophic wildfire damage to their homes and property. The most important element to lowering wildfire risk is the creation and management of defensible space. Defensible space is the area between your home and an oncoming wildfire where the vegetation has been modified to reduce the wildfire threat which provides an opportunity for firefighters to defend your home. The exact size of your defensible space varies by slope & vegetation type and can be determined during a wildfire risk assessment.

    To schedule a defensible space risk assessment of your home site, or if you have questions about protecting your home from a wildfire, contact Division Chief Marty Long at 509-926-6699 extension 805, cell phone 509-370-0170, or mlong@scfd8.org.

    For more information on Defensible Space and Safety Tips visit these agencies:

    Department of Natural Resources Ready Set Go Firewise FEMA

     

    Call 811 Before You Dig

    Call 811 before you dig.Know what’s below – call 811 before you dig. You may be surprised just how much is going on underground. Gas, electric, and other utility lines are just about everywhere.

    • Call before you dig to locate underground utilities before launching a project. For your own protection, state law requires you to call at least two working days before you start digging.
    • Do you know where your utilities are? In all Washington counties call 811 or 800-424-5555, or visit www.callbeforeyoudig.org

    Anytime you smell or hear a gas leak, take these precautions:

  • Spokane Clear Air
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