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 February 13, 2018


Agenda Topic:            Department Monthly Progress Report

Prepared By:              Chief Nathan Craig

Date Prepared:          February 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 Natalie Rivera has returned from leave assigned to Station 53.  Two new recruits washed out of the program in the first month, one was unable to attend class on time and the other apparently had an opportunity come up they couldn’t pass up and moved out of the area.

Starting February we have 90 volunteers, 72 in service for combat firefighting, 10 in service for support, 6 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:

The member comment period for the plan ended February 7th, I did not receive any suggested changes to the plan.  I have completed the action plan for 2018 as well as a month by month breakdown of tasks that will keep the plan on track.  At this time I am recommending the Board adopts the 2018-2022 Strategic Plan and we put a link to the plan on our website as well as discuss the plan in our upcoming newsletter.

Having the plan has already benefitted us in a couple ways, I was able to use the plan to clearly articulate our needs to our legislators during my visits with them last month, additionally our plan was used to demonstrate a funding need to the legislature and the plan clearly identified our needs for the FEMA AFG grant we submitted.


This past month I contacted the County Commission regarding the EMS levy formula, at this time they have requested the EMS Admin Board review the letters sent from the Commissioners and Chiefs then make a recommendation to the County Commission.  The EMS Admin Board meets February 14th at 09:00.

In 2018 I have been selected to serve as the Chair of the Yakima County 911 Operations Board, this is a one year term.  Additionally in 2018 I have joined the Washington Fire Chiefs/Washington Survey and Ratings Bureau Committee which is tasked with updating the rating schedule for 2019.

In March I will begin attending the Northwest Spillman Users Group meetings to represent the fire service Spillman needs in Yakima County, apparently the fire service has been under represented in this group for many years, the hope is through the group we can rectify some of the issues fire is having with the Spillman system.

Recruitment & Retention:  By LT Chris Lyons

Last month we were able to get the LED Sign installed and in service projecting our message to the public. The sign will definitely be a very good tool to keep our community informed about our hiring process and need for members, as well as our events that we hold for the public.

I have already received four applications for the next round of hiring, one of them has a large amount of experience and would be a good addition during our mid-year hire.  I put out a request to put together a new Recruitment and Retention group and will be working on a date for the first meeting of the year that would allow the most participation.


In January there were a total of 70 incidents in District (4 fires, 48 EMS, 2 hazardous conditions, 2 service calls, 3 false alarms and 11 good intents), 67 of those incidents were handled by our personnel.           

Incidents:                                        YTD                                                    

Station 51                   15                   15

Station 52                     9                    9         

Station 53                   10                  10

Station 54                    7                    7

Station 50                   22                   22

Yakima                         3                    3

Ambulance Only         4                    4

YTD                                                  70

Automatic Aid Received (both agencies respond)   Automatic Aid Given          

From Highland           0                                  To Highland                1

From Yakima              2                                  To Yakima                   3

From Gleed                 0

YTD                 2                                              YTD                 4         


Mutual Aid Received             0                      Mutual Aid Given      3                                  YTD                 0                                 YTD                 3         

Two incidents in District resulted in damages last month, a house fire in Wiley City caused $80,000 damage to a mobile home and contents, crews made a good stop on the fire unfortunately the fire was detected late and was showing through the roof upon notification.  The second incident with damage was caused by a windstorm which blew half the roof off a double wide onto the other half, due to an active fire in the wood stove and the chimney being covered by the roof we were called for a fire, crews extinguished the wood stove and secured utilities for the building.  Because this incident was not damage caused by fire we did not list a damage estimate in our reporting.

Department Training and Safety:  By Captain Jim Johnston

January Drills included: Equipment Check / Station Drill & 1st Quarter SCBA Quarterly, Size-Up Evolutions, RIT / Mayday, Vent Saw Basics, and State of the Department. 

Developed the February Drill Schedule: Equipment Check / Station Drill, OTEP Modules 1 & 2, Firefighter Jeopardy (51 & 53), Extrication Demo (52 & 54), and Ladder Operations.

On January 2nd we started our 2018 Recruit Class; currently we have a total of 18 Recruits to train – 12 from West Valley, 4 from Highland, and 2 from Gleed.  To date we have completed the Advanced First Aid Class, Firefighter History & Safety, Communications, Personal Protective Equipment, Building Construction, Fire Behavior, Ladders, Ventilation, and a Practical day. Along with the new Recruits we also had 23 current Members attending the Advanced First Aid class, special thanks to Lieutenants Haubrich, Pedersen, and Scully for leading the AFA Class.  The new Recruits have been issued Pagers to start responding to medical calls after February 10th

On January 24th I traveled to Ellensburg to attend the annual Wildland RT-130 Class which is utilized to recertify our current Members Wildland Firefighter Certifications.  Starting in April I will focus our drills to recertify members with the RT-130 class.

CTE Program / Cadet Program:  By LT Chris Lyons

In January we were able to be outside working on some hands on skills. If the weather continues as it has been, we will have an opportunity to get a lot of hands on work done over the next month. I have had a handful of students that have begun to come up after school and put in extra training time on their own. I have been working with them on things that they feel as a group they would like to put more training time into, the group has slowly began to grow from just a couple to as many as eight at a time.

Chris Nesmith with WVHS has been working with an outside company to help advertise and promote all of the CTE classes at the High School, including ours. The hope is that this would draw more attention to the programs and encourage more classes across the state. This should also help get more information out to the students at West Valley High School and generate even more interest in our class, hopefully bringing in more students that want to join the Department as either a Cadet or a Probationary firefighter.


The Station 52 project is on track with the request for bids currently advertised, a walk through for contractors was held February 6th. Bids will be opened February 22nd with the architect and proposals brought to you at our February 27th meeting.

Our LED display sign was installed at Station 51 this past month, Lt Lyons has been assigned to keep the sign accurate and up to date.

Engine 51 has been in the shop this past month due to a problem with the gauge cluster, the problem has been isolated and will be repaired as soon as parts arrive, additionally Engine 53 has had an intermittent problem with dead batteries, Yakima Battery has fully checked the system and everything is operating as it should therefore we have turned our attention to the electrical system for charging at Station 53, we believe we have found the problem and are now monitoring it.  Per the 2018 budget the air auto eject was installed on Engine 52, WARD diesel filter installed on Rescue 54, rehab seating was purchased along with the officer helmet shields.  This month in addition to the LED sign we are working on finishing the blinds for the community center at Station 54 and have ordered the computers and server for their scheduled replacements. 

The new Rescue 52 is currently in Oregon being outfitted with the bed and boxes, this should be completed this month and back at Cascade for final completion of the project.


Last month we submitted a FEMA AFG grant in the amount of $24,817 to purchase two washer/extractors for PPE cleaning and disinfecting, these machines would be installed at Station 52 and 54 to meet our Strategic Goal of outfitting all stations with an extractor by January 2022.  The Federal share of the grant would be $23,636 with our share $1,817.

The LED sign came in under budget therefore once our payment of $23,066 is approved by FEMA we will have roughly $7,000 left over.  I have requested we be allowed to use these funds for other recruitment and retention needs.  Currently our payment for the sign is held up by environmental review, once the review is approved FEMA should release the funds to us and notify us whether or not we can use the remaining funds.

The Yakama Nation 2% Community Contribution Committee has opened grants to law enforcement, emergency services and other provider/agencies which have been impacted by the Yakama Nation’s gaming facility on the Yakama Reservation.  I am currently researching the effect of Legends Casino on our operations and if I can articulate a need will request funding from this grant.


I had a productive trip to Olympia last month meeting with Senator King, Representatives McCabe, Johnson, Dent and Chandler.  With this being a short session we weren’t working on too many major issues however, there are a lot of bills to wade through at this time.  Once this session is over they have agreed to meet to work on legislation that meets some of our recruitment and retention goals specifically adjusting the retirement age and pension, bridging RN to EMT and continue to work on funding issues.  After the session is over I plan to begin work on several of these issues with them. 

During our meetings the supplemental budget was discussed and I was asked if we had any needs.  Upon returning home I submitted a request for assistance on the Station 52 project, specifically $100,000 to replace the parking lot and $150,000 towards the remodel to alleviate the strain on our Capital Fund.  Senator King is forwarding our request to Senator Honeyford, requests were due by February 2nd. I assume we will not know anything until they pass a supplemental budget near the end of this 60 day session.

Below is a list of the bills and or items I spoke about and where they are now:

  • Reducing the volunteer retirement age to 60 and increasing the pension- WA FF Assoc is planning a bill for 2019.
  • SB6300 Property tax exemption for LODD- Bill appears dead.
  • HB2633/SB 6213 Occupational disease presumption- passed committee.Spoke to legislators as well as the lobbyist for this bill regarding including volunteers, at this point they want to get it on the books then adjustments can be made.
  • SB6214 PTSD – Passed committee is on second reading calendar- Again spoke about including volunteers, same story, pass it then adjust.
  • Requesting the DOH create a short simple bridge program from RN to EMT.Representative Johnson would like to take up this issue for the next session, will be in contact over the summer.
  • HB1764/SB5772 replacing the 1% lid limit – Appears bill is dead.
  • HB1839/SB6513 exempting sales tax for equipment- Was dead already, spoke to Rep Dent regarding increasing the population or using another formula, he agrees, however had already dropped it lower to try and get it through, plan would be to adjust over time if it can get through, however it wasn’t even heard.
  • HB2508/SB6283 Repeal mobilization expiration- Senate bill passed ways and means amending to July 1, 2024, HB2508 appears dead.
  • We spoke at length about volunteer recruitment and retention, I described incentives that the State could offer, and at this point we are in the discovery phase, however over the summer we may be able to craft some legislation.

Good of the Order:

The first quarter Commissioner Dinner meeting is February 15th, 18:00 in Naches Heights. 

The annual Department awards banquet is schedule for February 24th and the Easter Egg hunt for March 31st.



Nathan Craig

Fire Chief