I would like to thank your Board of Fire Commissioners and the East Valley community for the honor of being selected and sworn as your Fire Chief. Three factors inspired me to pursue this position: The first was the Yakima Valley, my wife Barbara and I had wanted to relocate to the dry-side of Washington for many years, particularly to a community where agriculture was flourishing. The second factor was the compelling position expectations described in Fire Commissioner’s recruitment brochure. Third was the organization itself, in particular the remarkable people that serve. Although sounding cliché, I cannot fully express my respect and appreciation for the paid-on-call and career emergency responders that are committed to serving each of you; East Valley Fire is a remarkable organization because of the people and a visionary Board of Fire Commissioners.
One personal decision factor was the opportunity to provide guidance that will assure that your East Valley Fire Department (EVFD) is prepared for the future. Guidance by the entire EVFD team, including your Fire Commissioners, will assure compliance with applicable mandates and professional standards that will define levels of service, safety, and competence.
Another challenge to EVFD was a recent Fire District evaluation by the Washington Survey and Rating Bureau (WSRB). Since making significant changes to WSRB evaluation criteria in 2013, this was the first review of East Valley Fire using the 2013 criteria. The result is the District being reduced from a Class 5 to a Class 6 community. While working to regain a Class 5 rating, we do not believe that Class 5 is good enough for the East Valley community. Factoring projected population growth, commercial development, and progressive increases in calls for service, we are formulating strategies that will achieve a Class 4 rating within five years.
In addition to significant response time, community risk reduction, training, and staffing improvements, the Class 4 rating will reduce fire insurance rates for all property owners, in particular commercial, agribusiness, multi-family, and other ‘high-value’ properties.
Finally, I want to express my respect and appreciation to EVFD personnel and Fire Commissioners for assuring that level of service was not compromised during the one-plus year without a Fire Chief. It is truly remarkable how your Firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians, and support staff stepped-up and did what was needed and necessary to ensure there was no service interruption.
Thank you to all the members of the East Valley Fire Department and to the East Valley community for this opportunity to serve. It is a sincere honor and privilege to serve you and the East Valley community.
FIRE CHIEF MEET & GREET: I would like to meet the East Valley community. To schedule a ‘meet and greet’ with your Fire Chief my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Or simply stop by Fire Station 40, 2003 Beaudry Road. The phone number is (509) 457-8615.
East Valley Fire Department
2003 Beaudry RD
Yakima, WA 98901