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 April 9, 2019

Agenda Topic:            Department Monthly Progress Report

Prepared By:              Chief Nathan Craig

Date Prepared:           April 4, 2019

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 51 Firefighter Chris Willette has been granted a 6 month leave of absence.  Support member Jean Siebert resigned, Station 54 Recruit Tyler Skiba resigned, and Station 52 Firefighter Todd Monroe’s leave ended, and he has been dropped from the Department.

Starting April, we have 92 volunteers, 78 in service for operations, 8 support, 6 on leave of absence.  Our total number of personnel is 102.

Strategic Planning:

This month we begin the process of updating our plan with the citizen survey, as of now we have 18 responses in the first three days of the survey being available.  Next month we will perform our internal SWOT analysis and compile all our data in preparation for our planning retreat.

Action plan update, we continue to work on improving our mentor program, improve group cohesion through activities like the awards banquet and upcoming egg hunt in addition to tracking call types, response times and activity levels of our members.

New initiatives starting this month include, researching volunteer wages to compare what other departments are paying, labor laws and budgetary needs in preparation of the spike in minimum wage next year.  We are developing a preventative maintenance schedule for all buildings and systems, forecasting our Capital Fund with our Capital Improvement Plan, determining the cost per incident, pre-planning wildland interface challenges and researching the feasibility of creating a citizens advisory group for planning.


Engine 54’s pump rebuild should be completed this week, because the whole pump was out of the engine Cascade moved a few other serviceable items out from behind the pump to a more accessible area on the engine so if they need work in the future, we won’t have to pull the whole pump out to access them.

The parking blocks at Station 54 have been installed and we are working through our planned April purchases.  The new wildland helmets, exercise equipment, kestrel for Brush 54, folding machine, computers and pagers have arrived.  The turnout lockers for Station 53 and 10 sets of turnouts are on order.  I am currently holding off on the defib purchase until we receive pricing for the latest model as it has more features than the current model, if the pricing is similar, we will go with the latest model.  Also, this month we are selecting furniture for Station 52 and purchasing a Blitzfire monitor for Engine 53.


In March there were a total of 59 incidents of which 47 were handled by our personnel.

Incidents:                                          YTD                                                               Station 51                   10                   31                                                                    Station 52                   9                     28                                                                    Station 53                   4                    10                                                                              Station 54                   1                     9                                                                           Station 50                   23                   81                                                          Yakima                        4                   15                                                               Ambulance Only         8                   18

2018 Total                                       192

Incident Type:       Month            Type                                                                YTD Fire                        6                      4 building, 1 cooking, 1 appliance                  17 EMS                      41                    1 med alarm, 37 EMS, 2 MVC, 1 MV/Ped     141 Hazardous Condition 0                                                                                              1 Service Call                 7               6 assist invalid, 1 smoke removal                   14   Good Intent                2                  1 controlled burn, 1 odor call                         4    False Alarm                 2                      2 fire alarm                                                     12


Action Taken:                         Month            Type                                           YTD

Canceled enroute       5                      2 AA S-Fire, 2 EMS, 1 Auto Alarm                   22Extinguishment          1                      1 AA- Building                                                 4 Provide BLS                 38                                                                                            120 Assist Invalid               6                                                                                              13 Investigate                  6                      3 AA, 1 EMS AA, 2 odor, 1 control burn          21 Investigate fire out     0                                                                                                  5 Other                          2                      1 MA S-Fire, 1 Ventilate from stove fire            6

Automatic Aid Received (both agencies respond)    Automatic Aid Given                            

From Highland            0                                  To Highland                0

From Yakima               1                                  To Yakima                   3

From Gleed                 0

YTD                 2                                              YTD                 10       

Mutual Aid Received             0        Mutual Aid Given       2 (Yakima)              YTD      0                                              YTD                 3         

Response Times: (Target= within 1 mile of station 8 minutes or less, add 2 minutes every mile after)                        Qualifying Alarms: 35                       Target met: 27 (77%)   Target not met: 8 (23%) three of those less than 20 seconds off.

Losses: $300 in loss from stove fire

Department Training and Safety: By Captain Jim Johnston

March Drills included: Equipment Check / PPE Inspection, OTEP Workshop A, Live Fire in the Burn Trailer, and Engine Company Evolutions.

Developed the April Drill Schedule: Equipment Check / PPE Inspection / Shelter Video and Fire Shelter Deployment, OTEP Modules 3 & 4, Annual Wildland Refresher, and Wildland Pumps & Porta Tanks

The 2019 Recruit Class wrapped up most of the Structural training with Live Fire training on March 14th and 16th.  Due to our setbacks with weather the class made a group decision for more practical training evolutions, which I was happy to accommodate.  March 30th the Recruits worked on ladders and ventilation, water supply and hose deployment and firefighter rescue (RIT) evolutions.  On April 13th I will be taking the Recruits to the Yakima Training Center to perform joint Live Fire training evolutions with Selah and Naches Fire Departments in their Class A Burn Rooms.  We lost two recruits in March one from Gleed and one from West Valley.

I will be working on a schedule to change our Recruit Academy to a time when the weather won’t be hampering the practical evolution day’s as they did this year and previous years.  There is a thought of starting the Academy in June with Advanced First Aid then a modified Wildland training schedule that would prep the new Recruits to respond to our District incidents, they would not be able to respond Mutual or Auto Aid incidents, then in September we would start the Structural aspect of the training. 

At our March monthly Officers meeting I conducted a group discussion on the McDonalds Fire that killed two Houston Firefighters on February 14, 2000.

Fire Prevention / Public Education: By Captain Jim Johnston

On March 15th Finance and Admin Officer Christy Boisselle hosted a group of six Girl Scouts ages 9-10 on a Station Tour.  While here the group participated in: Basic First Aid Training led by FF Aaron Cockrum and the Day Crew, procedures on activating the 911 system, and making personal First Aid kits.

In April we are teaching a Safe-Sitter course.


Meetings continue for the process of improving the number of available ambulances in Yakima County. I anticipate within the next month or so a draft RFQ being available for our review.

Additionally, we hosted a meeting of radio users to determine the future of emergency communications in Yakima County.  Our system is nearing its end of life and we are spearheading an effort to collaborate with all emergency services in Yakima County to move to one system improving our grant opportunities.

Recruitment & Retention:  By LT Chris Lyons

In March I remained in contact with our mentors to make sure our new recruits were still feeling comfortable at the stations. The mentors and the recruits agree things are going well. I was able to attend all of the live fire drills in March which allowed me to observe the recruits interact with their respective stations in a working environment. In my opinion the recruits worked very well as a part of the team and always seemed welcome by the other members of the station. The recruits were very open to asking questions and made sure that they were paying attention when they were not in rotation to see how others were performing the evolutions.

In 2018 we implemented several changes to the hiring process as well as recruit school and I believe these changes have made our recruits feel more welcomed and encouraged them to ask questions effectively creating an environment that they want to continue to be a part of. I will continue to remain in contact with both the mentors as well as the recruits to make sure that we continue to move in a positive direction.

Futures Program / Cadet Program:  By LT Chris Lyons

We continue working on structural practicals with the high school class.  The students are working very well as a company and learning to communicate better as a group every day. Moving forward into April we will be working on the Wildland portion of the class with the first years, the cadets will be going through EVIP during this time as they have already completed the wildland class. I have begun to prep the first-year students for the application process for this school year and will be taking them through that process should they meet the requirements to apply for the Department. 

Budget/Finance: By Officer Boisselle

I am currently researching how volunteers are paid within other departments and the labor laws as they pertain to part time employees. It is our goal to have options to share with the Captains at the next Captains meeting in May.


Our FEMA AFG SAFER grant for the LED sign in front of Station 51 has been selected for audit by FEMA, in the next couple of weeks we will submit the requested information and continue to work with them through the process.


The legislature is still in session working to pass bills across both the house and senate as well as work on budgetary bills.  Currently I have nothing new to report on bills we are tracking as the process is well underway yet moves slow right at the end.

Good of the Order:

National Volunteer Week is April 8-12.  The annual Association Egg Hunt is April 20th.

Working on our number one critical issue of recruitment, selection, retention and development I have been in contact with the International Association of Fire Chiefs Volunteer and Combination Officers Section to teach a course titled “Beyond Hoses and Helmets” for us. The class is a day and half with 2 National instructors covering leadership, retention and recruitment.  This course will provide our Officers and Senior members tools to help facilitate our Strategic Plan and meet our goals.  Minimum class size is 25 which I believe we will fill all in-house, depending on the max number the instructors allowed we may open the class up to other departments in our area.  Our cost for the course will be 2 hotel rooms and per diem for the instructors as well as lunch and break snacks.  I have a survey out to our Officers looking at two weekends in September to determine which one we will be able to have the most attendance at.



Nathan Craig

Fire Chief