Our Award Winning Team
We are happy to share that SCFD8 and it's members have been 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 will receive the “EMS Hero” award, and Fire District 8 will once again receive 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 will receive "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!
Spring 2018 Newsletter
Spring is finally here and we've got a lot to share with you in the Spring 2018 edition of the Fire 8 Flyer.
Thanks to your support, we've spent the last four years making significant service improvements, and as a result, the Washington Survey and Rating Bureau has upgraded our Projection Class Rating from a 5 to a 4!. We encourage you to contact your insurance agent to see how this new rating may lower your insurance premiums.
In January, we welcomed Greg Hesse back as District 8 Fire Commissioner. Commissioner Hesse has extensive experience in the fire service and we look forward to once again working together to provide you with the best services possible.
If you live in one of our many rural areas and haven't yet received a SCFD8 address sign, read how to request one for your property and help us find you in the event of an emergency.
Now that the weather is getting warmer we look forward to seeing you at these upcoming events:
• Valleyford Debris Collection Day, Saturday, April 7th at Station 82
• Community Wildfire Preparedness Workshop, Saturday, May 5th, at Redeemer Lutheran Church
• Fire Service Day Open House, Saturday, May 12th at Station 81
We hope you'll agree that this Spring 2018 edition of the Fire 8 Flyer is full of great information!
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!
May 12th Fire Service Day Open House
We hope your and your family will stop by Station 81, 6117 South Palouse Highway, for our 6th annual Moran Prairie Fire Service Day Open House on Saturday, May 12th, from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.
Fire Station 81 is your neighbor on the Moran Prairie. When you stop by on Saturday you'll have an opportunity to take a tour of the fire station, check out the fire trucks, and meet many of your local firefighters and paramedics, There will be fun family activities and fire safety and prevention information, as well as firefighter demonstrations. Kids will have an opportunity to become junior firefighters by taking the junior firefighter challenge, and Smokey Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog will be there cheer them on!. We look forwarding to seeing you on May 12th!
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."
BoFC Meeting Notice
The Board of Fire Commissioners will hold their next regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 8, 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.
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
Commissioner Chuck Vyverberg will complete his term as Fire Commissioner on December 31st. We thank him for his years of guidance and are grateful for his dedication and leadership.
In addition to his Fire Commissioner duties, Chuck was Vice-President of the Spokane County Fire Commissioners Association, and served on the Board of the Washington State Risk Management Group.
Chuck will not be going far as he plans to continuing serving the District 8 community as a Support Service Volunteer.
Thank you, Commissioner Vyverberg!
For over 15 years, Mike Grytdal has kept SCFD8's fleet on the road, tested and repaired engines, pumps & power tools, put new apparatus in service, maintained the District's radios and pagers, kept the parking lots and ramps at four stations free of snow, and so much more...
We appreciate your committment and your service to the Fire District 8 community and your District 8 family.
Best of luck with your new adventure, Mike - you will be missed!
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.
Fire Prevention Week October 8 - 14, 2017
In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the differene between escaping safely from a fire or having a life end in tragedy. That is why this Fire Prevention Week theme: "Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out" is so important. SCFD8 members visited 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
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.
Fill the Boot 2017
Thank you to all who helped SCFD8 members Fill the Boot on Saturday, June 10th. Because of you, $7,706 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
Annual Inspection Time
SCFD8 chiefs conducted annual company inspections June 6th, 7th, & 8th at all District facilities. Inspections included personnel, lockers, PPE, stations, apparatus and company records. All members routinely work together to ensure the stations and apparatus are ready and prepared for duty.
Great Job District 8!
Fire Chief Tony Nielsen (left) is pictured with SCFD8 Chaplains, Lt. Dave Simboli (center) and Aaron McNally (right) after they successfully graduated from the National Police & Fire Chaplain Academy in April.
We are so grateful for these two amazing men that do so much for those we serve, as well as for our own team members! (Photo: Richard Slover)
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/
Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service
On June 4, 2017, ten brave firefighters from Washington State were honored for their service and the sacrifice they made for their communities during the Washington State Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service.
Spokane County Fire District 8 Volunteer Firefighter, Charles "Doug" Archer, is one of those brave firefighters who died in the line of duty and was honor on the Washington State Capitol Rotunda. FF Archer served our community unselfishy as a Volunteer Firefighter/EMT for more than 30 years.
Thank you, and Godspeed FF Archer...
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