SCFD8 Passes Fire Levy Lid Lift Resolution
The Board of Fire Commissioners for Spokane County Fire Protection District No.8 voted unanimously to place a multi-year Fire Levy lid lift on the August Primary Election ballot. If approved by voters, a “lid lift” allows the fire district to restore the levy rate for emergency services to $1.50 per $1000 of assessed valuation for collection in 2022 and allows for the five succeeding years to authorize one percent or the percentage allowed by the consumer price index increase reported each June, whichever is greater.
The Fire Levy lid lift is necessary for Spokane County Fire District 8 to continue essential levels of service. Funding from the lid lift would be used to maintain daily operations and improve emergency service levels, improve firefighter training, and repair equipment and apparatus and well as replace aging structural and wildland fire trucks and required firefighter safety equipment. These items also are necessary to maintain the community’s insurance rating, which affects the premiums paid by home and business owners.
RCW 84.55 limits the District to a 1% revenue increase per year. Due to the 1% limit, most taxpayers are paying less to the fire levy each year as property values increase. The amount collected by the District is not keeping up with the cost of inflation.
If approved by voters, the lid lift would restore the Fire Levy to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The proposal would be on the August 3rd Primary Election ballot and cost approximately 36 cents per $1,000 (or approximately $9.00 per month for the owner of a $300,000 home).
The levy rate has fallen to $1.14/$1,000 in 2021. Spokane County Fire District 8 is primarily funded through fire levy taxes. Each year the fire district is limited to roughly the same amount of revenue due to the limitations of RCW 84.55.
Temporary Burn Restrictions in Parts of Eastern Washington
Restrictions are prompted by uptick in wildfires caused by escaped debris burns amid warming temperatures and increased fire danger
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in cooperation with partner agencies, is implementing the following burn restrictions on DNR-protected lands in eastern Washington. Most of these fires have been caused by people conducting debris burns and failing to completely extinguish their piles or not monitoring them appropriately with a water source available and ready to douse flames that grow large or escape the burn area.
Effective Friday, April 16, 2021
- Rule burning (small debris disposal fires) is not allowed in the following Fire Danger Rating Areas:
- Upper Basin in Spokane, portions of Lincoln County north of Hwy. 2.
Warming temperatures have dried grasses, and grassy areas are now experiencing numerous wildfires started by outdoor debris burns. In the Northeast region, 100 wildfires have been started in 2021, including 46 since April 1. Of those 100 wildfires, 62 have been caused by people burning debris outdoors and failing to completely extinguish them. These escaped burns have burned over 217 acres this year.
This is expected to be temporary until “green up” begins, which should start after spring rains allow new grasses to grow.
The best way to be certain a burn pile fully extinguished is to dig into the ash and feel the area with the back of your hand to make sure there is no heat left. It is common for rain to create a cap over the ash, with heat remaining inside. Winds can weaken the cap and allow the pile to reignite. Campfires should be doused with water and stirred until all coals are completely extinguished and is cool to the touch.
Burning with a DNR permit and campfires are still allowed. A misdemeanor citation will be issued for people who do not follow the rules and conditions of their burn permits. If proven negligent, the offender will be billed for the fire suppression costs.
Oath of Office
looks a little different for now
Five members of the District were administered the Oath of Office virtually at the regular Board of Fire Commissioners meeting on February 9th.
Fire Chief Lonnie Rash was sworn in by Board Chair Greg Hesse; Assistant Chief Chris Wyrobek was sworn in by Chief Lonnie Rash, as was Division Chief Jason Wilkins, Lt. Drew Parker, and Firefighters Chris Rodgers and Joseph Sweiger.
It's an exciting time at District 8 and we look forward to the day when we can gather in person for badge pinnings with family and friends.
Thank You Chief Nielsen
Thank you Fire Chief Tony Nielsen for your 35+ years of dedication to the fire service.
When visitors stop by Station 82 they will forever see the Nielsen Way street sign at its entrance. As one of the most influential and long-term members of Fire District 8, we recognize the impact that Chief Nielsen has made in the community and to the members of the organization, the county, and the state of Washington.
"Nielsen Way" is not only an entry sign, but it's a mindset that has permeated through District 8... Kindness, Undertanding, and Professionalism.
We thank you for your leadership, your commitment, and your kindness - we wish you well, Chief Nielsen, in your retirement!
BoFC Meeting Notice
The Board of Fire Commissioners will hold their next regular monthly meeting on:
June 8, 2021
at 6:00 pm
All persons wishing to observe or participate in the meeting may do so via Zoom: Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android Device at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3712607781
One tap mobile
+12532158782, 3712607781# US (Tacoma)
+16699009128, 3712607781# US (San Jose)
Dial by your location
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 371 260 7781
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdMHRGuIKa
Board of Fire Commissioners meeting agendas and minutes
Fall/Winter 2020 Fire 8 Flyer
This has been quite a year - but we want you to know we are still open, still working, and still here for you! SCFD8 firefighters and paramedics have risen to this latest challenge by implementing additional safety measures for your protection and health, as well as theirs.
Our Fall/Winter edition of the Fire 8 Flyer is full of information - from Fire Chief Tony Nielsen's Chiefs Message, to how you can contact us if you visit a fire station, safety in the kitchen, and an update on Santa's 2020 neighborhood visit.
We hope you and your family are safe, healthy, and happy this winter! Fall/Winter edition of the Fire 8 Flyer
ALERT Spokane is the program behind the public alert and warning messages that are disseminated throughout the greater Spokane area. The mass notification system called CodeRED, can distribute emergency notifications via landline, cellular phone and/or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones. It can also notify via text, TTD, TTY and email. You may receive an alert message if emergency response personnel need to notify specific areas about high-risk situations. Register for ALERT Spokane today at https://www.spokanecounty.org/3007/Alert-Spokane.
Occupant Load Calculator
As we all move forward re-opening our community in phases you may find this Occupant Load Calculator created by Fire Inspection 360 beneficial to your business. Simply enter the Function of your business, along with the Length & Width of the space and the calculator willl determine what your Occupancy Load is at 25%, 50%, and 100%.
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/
Stop the Bleed
Stop the Bleed is a national program intended to encourage people in our communties to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency - before professional help arrives.
Fire District 8 members provide Stop the Bleed classes quarterly. We encourage you to sign up for one of our free classes and learn to stop life-threatening bleeding caused by everyday emergencies.
Please register at bleedingcontrol.org.
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.