West Valley Firefighters

Quarterly Newsletter

1st Quarter of 2012


Chief's Monthly Report

Chief's Monthly Report

West Valley Fire Department

Yakima County Fire District 12

For the Meeting of April 10, 2018

Agenda Topic:           Department Monthly Progress Report

Prepared By:              Chief Nathan Craig

Date Prepared:          April 6, 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.


Armed Forces Benefit Association First Responder Task Force has been in District the past few weeks signing members up for the $5,000 life insurance benefit and offering additional life insurance for members.

In March we had one on scene injury that resulted in a trip to the emergency room and the member being placed on Medical Leave, after some rest and a consultation with an orthopedic doctor he has recovered and returned to service.  Additionally, our Rehab Lieutenant went on medical leave due to an injury suffered outside of the Department.

Firefighter James Krueger had been on a leave of absence while pursuing a residency program, that leave was up in March and James is doing well where he is so he chose to resign.  This past month I terminated a new recruit for violating our social media policy, this policy is reviewed extensively during orientation and we have a zero tolerance for indecent/immoral conduct on social media.

Starting April we have 87 volunteers, 68 in service for combat firefighting, 8 in service for support, 8 out of service on leave and 3 on medical leave.  Our total number of members with volunteers, staff and Commissioners is 97 members.

Strategic Planning:

Our customer surveys are live on our web site and crews are handing out post cards at incidents.  This month I am meeting with officers at each station to review needs at each station for future needs and general repairs. 

We have been in contact with the State Fire Commissioners Association regarding the annual wage and benefit survey to ensure we are able to utilize that information for planning.


I have not heard of any changes with the EMS levy formula from the County Commissioners, on March 26th EMS Director Tony Miller sent an estimate of our 2019 EMS levy funding that utilized the current formula.

The Spillman meetings I attended the first quarter of this year have been worthwhile, the main take-away I have from the meetings is the system is capable of doing most of what we have been asking for however, SunComm has not received training on how to set up the system.  At this time we are waiting for the audit results and promised training before determining whether or not fire should stick with this system.

With 2018 being the final year of our current dispatch contract with SunComm and conversations we have had regarding dispatching, I mailed a letter to Chief Frazer at District 5 requested a study be conducted on the feasibility of them dispatching for us.  If District 5 is interested we will meet to discuss specifics in the next few months to allow plenty of time for any switchover to occur.


In March there were a total of 74 incidents in District (7 fires, 39 EMS, 1 hazardous condition, 6 service call, 1 false alarm and 16 good intents), 67 of those incidents were handled by our personnel.           

Incidents:                                        YTD                                                    

Station 51                   14                   43

Station 52                     20                  38       

Station 53                     7                   24

Station 54                    6                    16

Station 50                   20                   63

Yakima                        3                    8

Ambulance Only        4                    11

YTD                                                 203

Automatic Aid Received (both agencies respond)   Automatic Aid Given                                    

From Highland           1                                  To Highland                1

From Yakima              3                                  To Yakima                   3

From Gleed                 0

YTD                 6                                              YTD                 14       

Mutual Aid Received             0                   Mutual Aid Given      3 (3-Yakima) YTD                 0                                              YTD                 10       

With the start of the residential outdoor burn season being March 15th, we had eight alarms related to burning. Six of them were controlled burns called in when people saw the smoke and 2 were controlled burns that had gotten out of control that we took action on.

Budget/Finance: By Officer Boisselle

I have begun work on our 2017 annual State Auditor report.  I will bring to the Board for review and approval in at the May 8th meeting.

Department Training and Safety: By Captain Jim Johnston

March Drills included: Equipment Check / Station Drill, OTEP Workshop A, Hydrants and Hoses, and Live Fire Training utilizing the Trailer, Car, and Dumpster Props.

Developed the April Drill Schedule: Equipment Check / Station Drill / SCBA Quarterly/ Shelter Video, OTEP Modules 3 & 4 (CPR & Industrial MCI), Wildland Pumps / Tanks/ Hoses & Shelters, and Wildland Refresher.

In March we concluded the structural training for the New Recruits with Live Fire Training and EVIP Training (Emergency Vehicle Incident Prevention).  They are currently working on their Wildland Training with a final practical day scheduled for May 5th

On March 21st a Service Representative from FireBlast serviced the Burn Trailer with its annual maintenance check. 

Commissioner Barham, Commissioner Borst, Chief Craig and I attended the Washington Fire Chiefs Leadership seminar in Yakima last month, the seminar was well worth our time and we are hopeful the Chiefs continue to offer training like this in Yakima.

Fire Prevention / Public Education: By Captain Jim Johnston

On March 26th the Cape Home Schooled children visited our facility; there were 25 kids ranging from Pre-School age to early teens. The kids were accompanied by 15 adults.  I spoke to them about the functionality of our Department, Fire Safety, Station Tour, Engine Tour, Donning Structural PPE along with SCBA, a Deck Gun demonstration, and letting them flow a 1.5” hose line.  All the kids really seemed to enjoy the tour; there were lots of really good questions asked by the kids as well as the parents.

The Association annual Easter Egg Hunt was successful with over 400 kids participating and more than 1000 people attending, besides the eggs we signed citizens up for smoke detector installations, toured equipment and provided fire safety information.

Recruitment & Retention:  By LT Chris Lyons

We have been advertising through the months of February and March that we are accepting applications for experienced firefighters. I did not receive any new applications in the month of March for experienced firefighters. The applications will be due on April 19th with the Work Ability Test being held the week of the 23rd-27th. Interviews will be held on Tuesday May 1st. At the Officers meeting it was suggested that we have the interviews at the stations the same way that we do with our recruits. As a result we will have the stations host the interviews.

I was unable to attend the Egg Hunt, however we did have applications to fill out and information informing the attendees that we are always looking for quality members. 

CTE Program / Cadet Program:  By LT Chris Lyons

The month of March wrapped up the Fire Essentials book portion of the class. The rest of this school year will be focused on Wildland in the month of April and practical’s for the remainder of the school year.

The students assisted with filling the eggs for the Egg Hunt, and several of them attended the event to assist as well. The association agreed that we should do something for this class to show appreciation for all of the assistance that they have given us this year at all of the association events. We decided that we would take two days and do a movie and breakfast for them while they filled eggs. At the beginning of the year I encouraged the students to take the opportunity to assist with the events and make an effort to get to know some of the members of the Department, specifically the students that want to apply, they have gone above and beyond at all of the events.

The applications for the students will also be due on April 19th with the work ability test the following week, and the interviews on Tuesday, May 2nd. So far I have received one application and I know of four others that are currently working on their application packet.


Station 52 is scheduled to go back out to bid mid-April with bid opening prior to our second meeting in May.

The refrigerator and freezer in the Training Center have been repaired, I am going to submit a claim to Pacific Power for reimbursement of the damages.

Apparatus update; the new Rescue 52 is nearly complete, I expect delivery within the next couple weeks, Brush 251 has been outfitted with the pump, tank and tools and is now in service as a reserve brush truck.  Brush 52 has a cracked weld in the pump plumbing and is going in for repairs before wildland season begins.

Station 51 and 53 computers have been replaced, the new dual frequency pagers for Station 54 members are in service as well as the two additional jet strainers for on-scene water supply.


This past month we took advantage of the DNR’s Phase I grant program that splits the cost 50/50 of wildland equipment.  Through this grant we purchased PPE, tools, foam, headlamps and batteries. 

I spoke with Senator King’s office.  Our supplemental budget request for the Station 52 project did not make it in the 2018 supplemental however, they wanted to know if we would like any of the project considered for the 2019 budget, at this time we plan to request funding to replace the parking lot at Station 52 next year. I will begin working on this with the Senators office this summer.

Good of the Order:

The Association Easter Egg Hunt was very well attended and a great community event, I would like to thank the Chair of the event Jean Seibert for her dedication and hard work to ensure the event was a huge success.



Nathan Craig

Fire Chief