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 May 11, 2021


Agenda Topic:            Department Monthly Progress Report

Prepared By:              Chief Nathan Craig

Date Prepared:           May 5, 2021


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.


Amanda Graham has resigned from the Department.

Starting May, we have 78 on call members, 54 in service for operations, 12 support, 3 medical leave, 2 light duty and 7 on leave of absence.  Our total number of personnel is 88. 


In April there were a total of 79 incidents of which 72 were responded to by our personnel. 

Incidents:                                      YTD       Incidents by Zone       YTD                     

Station 51                   12                   46                    22                      75

Station 52                   15                   65                    25                     114

Station 53                   7                    30                    16                      55

Station 54                   5                     19                    9                        34

Station 50                   33                   118                    

Yakima                        0                     4

Ambulance Only         7                     31

Total                                                     313


Incident Type:              Month            Type                                                         YTD

Fire                              15    10 building (8 AA, 1 MA), 3 brush, 1 RV, 1 car                39

EMS                             54                    48 EMS, 6 MVC                                             221 Hazardous Condition 2                      1 electrical problem, 1 chemical spill                1 Service Call                 3                      3 assist invalid                                                  16 Good Intent                2                      1 outdoor burn, 1 smoke (duty)                          20 False Alarm                 3                      3 auto fire alarm                                                 10 Action Taken:                         Month            Type                                              YTD

Canceled enroute       10                    2 Med Alarm, 3 AAid bldg, 5 EMS               27

Extinguishment          9                      4 bldg (2AA,1MA), 3 brush, 1 RV, 1 car       27 Provide BLS                 44                                                                                       186 Assist Invalid               4                      1 Med Alarm                                                14 Investigate            12 1- outdoor burn, 1 mvc, 1 EMS, 3 AFA, 1 elect, 1 smoke, 1 haz, 1 bld 2 AA bld  57 Other                          0                                                                                                2

Automatic Aid Received (both agencies respond)    Automatic Aid Given                 

From Highland            0                                  To Highland                4

From Yakima               0                                  To Yakima                   4

From Gleed                 0                                  To BIA                         0

YTD                 1                                              YTD                 17       

Mutual Aid Received             0                                  Mutual Aid Given       1 (Dist 6)

            YTD                             3                                              YTD                 4         

Response Times: (Target= within 1 mile of station 8 minutes or less, add 2 minutes every mile after)                        Qualifying Alarms: 52mo, 194yr, Target met: mo 41 (79%) yr 143 (74%), Target not met: mo 11 (21%) yr 51 (26%)

Losses: One acre of wildland burned in April.  An RV fire caused $2,500 in damages, a vehicle fire $5,000 in damages and a barn fire caused an additional $100,000 in loss for a total of $107,500 in losses for April.

With the changes we had to make to our duty crew staffing, at this time we have put having a second crew on hold and will monitor our staffing levels over the next month or so to develop a plan by July to be at full staffing.

Using our response survey we are looking at changes to increase the number of responders for calls, at this time we are considering removing stand by time, ISPY use, no tones unless a response is necessary during certain hours of the day and reminding members we will get them back to the station for work on early morning fires.  One item that came up in the survey and discussion with Officers was at Station 51 the large number of auto aid responses has led to less people responding and several times not enough responders to get our truck out.  We have made a change to Station 52 for Yakima and Station 53 for Highland auto aid responses to see if that helps 51’s responses.

Budget/Finance: By Officer Boisselle

The quarterly District newsletter went out the first week of May.

I’ve started our 2020 Annual Report, which is due electronically to the State Auditors on May 31st.

Recruitment and Retention: By DC Jim Johnston

On April 17th we conducted the hiring process for the March 31st application deadline, after the physical testing and interview process, nine of the candidates will continue to the medical evaluation to verify if they are medically cleared.  Their first day will be June 1st.

Fire Prevention / Public Education: By DC Jim Johnston

The Yakima Youth Fire Prevention group, a team of area prevention people from the Fire Service, Law Enforcement, and Educators that focus efforts on preventing fires caused by youths have resumed their work.  This was put on hold due to funding and Covid last year.

All the school outreach programs are still on hold due to Covid.

Department Training and Safety: By DC Jim Johnston

April Drills included: Equipment Check / Station Drill, OTEP Modules 3 & 4 (Bariatrics and CPR), SCBA 9-Tire & SCBA Quarterly, and Annual Wildland Refresher.

Developed the May Drill Schedule: Equipment Check / Station Drill, OTEP Workshop B (Bariatrics and CPR), Wildland Pumps & Porta Tanks / Live Fire Makeup, and District Open House.

On April 7th the Safety & Training Committee met for the 2nd quarter meeting.

On April 16th I met with two Field Engineers from Underwriters Laboratory (U.L.) to perform inspection and testing of the new aerial apparatus - Truck 51.  The process was an all-day event that was a very comprehensive inspection and test of the apparatus.  At the conclusion of the inspection they presented us with some corrections that need to be addressed in a document, this document has been provided to Cascade Fire Equipment for them to schedule.

Cadet/High school program: By DC Jim Johnston

The six High School students are continuing with physical skills consisting of: hose handling, water supply, ladders, SCBA, and saw work.

Strategic Plan:

In addition to our regular monthly action plan items, in May we are looking at changes that lead to member retention utilizing our latest survey regarding response, review census data for recruitment, survey our community for planning, participate in the WFCA wage and benefit survey and improve our school safety program.

Projects carrying over still in process are creating a benefit poster to increase member awareness of benefits, land sales/lease, improving response and reviewing our CAD map against response times to determine if any boundary changes for stations would reduce response times.

For our strategic communications plan this month our external message is recruitment, wildland urban interface, open house and citizen survey included in our newsletter.  Internally our message is mentoring and recruitment.


I sent Sitkin an email to see where we are on his request to the County regarding Station 53 and have not heard back from him.

We have several apparatuses scheduled for upgrades and repairs we are waiting our turn in the shop to get them completed.

Last month we held the pre-construction meeting for Engine 51 and are just waiting for a letter regarding the added cost or savings from some of the changes made.

This month we are replacing tires on Brush 251, LED lights at Station 53, sealing and striping Station 51 asphalt and ordering equipment for the new command car.

The turnout gear we ordered back in February will not ship until early August, with the long lead times we may be sizing and ordering our 2022 PPE near the end of this year.


The State recently notified us our matching cost from our previous Covid-19 expenses grant will now be covered so we are set to receive an additional $8,118 which is a reimbursement for PPE and equipment purchased for the pandemic.


The session is over. The most notable bill to pass was the funding bill for State DNR to combat wildland fires, otherwise most bills passed have little effect on the District. There are some tax relief bills due to Covid that could potentially impact our funding but it doesn’t appear so at this time.  The Legislature did approve in the capital budget to fund the County Fire Commissioners Communications Committee request for updating all radio towers in the Upper Valley.


We have a plan developed for replacement of radio equipment for county main and our mountain repeaters. The plan is expandable should we choose to add additional channels in the future and will come at a cost of around $175k, this will be presented at the Commissioners quarterly meeting.

The Communications Committee is also reviewing a service and maintenance contract, during our presentation we have several issues at our repeater sites that have not been addressed, it appears most of our equipment is in disarray and much of it will need to be repaired before we receive our new equipment.

Good of the Order:

The Firefighter’s Association is holding an outdoor flea market event at Station 51 in place of the indoor bazaar, the event is a fundraiser for the Association.

The Commissioners quarterly meeting is scheduled at West Valley May 20th 18:00.


Nathan Craig

Fire Chief