Washington News

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Yakima City Council axes fire position to bolster general fund reserve

Last-minute changes to the city of Yakima’s 2019 budget left the city with nearly $200,000 to put into its depleted general fund reserve, but it came at a price. After going back and forth for months on whether the Yakima Fire Department’s public education captain position would be eliminated, the Yakima City Council’s final decision Tuesday was to make the cut and put the $160,000 in savings toward the reserve. The public education captain talks to children and adults in the community about fire safety; provides information to media about the department and its response to fire, EMS and other incidents; and performs other duties.
Yakima Herald-Republic

With contract talks still stalled, Seattle EMTs set strike deadline of Dec. 21

Hundreds of unionized emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in Seattle have set a deadline of Dec. 21 to go on strike, calling into question how the city plans to respond to people in medical crisis if they walk off the job. City officials say they are working on a plan, but won’t say what it is until a strike is called. Mayor Jenny Durkan’s administration “began its contingency planning over three weeks ago” when officials learned of a potential strike, said Durkan spokesman Mark Prentice. Prentice declined to elaborate, saying in an email, “The city is exploring a range of contingency plans that we will share in the event of a strike.”
Seattle Times

Arlington Fire medic units now equipped with grant-funded power cots

The techniques used by paramedics and firefighters to transport patients at the scenes of accidents and emergencies save lives, but all that lifting can also wreak havoc on their backs. Arlington Fire Department last month retrofitted three medic units and an aid car with battery-powered hydraulic patient lifting and lowering systems that will improve patient transfer, while reducing back strain. “These help our back tremendously, and we can carry heavier loads,” firefighter EMT Nich Sacha said. “Almost every agency in the county has them now.” The EMS Power Lift Cots came from a $124,615 FEMA grant. The city provided 5 percent in matching funds.
Arlington Times

Tri-City fire district searches for more volunteers to staff fire stations

Fire districts across the Tri-Cities rely on volunteers. It allows districts to save money and still provide top-notch care to the community Volunteers are always needed, but you don't have to become a firefighter in order to volunteer. "I'm not a firefighter. I have no firefighter background," said Bill Leach, volunteer for Benton County Fire District #4. "All mine is in investigation. I do some administrative stuff for them, set up some training opportunities for them." Leach is also the Deputy Coroner for Benton County. He's been volunteering since 2014. "I had the opportunity to go to some training that I never would have had the opportunity through the district and Region 8, which encompasses many fire departments," Leach said.

Family of five escape early morning house fire in Yakima

Firefighters say no one is hurt after a family's home in Yakima caught fire early Wednesday morning. Crews with the Yakima Fire Department (YFD) were called to the 800 block of S. 4th Ave. around 5:30 a.m. to find flames at the home. Firefighters said the smoke alarm alerted the family of five and everyone inside the burning home was able to get out safely. Firefighters said two kids were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, but have since been released. Fire crews said this blaze took a long time to extinguish. They said the house had undergone multiple rem
KIMA-TV CBS 29 Yakima

Grand Coulee fire and ambulance service recognized

The Grand Coulee Volunteer Fire Department/Ambulance Service and the Grand Coulee Police Department members and spouses met Saturday night to honor and thank them for their service to the area. The year's activities were recounted, good teamwork the three departments had enjoyed and the fact all the departments had not had any injuries were reported this year. The major wildland fires and large fire in Elmer City with which the volunteers and police officers had been involved were also reviewed. The ambulance is on pace for a record year for number of calls. Recognition was given Saturday night to Fred Netzel for going on the most ambulance calls, and to Ryan Fish the most fire calls as the Grand Coulee Volunteer Fire Department/Ambulance Service and the Grand Coulee Police Department members and their spouses met to honor and thank all for their service.
Grand Coulee Star

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Spokane City Council puts property tax to pay more firefighters, police on ballot

Voters will be asked to pass a property tax increase in February that would pay for 20 police officers and 30 firefighters as well as criminal justice programs. The Spokane City Council approved putting the measure to raise an additional $5.8 million on the ballot during their regular Monday meeting. The tax increase on a $200,000 home would be $60 a year. That’s 30 cents on every $1,000 of assessed value, according to the city. The measure, which is opposed by Mayor David Condon, would pay to keep 30 of the 48 firefighters hired through the federal SAFER grant which will expire next year. The grant allowed the city to hire firefighters to staff Alternative Response Units, which are smaller vehicles that go to medical emergencies, and allow fire trucks to respond to other emergencies.
Spokane Spokesman-Review

Off-duty Edmonds firefighter recognized for efforts to save man on Lake Whatcom

Off-duty South County Fire & Rescue firefighter Antonio “Tony” Robinson, who works out of Edmonds’ Station 17, was recognized Saturday for his efforts last summer to help save the life of a former Olympic rower who suffered sudden cardiac arrest on Lake Whatcom. Charles Hamlin, 71, a rower in the 1968 Olympics, was on Lake Whatcom in June when he appeared to have a seizure. Robinson was in a nearby boat when he heard calls for help, so he swam to Hamlin’s boat and with help from others began CPR. Once Hamlin was brought to shore, Bellingham firefighters and paramedics resuscitated him and took him to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center.
My Edmonds News

Update: Another Jehovah’s Witness center has been destroyed in 9-month rash of arson attacks in Thurston County

At the center of the investigation into crimes against Jehovah’s Witnesses – including two fires that destroyed worship centers – is a question that has vexed Washington state investigators, the governor and pretty much anyone who has come into contact with the religious denomination: Who could muster this much destructive rage against a religion full of pacifists? On Friday morning, Thurston County authorities responded to a predawn fire in the city of Lacey, Washington. But by the time firefighters arrived, it was too late. The blaze had caused the roof to collapse and destroyed the kingdom hall, the name Jehovah’s Witnesses give to their worship centers. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives quickly ruled that the fire was intentionally set, saying it fit the pattern of the other kingdom hall attacks in Thurston County over the past nine months that have rocked the Jehovah’s Witness community.
Spokane Spokesman-Review

Eastside Fire and Rescue’s Reindeer fire engine collects gifts for children in need

VIDEO - Eastside Fire and Rescue Station 83 visited local neighborhoods to collect gifts for underprivileged kids, and rode in a festive reindeer fire engine. Firefighters drove down neighborhoods with a fire engine decorated like Santa's slay and collected gifts for children of all ages. The engine, which included reindeer antlers, was greeted by residents who were braving the rain and cold. Station 83 was overwhelmed by the community's generosity, considering the weather conditions, and felt that residents really stepped up for those in need. The families who donated showed the true meaning of the holidays, and demonstrated the act of giving rather than receiving.

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