West Valley Firefighters

Quarterly Newsletter

1st Quarter of 2012


Chief's Monthly Report

Chief's Monthly Report

Fire Department

Monthly Progress Report

West Valley Fire Department

Yakima County Fire District 12

For the Meeting of December 11, 2018


Agenda Topic:            Department Monthly Progress Report

Prepared By:              Chief Nathan Craig

Date Prepared:           December 5, 2018

The primary purpose of this report is to keep the Board of Fire Commissioners informed as to the activities and progress on major programs or objectives.  The items listed, as near as possible, are in priority order.  As a second purpose, this report will be shared with the Officers Management Team and all fire personnel.


Station 52 Firefighter Austin Yearout and Station 51 Firefighter David Martinez returned from leave of absence.  Station 52 Firefighter Reed Barduhn was granted a three month leave of absence. 

Starting November, we have 90 volunteers, 71 in service for combat firefighting, 8 in service for support, 8 out of service on leave, 2 on medical leave and 1 on light duty.  Our total number of members with volunteers, staff and Commissioners is 100 members.

Recruitment & Retention:  By LT Chris Lyons

In November we conducted our Work Ability Test, as well as our interviews. The stations have requested to bring on a total of seven firefighters and four support staff. I solicited the help of Firefighter Lindsey Christopher to create a new Work Ability Test, everyone that assisted with the test agreed that it was a well written test that tested elements relevant to the job and we should continue using it.

I will be looking for new ways to recruit members for the 2019 hiring process based off the survey that we sent out. The stations used that same information while deciding which members they would like to hire and while we did not take all the applicants, the ones that are potential hires meet many of the criteria that we are looking for. We have made several changes to the application process in 2018 that should improve both recruiting and retaining members moving forward.


In November there were a total of 87 incidents (4 fires, 51 EMS, 6 service call, 5 hazardous conditions, 6 false alarm and 15 good intents), 74 of these incidents were handled by our personnel.           

Incidents:                                        YTD                                                    

Station 51                   11                   156

Station 52                   20                   164     

Station 53                   8                      87

Station 54                   2                      51

Station 50                   33                   252

Yakima                        6                     41

Ambulance Only         7                     61

YTD                                                 812


Automatic Aid Received (both agencies respond)    Automatic Aid Given     

From Highland            1                                  To Highland                1

From Yakima               3                                  To Yakima                   1

From Gleed                 0

YTD                 16                                            YTD                 45       

Mutual Aid Received             0                             Mutual Aid Given       1                                  YTD                 6                                         YTD                 35       

Three incidents resulted in $4,000 in property losses last month, a vehicle fire, doghouse fire that extended to the home and an arson fire on the outside of a home.  All fires were held to minimal damage.  One mutual aid was to Wapato.

Budget/Finance: By Officer Boisselle

The County Commissioners have approved and certified our 2019 budget request at 1,700,000.

I am still working with attorney Brian Snure researching our volunteer part-time pay scales and stipends.  I should have more information in January to share with the Board.

Department Training and Safety: By Captain Jim Johnston

November Drills included: Equipment Check / Station Drill, Extremity Injuries – Splinting & Immobilizing, Recruit Interviews, non-interview panel members participated in Multi Company Operation basics.

Developed the December Drill Schedule: Equipment Check / Station Drill, Hazmat Refresher, & Pride & Ownership.

On November 3rd and 4th we hosted a National Fire Academy class on Leadership, we had 25 people from various Departments attend the class including five from our Department.

On November 8th I took 13 of our Members out to the Yakima Training Center for some Live Fire training utilizing their Class A Burn facility.  Most of the Members that attended had never experienced enclosed Class A fires until that night.  One evolution was on fire behavior which consisted of ignition thru decay utilizing pallets and sheets of OSB, this was an eye opener to all the Members that had never experienced this type of demonstration.  The next evolution was above grade fire attacks in the other burn chamber, Members advanced a hose line from the exterior of the prop, then ascended a flight of stairs, once up top they were able to attack the fire back to its origin.  All that participated in the training felt that it was very valuable for us to experience these evolutions.  Special thanks to Assistant Chief Dykstra and his crew that provided the training for us. 


Yakima Fire Department has surplussed their old platform however while it is for sale, they do not have space to house it indoors for the winter and asked if we had an extra bay to house. Station 53 had one open bay and we were able to fit the platform in the Station, they are hopeful it will sell soon however it may be there for the winter.

A season wrap up of the 2018 wildland fire season was held in November with several initiatives to improve interlocal response coming out of the meeting.

The EMS Admin Board agreed for the EMS levy distribution formula a call is one call regardless how many fire departments respond, the Board also agreed to cap departments over 100% at their 2019 allotment for the remainder of the levy.  The over-counted calls will not be adjusted in 2019 however will apply to the cap.

Regarding the issue regarding a lack of available ambulances, there is a group set up to evaluate the issue and make recommendations for improvements to the EMS system, several county Chiefs are on the committee and I provided them with our concerns, at this point I will monitor the process.

I contacted the Communications Committee Chair to request a meeting with all the fire radio users of the county to begin developing a plan, I requested we hold a meeting in early 2019 to discuss the options and what it will take to be ready for future changes.

Fire Prevention / Public Education: By Captain Jim Johnston

On November 14th Chief Craig and I attended an After-Action Review of the 2018 Wildland Fire Season.  The meeting was jointly attended by representatives from the DNR, Forest Service, Training Center, West Valley, Yakima, and Bureau of Reclamation.

On November 28th we hosted the “Learning Together” Pre-School class for a Station Tour, the group consisted of 10 Pre-School aged children which were accompanied by their parents and their Teacher.  While at the station they watched a fire safety cartoon – Sparky’s ABC’s of Fire Safety, followed by a tour of the station, and a tour of the Engines.  Sparky made an appearance also which the kids all liked, followed by photo opportunities with Sparky.

CTE Program / Cadet Program:  By LT Chris Lyons

We continue working with the students on practical application of the chapters that we’ve covered up till now. With the weather beginning to get colder, we will be spending more time in the book on the chapters that have less practical application.

The Cadets continue to attend drills and respond to calls. I have met with several officers and senior firefighters and they all agree that the Cadets are doing very well and are a pleasure to have at the stations. In class the Cadets are doing very well as leaders and making sure that the first-year students understand the material as well as how to perform on the fireground. We are coming close to the end of the first semester and I am very pleased with where we are and how well things are going.  

 Strategic Planning:

The Planning Committee held a meeting November 27th and finalized the update to the 2019-2023 plan.  Additionally, we developed a schedule for updating the plan again in 2019 earlier in the year.  The updated plan is on the agenda tonight for adoption.


We held the ribbon cutting ceremony at Station 52 this past month, the members have essentially moved into the new space while the contractor finishes the punch list for the project.

Lt Lyons researched the DOT inspections we have been doing for our engines. Having the engines inspected annually is a grey area regarding who exactly requires the inspection to be completed however, it appears having engines inspected annually assists with liability issues should we have a mechanical failure resulting in injury or damage.  The current inspections run about $75 a year per engine, at this point I feel that is cheap insurance to make sure our apparatus operate correctly.  Lt Lyons also has contacted several other companies capable of performing service on our apparatus and plans in 2019 to change to a less expensive company.  Additionally, we are researching the possibility of certifying a member to perform DOT inspections.


The FEMA Fire Prevention Grant cycle is open, Captain Johnston and I reviewed the requirements and grant packet. The main focus of this grant is working smoke detectors, because we already received a grant for smoke detectors based on the time commitment to submit the grant I have opted not to submit a grant I feel will not be awarded due to our previous grant.


I reached out to Representative-Elect Chris Correy for a meeting to discuss the District and our legislative priorities. Mr. Correy and I will meet December 6th at Station 51 and have a meeting scheduled during legislative day.

Good of the Order:

The Firefighters Association has the lighted fire engine up and running. The engine has been in two parades thus far and on most Tuesday and Thursday nights is out in neighborhoods around the District.  This past month we were able to take retired Chief Tom Wilson for a ride in the engine. Chief Wilson purchased the engine back in 1990 and was happy we brought it by his house.

The Christmas party was held December 1st and our Support Members did an outstanding job organizing and putting on the event, a good time was had by all.

As a reminder we do not have a second meeting in December, our next meeting is January 8, 2019.



Nathan Craig

Fire Chief