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 December 12, 2017

Agenda Topic:            Department Monthly Progress Report

Prepared By:              Chief Nathan Craig

Date Prepared:          December 6, 2017


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.


Annual member performance reviews are currently underway with all Officers evaluating their subordinates.  This year Captain Johnston revamped our evaluation form to capture our PRIDE motto, during the November Officer meeting I provided direction and input to our officers regarding performing the evaluations to receive the most benefit from the process.

Support member Shayna Pray has returned from leave of absence, Firefighter Sarah Flickinger has been granted an additional 6 months leave and Charlene Johnston has resigned from the Department.

Officer Boisselle and I attended drills at all stations to review the new Length of Service Awards Program we plan to implement in 2018.  Members in the old plan are currently reviewing their options for departure from that plan and are excited to start a new program that offers a better incentive for longevity.

Starting December we have 80 volunteers, 62 in service for combat firefighting, 10 in service for support and 8 out of service on leave.  Our total number of members with volunteers, staff and Commissioners is 90 members.

Department Training and Safety: By Captain Jim Johnston

November Drills included:  Equipment Check / Station Drill/ 4th Quarter SCBA Quarterly, Engine Company Evolutions at the Burn Trailer, Search & Rescue, Highland Fruit Walk-thru, and HAZMAT Refresher.

Developed December Drill Schedule: Equipment Check / Station Drill, Search & Rescue (Stations 51 & 53), Gilbert Fruit Walk-thru (Stations 52 & 54), Station Pride & Ownership, and Performance Review.

On November 1st we held our 4th quarter Safety / Training Committee meeting.

On November 3rd Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Howard Scartozzi visited Chief Craig, Lieutenant Lyons and myself; in our discussions we talked about hosting some State sponsored National Fire Academy Classes and a Regional Firefighter Field Day event.  Tentatively we will be hosting a Field Day on April 14th & 15th and an Incident Safety Officer Class on April 21 & 22.

On November 4th I taught the basic Driver / Operator Class. We spent time in the classroom going over pumping essentials then went outside and spent a few hours going over the hands-on side of pumping. There were about 10 newer members that attended the class.

On November 18th I attended an EVIP Train the Trainer Class hosted by District 5.

In November we concluded our 2017 Officer Development program for the year, as you recall this year’s program focused on the book “Running a Volunteer Fire Department” with monthly chapter reading assignments and discussion related to each chapter.  In 2018 as a group we have decided to return our focus to command and control of operations, after a review of the incident command system, tactics and size up we will spend the rest of the year working table-top scenarios.  Also in 2018 we will be offering our Officer Training Academy “Leadership in Action” to all recently promoted officers that have not yet attended the course as well as senior firefighters testing to be officers.

Strategic Planning:

Our first Strategic Planning Committee meeting was held November 28th to review the internal SWOT, citizen survey and draft strategic plan.  At this meeting we set December 12th as our next meeting date with three agenda items for the committee to consider: 1) what looks good in the plan, 2) what needs to be changed in the plan, 3) what has been missed in the plan.

Recruitment & Retention:  By LT Chris Lyons

The application and interview process for new hires is complete. The Station captains have requested to hire applicants they believe will be good additions to the Department. Pending your approval and passing the medical physical we will be hiring 16 firefighters and 2 support staff. The new recruits will be starting in January with recruit school.

Every year we find areas where we can improve the hiring process as well as the recruitment process. I am taking input from our members on how we can improve both recruitment and hiring to be more effective and efficient in the New Year. I will be working on some new ideas for recruitment in 2018 as well as improving some of the events we had in 2017.


In November there were a total of 58 incidents in District (5 fires, 34 EMS, 1 hazardous conditions, 5 service calls, 6 false alarms and 7 good intents), 53 of those incidents were handled by our personnel.           

Incidents:                                         YTD                                                    

Station 51                   19                   134

Station 52                   11                   157     

Station 53                   7                    63

Station 54                   7                     45

Station 50                   20                    235

Yakima                      5                     56

YTD                                                 690


Ambulance only         1                      30


Automatic Aid Received (both agencies respond)   Automatic Aid Given                                    

From Highland            0                                  To Highland                1

From Yakima              4                                  To Yakima                   1

From Gleed                 0

YTD                 18                                            YTD                 48       


Mutual Aid Received             0                                  Mutual Aid Given      1                                  YTD                 1                                              YTD                 33       

Two incidents resulted in damage last month. The first was an arson attempt at a commercial building, fortunately the items set on fire did not take and the only damage to the building was due to the arsonist forcing their way into the structure.  The second incident was a vehicle fire in the electrical system contained to the engine compartment resulting in $12,500 loss to the vehicle.

Beginning in December we have implemented a 3 person duty crew with one “rover” four days a week.  The rover is being utilized to assist in projects around the District that do not necessitate the full crew as well as assigned jobs such as pre-fire planning, hydrant maintenance and EMS supplies.

Budget/Finance: By Officer Boisselle

The 2018 Purchasing Matrix has been created based on the approved budget. 

The County Commissioners have approved the District’s 2018 general fund levy request at $1,574,678.

Fire Prevention / Public Education:  By Captain Jim Johnston

On November 16th a small Cub-Scout group visited the station; I gave them a tour of our station then followed up with a question and answer session.

On November 6th and 17th Wesley Pre-School visited the station for Fire Safety Education.  The kids watched “Sparky’s ABC’s of Fire Safety” video, followed by a brief discussion on household fire safety with a question and answer period, then a quick station tour.  During the station tour we had the kids tour the Engines, had them witness the transformation from uniform to turnouts, we also had Sparky make a surprise visit for them.  In total there were about 30 children ages 4 & 5.

CTE Program / Cadet Program:  By LT Chris Lyons

November was a lot of in classroom work book time in an effort to be ahead of schedule going into the second semester. The month of December is the hands on practical’s of the chapters we covered in November, as well as some refresher on several skills learned at the beginning of the year. At the current pace of the class we should see a good amount of outside time come spring as we will have completed the book portion ahead of schedule.

The cadets are all doing well and active at their stations. The cadets have also done a good job of assisting with station/ association events. This group of cadets have done an exceptional job of setting the standard and being an example of what we will expect for cadets in the future.


Tender 53 upgrades were completed and we are still cycling all SCBA bottles through their first 5 year hydro test.  Following annual pump testing several engines have been in the shop for minor repairs. 

The Station 52 project appears to be on track, I have assigned Captain Johnston to oversee the project, we have a meeting scheduled with our architect December 11th to review the project and ensure we are on track to go out to bid next month.


Following the joint meeting with Commissioners and Mayors last month, a letter stating the position of the fire chiefs regarding the EMS levy and the position of the fire commissioners was drafted and mailed to the Board of County Commissioners.  At this time we have not heard back from the Commission.


The SAFER grant extension we requested in order to expend all grant funds was completed last month, we will now submit our final request for funds and close out the grant.  August 2 the Senate passed the AFG and SAFER Program Reauthorization Act (S. 829) to reauthorize the programs, which are scheduled to expire on January 2, the House of Representatives has failed to act, jeopardizing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal assistance to fire departments across the country. Last month I contacted Representative Newhouse urging him to sign a letter asking House leadership to take swift action to call up and pass S. 829, so far no additional action has been taken.

Good of the Order:

November 6th Captain Johnston assisted Grant County Fire District 3 with a firefighter testing assessment center. 

The lighted fire engine has been a huge success so far this holiday season, Firefighter Andrew Pfaff is heading up the effort entering in three parades and being asked to be in a fourth parade.  In addition to the parades crews are visiting neighborhoods some evenings and handing out candy canes to children.  Andrew has the school district schedule of holiday events and plans to park the engine in the parking lot for kids to see following the events, I have already received several public comments on how great this has been for our community, the members are already planning next year to be bigger and better.


Nathan Craig

Fire Chief