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 August 14, 2018

Agenda Topic:            Department Monthly Progress Report

Prepared By:              Chief Nathan Craig

Date Prepared:           August 9, 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.


Firefighter David Martinez has been granted a one-year leave of absence while he completes probation at Hanford Fire Department.  Melanie Eakin was also granted a three month leave through October.

Starting August, we have 90 volunteers, 75 in service for combat firefighting, 7 in service for support, 7 out of service on leave and 1 on light duty.  Our total number of members with volunteers, staff and Commissioners is 100 members.

Strategic Planning:

Progress in July included PRIDE for all members with our Department/Association BBQ, researching certification levels for volunteers, capital improvement planning, and development of the citizen survey for updating the plan.

This month’s strategic focus is including our PRIDE motto into Department t-shirts, updating our written recruitment and retention plan to include recruiting to our profile, updating our interview questions to align with our profile, targeting daytime members for recruitment and developing a day recruit training plan, initiating our citizen survey and submitting the WFCA management excellence award questionnaire.

Budget/Finance: By Officer Boisselle

I have prepared a mid-year review of the 2018 budget.  Revenues have been recorded through June and should represent 50% of the budgeted amount.  Expenses are recorded through August and should represent 66% of the budgeted amount (except for finished or one-time projects and purchases).  This is on the agenda for review.

We are gearing up to start the 2019 budget process.  The station captains have been tasked to put together a list of their station needs. These lists are due at the next officer meeting on the August 27th.  I do not suspect we will receive any revenue information from the County until late September. This is an agenda topic for review.

Department Training and Safety: By Captain Jim Johnston

July Drills included: Equipment Check / Station Drill / SCBA Quarterly, Hose Testing, and District Family BBQ.

Developed the August Drill Schedule: Equipment Check / Station Drill, EVIP Road Course, EVIP Rodeo & Fit Test, Officers Choice (51 & 54), Ram Ranch Pre-Fire (53), Hose Testing (52) and Firefighter Olympics.

On July 11th the Safety and Training Committee met for the 2nd quarter meeting. 

At the July Officers meeting we continued with two simulated fires with our Fire Studio software to assist us in our ongoing Officer Development training.

In June I filled out paperwork for the Washington State Basic Firefighter Training Reimbursement Program that reimburses us at a rate of $3.00 per hour for training firefighters up to 200 hours per firefighter.  The total hours submitted was 1310, on August 6th we received a check for $3,930.  Due to some unforeseen repair costs at the North Bend Training Facility this program was cut short this year with an unknown date as to when it will continue, I am very thankful that they reimbursed us this year.

Fire Prevention / Public Education: By Captain Jim Johnston

On July 19th I met with the Yakima Valley Landlords Association at their monthly dinner meeting as their guest speaker.  I was requested to give a presentation on fire safety as it relates to their property investments, topics included 2016 statistics provided by the Unites States Fire Administration on residential fires, the four leading causes of residential fires, smoke alarms, fire growth (Modern versus Legacy), trouble with hoarder homes, how the 911 systems works, prevention / causes, egress (two ways out), and combustible storage outside the home.  There was lots of interaction with the group as far as questions and answers go, the group had approximately 30 people in attendance. 

On July 24th the YMCA Day Campers ages 5-8 visited the station for a field trip.  We spoke briefly on fire safety in the home followed by breaking them up in two groups – one group sprayed water from Brush 251 at the plywood house fire while the other group did the child version of the combat challenge.  There was 47 kids and six adults that partook.  Firefighters Lindsey Christopher, Leif Pray, Chris Willette, Nick Dart, and Kathleen McCarty and Lieutenant Lyons assisted me with this. 

Recruitment & Retention:  By LT Chris Lyons

In June I finished the questions for the survey to find our target group that we would like to focus on recruiting. I also began working on a daytime response recruitment campaign to get a better turnout during the day. I will be working with Captain Johnston to create a recruit school schedule for daytime responders that will be in line with our regular recruit school. We received three more applications in June bringing the total count to thirteen. I have been working on updating the recruitment plan and will have a finalized copy turned into Chief Craig by the end of August.

CTE Program / Cadet Program:  By LT Chris Lyons

I have been working on some improvements to utilize the time that I have with the students in the morning in the most effective way I can. I am pleased with the quality of Cadets/Firefighters that we got at the end of the year, however I believe there is always room for improving the program.

Also, I have been working with Field Group and marketing company that West Valley High School has hired to help promote all the CTE classes.  Chris Nesmith believes that we would have more interest in all the CTE classes if the students had a better understanding of what all of the classes actually do and the benefits to them. As of right now, the students only get a piece of paper with a brief description of what the course is. Field Group will be making flyers, videos, and pamphlets for each class explaining what you can expect for the year, the requirements to get into the programs and the expectation once you are there.


SunComm provided us with a letter for budgeting dispatch fees in 2019, the total is $38,991.90 or $54.84 per alarm which includes their 3.6% CPI increase.  Because 2019 is a new contract year I advised them we would like a one-year contract rather than the standard two years while we continue to develop our dispatching plans.

The County attorney is working on a resolution to adjust the EMS levy distribution formula, however, the last meeting I attended we were advised no change would take place until a new levy in 2024.  This is not a satisfactory solution for the problem and I will continue to pursue options for improving the formula prior to this.

The OEM/EMS manager merger is moving forward, there should be a savings in cost on the EMS side, once the EMS budget is determined I have requested the 11.5% the office takes off the top of the levy be reevaluated based on savings and need.


In July there were a total of 92 incidents (21 fires, 46 EMS, 1 hazardous condition, 11 service calls, 1 false alarm and 12 good intents), 83 of these incidents were handled by our personnel.           

Incidents:                                         YTD                                                    

Station 51                   18                   101

Station 52                   16                   91       

Station 53                   16                  61

Station 54                    4                    32

Station 50                   29                   152

Yakima                          6                    28

Ambulance Only          3                    35

YTD                                                   500

Automatic Aid Received (both agencies respond)    Automatic Aid Given          

From Highland            0                                  To Highland                1

From Yakima               1                                  To Yakima                   3

From Gleed                 0

YTD                 10                                            YTD                 24       


Mutual Aid Received    3    Mutual Aid Given       6 (Yak, Selah, Gleed, Nile, EV, 5                 YTD                 5                 YTD                 26       

Last month we had $169,950 in losses from six separate incidents and 55 acres of wildland burned.  The fire losses are: $350 for a dryer fire in a residence, $10,000 for an attic fire in a residence, $20,000 for an outbuilding lost in a wildland fire, $28,600 for a house fire, $6,000 for a vehicle fire and $105,000 for a large unattached garage.  The unattached garage fire remains under investigation by the County Fire Marshall, all other fires were accidental.  The three mutual aids we received were for the grass fire that burned the outbuilding, unattached garage fire and an aid call in Cowiche Canyon which Yakima, Naches Heights were dispatched with us to locate the patient.  Because of this call we are working with these departments to develop a response plan for Cowiche Canyon that involves a coordinated response.

All six mutual aids we went out on last month were for large brush fires, additionally our auto aid to Highland was for a large brush fire while the three auto aids to Yakima were all building fires.

We have been active in mobilization fires this year, to date we have sent apparatus and personnel out on five project fires and been on stand by for two other incidents.  The state is very aggressive in containing fires this year and we have 16 members signed up for the callout list for mobilization. The typical response we provide is Brush 2-51 and occasionally one of either Tender 53 or 54 when it is allowed.  We typically have more people available than apparatus to send, I am working on a plan to provide a second brush truck based on availability, distance and weather in the District.  The funds earned by our equipment on these fires is being earmarked to replace Brush 52, all funds earned by our members is paid to them.


YSO is in the process of providing us a check for the remainder of the agreed amount for old rescue 54.

I have been working with Don Poston regarding the potential to add onto Station 51 and will have more information at our meeting for your consideration. 

Station 52 is moving along with the garage doors in this past month and the majority of the block work completed for the walls of the addition. So far everything is on track. 

We completed the gravel covering for the retention pond at Station 53, during this process we removed a few arborvitaes that have perished and plan to replace them in the fall when it cools down.  The budgeted light bar was installed on Duty 50 and the curbing completed at Station 54. 

We have two apparatus that will need tires before winter, these purchases were unplanned due to excessive wear on one and damage on the other. Engine 251 rear tires have worn to the point they will not make it through winter, the cost to replace them is $2,000, we last replaced them 24,000 miles ago so we are working with the tire company on why they did not last as long as anticipated.  Tender 54 has a cut and bulge in the left side of the rear duals, cost to replace those two tires is $1,000. We had an issue previously which replaced the right-side duals due to a cut tire resulting in having one used spare tire in stock. At this time we are working to determine if we can use the spare we kept from the other side or need to do a full replacement to ensure the safety of the apparatus.

This month our reporting system ERS rolled out a new program for checking apparatus, we have developed a weekly check the crew will perform at each station and plan to convert our monthly checks to accommodate using the computer system.  This system will allow for better documentation of apparatus/equipment inspections.


The State Chief’s Association sent a survey regarding legislative issues for 2019. I provided input based on the needs of our strategic plan and the work we have been doing with our legislators.  Senator King attended our summer BBQ to meet our members and stay in touch with us while the legislature is not in session. 

Representative Mosbrucker will be doing a ride-along with our duty crew August 27th and we have a volunteer round-table planned for noon that day with all volunteer departments in the county to discuss recruitment and retention with her.

Good of the Order:

WSRB completed their updated rating of our District and I am happy to say we surpassed our goal of remaining a solid 5 and moved up to a WSRB rating of 4.  This new rating will apply December 1, 2018.  We have an article in our upcoming newsletter informing our residents of the change.  Additionally, starting next month, I was selected by the State Chiefs to chair the WFC/WSRB committee, because I am already involved in the committee and attending meetings this appointment shouldn’t result in too much additional time.

As mentioned our newsletter should be in mailboxes within a week or so.

The County Fire Commissioners quarterly meeting in the Nile is scheduled for this Thursday.


Nathan Craig

Fire Chief