Chelan Fire and Rescue Received 2nd place in the Washington State Fire Commissioners Association “Management Excellence Award Program” for Category B Class fire departments.
Chelan Fire and Rescue’s Leadership/Management team and fire department were recognized by the Washington State Fire Commissioner Association at their Fall Conference in Spokane October 26, 2018. Chelan Fire and Rescue participated in the “Management Excellence Award Program” in the Category B Class, against fire departments with budgets between $2,000,000 and $4,000,000 and received 2nd place in the State of Washington. The purpose of the Management Excellence Award Program is to provide a means of sharing information, innovative ideas and the variety of activities taking place throughout the state of Washington; to give recognition to those in the fire service that have demonstrated progressive achievement; to benefit all fire districts, regardless of size, location, budget, or number of personnel.
Chelan Fire and Rescue, in conjunction with Chelan County Fire Protection District 8 (Entiat) and Douglas County Fire Protection District 4 (Orondo) were notified this week that we have been awarded a third FEMA grant in the amount of $829,011. The purpose of this grant is to replace all the Self Contain Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and spare air bottles in all three departments. This specialized piece of equipment provides firefighters with breathing air when working in an IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health) environment such as a house fire filled with smoke or a chemical spill. “This is a huge benefit to the local fire departments that have been using aging SCBAs with an increasing maintenance cost,” said Chief Lemon. Replacing all of the old SCBAs provides improved safety for all of our members and a decrease in maintenance costs. Additionally each district will see a cost savings by not having to replace out of service SCBAs.
Chelan Fire and Rescue has received three FEMA grants in the last three years:
- FEMA SAFER Grant for six firefighters fully funded for two years in the amount of $895,434.00
- FEMA Regional SAFER Grant for a Volunteer Recruit and Retention Coordinator fully funded for four years in the amount of $947,534.00
- FEMA Regional AFG for new SCBAs in the amount of $829,011.00
Total grant funds in the last three years $2,671.979.00
Chelan Fire and Rescue will not be retaining the six SAFER Grant Firefighter/EMT positions after funding runs out on December 31, 2018. This will reduce the career duty shift staff from twelve (four per shift) employees back to six firefighters (two per shift), which provides two career firefighter on-duty 24 hours a day 87% of the time. The balance of the time is when we anticipate one of the two member crew will be off duty on approved leave and/or hour reduction days (Kelly Days). This is the same shift staffing level the department had from 2009 through 2016.
While this is a significant reduction in staffing, CFR is working diligently to reconfigure the remaining staff and solicit additional support from our volunteer firefighters. CFR’s goal is to maintain four firefighters on duty as much of the time as possible. This staffing model is heavily dependent on volunteer firefighters. This will enable us to continue to meet the requirements of WAC 296-305 Firefighter Safety Standards for interior rescue and fire fighting. The initial on-duty response will continue to be backed up by home volunteer firefighters and off duty firefighters called back to work.
In 2016 CFR ran 885 calls, in 2017 it was 938 calls, a 5.7% increase over 2016. So far in 2018 we are at 712 calls and anticipate ending the year around 1,012 calls, a 12.5% increase over 2016 call volume.
07-16-18 Brush Fire – 17975 South Lake Shore
Chelan Fire and Rescue was responded to a brush fire on S. Lakeshore road just past Fields Point. The first apparatus arrived at 5:37 and reported a working brush fire approximately 2 acres in size. A second alarm was requested. Battalion 7, Chief 701, Rescue 71, Brush 74, 79, Tenders 71, 73, 74, 75 and Support 71 responded with a total of seventeen personnel. At 6:07 a.m. the fire was contained and crews moved to mop/overhaul mode.
Chelan Fire and Rescue responded to a report of a structure fire with smoke and flames showing on Apple Acres Rd. Three occupants and two pets were able to escape prior to arrival but firefighters found one dog unresponsive while extinguishing the fire. Resuscitation efforts were unfortunately unsuccessful. Firefighters faced extreme temperatures and 30 mph wind gusts but were able to keep it from spreading to the nearby brush. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Volunteer Firefighter Recruits from Chelan Fire and Rescue, Entiat Fire Department and Orondo Fire Department train over the weekend.
Great weekend class with a lot of energy, hard work and heart by all the Volunteer Firefighter Recruits. Big thanks to Chief Asher for helping out as a primary instructor; Dan Minor, Jon Mendoza, James Park, Cody Evans, Mark Cooper, Adam Jones and Brian Asher for serving as company officers / secondary instructors and Marcia Holmdahl, Robert Takagi and Lee Jones for providing support services.
The weekend training started at 8 AM and end at 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday. The recruits worked through the heat of the day developing their skills and competencies. Weekend Firefighter Fundamental on Saturday included SCBA donning and re-servicing, hose and connections, hydrants and heeling LDH, pulling preconnects and reloading, hose handling of charged 1½” and 2½” attack lines with and without hose straps and nozzle operations. Sunday the recruits tackled extension ladder deployment, carrying roof ladder up an extension ladder, climbing Ladder 71 and a SCBA confidence/usage course. After lunch it was hose evolutions all afternoon until the end of the day when we conducted engine company evaluations. All the crews did well, Engine 72 under the direction of Dan Miner took best company of the weekend followed by Engine 79 with Cody Evans in charge.
Again, great job by all involved, we saw a lot of effort and heart all weekend. Send my apologies and thanks to the mom’s and wife’s that sent their Firefighters to training instead of home celebrating Mom’s Day.
PO Box 1317 / 232 E Wapato Ave
Chelan, WA 98816