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.
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, February 13, 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.
Winter 2017 Fire 8 Flyer
Winter is coming and to help you prepare we've included several Winter Weather Safety Tips in the Winter 2017 edition of the Fire 8 Flyer.
According to research from the UL Fire Safety Research Institute, a closed bedroom door can be the difference between life or death. Fire safety experts are urging us all to Close Before You Doze.
For the second year in a row SCFD8 is honored to be awarded 1st Place in the State of Washington for Management Excellence by the Washington Fire Commissioner Association. We hope you'll watch for Santa Claus as he visits your neighborhood, and please join us in thanking Commissioner Chuck Vyverberg for his service to the SCFD8 community.
Read more on these topics in the Winter 2017 edition of the Fire 8 Flyer.
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.
District 8 welcomed fourteen new members during Recruit Academy Graduation 2017-1 and 2017-2 on June 13th. Family and friends joined in the celebration as the District's new Part-Time firefighters, Support Services members, Resident Volunteers and Volunteer Firefighters were sworn in. Welcome to the District 8 family: Matthew Mueller, Derek Phillips, Scott Ross, Christian Schad, Dan Staton, Andrew Woll, Eric Choker, Jaedon Crouch, Jordan Friedman, Patrick Hammersley, Mason McCuddin, Mark Paxton, Jonathan Sells, and Elliott Tenner. Also participating in recruit academy were new District 11 members: Ben Connor, Tyler Connor, and Tosh McIntire.
Special recognition was presented to class Valedictorian, Jordan Friedman; Most Improved, Patrick Hammersley and Elliott Tenner; and Most Inspirational, Tyler Connor.
To see a portion of what it takes to become a firefighter, see Chief Hatley's Recruit Academy presentation.
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/
Fire Service Day Open House
Thank you to all who stopped by Station 81 on May 13th for our 5th Annual Fire Service Day Open House. There were tours of the fire station and fire trucks, fire attack demonstrations, lessons on CPR, and many of our community partners were on hand to share information about their agencies. Dozens of kids took the junior firefighter challenge, became junior firefighters and met Smokey Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog.
We look forward to seeing you again at our summer Open Houses: July 13th at Station 85, 3324 S Linke Rd; and September 13th at Station 84, 4410 S Bates Rd.
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...
SCFD8 Award Recipients
SCFD8 Members gathered on a very snowy evening last February to celebrate the successes and accomplishments of our members in the previous year. The following people were recognized for their outstanding contributions in 2016: Ryan Hodge, Firefighter of the Year, West Battalion; Doug Archer, Firefighter of the Year, East Battalion; Konner Forshag, Resident Firefighter of the Year; Zach Searle, Recruit Firefighter of the Year; Jeff McCormick, Part-Time Firefighter of the Year, Kris Cress, Career Firefighter of the Year; Chris Hoagland, EMS Provider of the Year; Bruce Ellison, Distinguished Service Award; and Tony Nielsen, Commissioners Award.
Chief Nielsen presented the Fire Chief Commendation to the SCFD8's Chaplains Aaron McNally and Dave Simboli for their work on the District's Chaplaincy Program.
And finally, the following SCFD8 members were recognized and thanked for their manyyears of service: Doug Archer, 30 years of service; Vince Eubanks, 25 years of service; Jeff Higgins, 20 years of service; Derrick Kern, 20 years of serivce; Bob Lundy, 20 years of service; Adam Villard, 15 years of service; Nate Hawley, 10 years of service; James Joss, 10 years of service; Jason Tellinghusen, 10 years of service; Drew Parker, 10 years of service; Pete Grove, 10 years of service; Joe St. John, 10 years of service; Doug Presta, 5 years of service; James Smock, 5 years of service; Seth Feist, 5 years of service; Allen Brazington, 5 years of service; and, Jason Wilkins, 5 years of service.
Thank you Chief Hatley for capturing the year with your 2016 Year in Review.
photos by Richard Slover
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 email@example.com.
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