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:
Washington State; and Kootenai and Bonner counties in Idaho.)
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, October 9, 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.
Level 1: Get READY to Leave
Level 2: Get SET to Leave
Level 3: GO, Leave Immediately
Fire Prevention Week October 7 - 13, 2018This 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.
- Look for places fire can start
- Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm
- Learn two ways out of each room
SCFD8 members will be visiting local elementary schools in October to show why everyone needs to have an escape plan, and shared these important messages:
- Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
- Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
- Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
- Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
- Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
To learn more about Fire Prevention Week, visit www.nfpa.org
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!
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!
Burn Restriction in Place
Outdoor open burning and recreational fires are restricted in unincorporated areas of Spokane County.
Please see the attached Fire Danger Burn Restriction Notice for specific information.
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!
Summer 2018 Fire 8 Flyer
Welcome Summer! As we all enjoy the longer days and warmer weather we also want to share with you some important safety tips for Defending Your Home From Wildfire Embers. A home will ignite due to the conditions of the home itself and everything around it. This newsletter lists things you can do to safeguard your home from wildfire.
Are you registered with ALERT Spokane? See why you should sign up today at alertspokane.org and ensure that you receive time sensitive messages in the event of an emergency near your home.
When should your family Be Alert, Be Ready, or Leave Now? Find out what those 1, 2, 3 Evacuation Levels mean?
Summer is a such great time to be outdoors. We hope you will plan to attend these fun events:
• Saturday, July 14th, Linke-Saltese Station 85 Open House
• Tuesday, August 7th, National Night Out
• Wednesday, September 12th, Ponderosa Station 84 Open House
For the second year in a row we are proud to announce that Fire District 8 has been recognized as the Spokane County EMS Agency of the Year. This happened because of your support and because of the dedication and commitment of our members. Spokane County EMS & Trauma Care Council also presented EMS Hero awards to Lt. Nate Hawley and Firefighter/Paramedic Amanda Austin; Special Services awards were presented to Chaplains Aaron McNally and Dave Simboli.
If you have any questions regarding our Summer 2018 Newsletter, or suggestions on how we can better serve you please let us know. Have a great summer!
Assistant Fire Chief Lonnie Rash
Lonnie Rash was appointed to the position of Assistant Fire Chief for Spokane County Fire District 8 and was offically sworn in during the Board of Fire Commissioners meeting on June 12th.
Chief Rash began his involvement with the fire service in 1988 as a volunteer with Central Valley Fire District in Bozeman, Montana. While serving his community he worked as a police officer and communications officer. Chief Rash was hired full-time as a firefighter and promoted to Battalion Chief of Training and eventually Battalion Chief of Operations for Central Valley Fire District. From 2005 to 2012, Chief Rash served with Spokane County Fire District 8 as our Deputy Chief of Human Resources / Safety / Support Services. He subseuently served as Fire Chief for a municipal fire department in western Washington and an Assistant Chief for Spokane County Fire District 4.
Welcome home Chief Rash!
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
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!
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
2018 Legislative Day
(Left to Right) Fire Chief Tony Nielsen, Commissioner Greg Hesse, and Commissioner Lee Boling traveled to Olympia on January 25th to attend Washington Fire Commissioners Association / Washington Fire Chiefs 2018 Legislative Day.
SCFD8 was well represented as the group spent their day meeting with State Senators and Representatives from Legislative Districts 4, 6, and 9, and together discussed priority issues and key matters that directly impact the fire service.
The 2018 Legislature convened on January 8th for a short 60-day session; the last day of the regular session is scheduled to be March 8th.
Commissioner Greg Hesse
Greg Hesse officially began his duties as Spokane County Fire District 8 Commissioner after he took the Oath of Office at the regular Board of Fire Commissioners meeting on January 9th. Commissioner Hesse was elected to office last November and will serve the citizens of District 8 for a six-year term. He has an extensive fire service background, as well as 13 years previous experience as District 8 Fire Commissioner.
Welcome back Commissioner Hesse! We look forward to working together to provide the best services possible for the District 8 community.
Commissioner Elected President of SCFCA
Commissioner Lee Boling was elected President of the Spokane County Fire Commissioners Association (SCFCA) at their January meeting. The SCFCA works both locally and at the State legislative level to ensure issues affecting the Spokane regional fire service are heard and resolved. This is Commissioner Boling’s second time serving as President of the SCFCA. He also serves on the Washington Fire Commissioners Association’s Education Committee.
Commissioner Boling (center) joined newly-elected Vice President and Fire District 9 Commissioner Jim Bennett (left) along with newly-elected Director & Fire District 4 Commissioner Roger Krieger (right) in taking his oath of office earlier this month.
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
SCFD 8 Receives Management Excellence Award
For the second year in a row, Spokane County Fire District 8 is honored to receive the 1st Place Management Excellence Award (MEA) presented by the Washington Fire Commissioners Association during their fall conference in Spokane.
WFCA designed the Management Excellence Program 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 received first place in Washington State. The MEA is based on multiple criteria including governance, administrative and operational management, public services, public education, financial management, and leadership. All award recipients are chosen by members of an independent selection committee who conduct a review and comparison of criteria for similarly sized fire organizations in the state of Washington.
Fire Chief Tony Nielsen said, “We are very honored to be recognized with this award. Thanks to the support of our citizens, Spokane County Fire District 8 was able to make significant strides in improving service and member wellness in the past year, so this award just reinforces my belief that we have a great organization providing exceptional emergency services and value to south Spokane County”.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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
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:
- Don’t smoke, light matches, turn your electrical switches on or off, use the telephone, or do anything else that might create a spark.
- Evacuate everyone in the area and keep others away.
- Call Avista Utilities at 800-227-9187. www.avistautilities.com/safety/naturalgas/Pages/default.aspx