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 May 8, 2018

Agenda Topic:            Department Monthly Progress Report

Prepared By:              Chief Nathan Craig

Date Prepared:          May 2, 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.


In April we had one on-scene injury that resulted in a trip to the emergency room and the member being placed on light duty while awaiting an MRI.

The leave of absence length for two members ends in May, I have attempted contact with both members and am awaiting a response to find out their future plans.  Three other members will expire in June.

Rehab member Shayna Pray has resigned due to a lack of available time to commit to the District, we wish Shayna well in all her future endeavors.

Starting May we have 86 volunteers, 67 in service for combat firefighting, 7 in service for support, 8 out of service on leave, 1 on light duty and 3 on medical leave.  Our total number of members with volunteers, staff and Commissioners is 96 members.

Strategic Planning:

This month’s strategic focus is recruitment/retention, Capital Improvement Plan update and WSRB. 

On the critical issue of recruitment this month we will begin to develop a list of characteristics members serving 8 years or more have in common. This list of characteristics will then be used in the future for targeted recruiting in an effort to increase volunteer longevity.  Additionally, during the month of May we will be visiting with members at each station to discuss retention and identify ways to improve our current programs as well as any new programs that will increase our member retention.  Information gathered this month will be used to develop a retention survey that we plan to distribute to all members in June.  All of these recruitment/retention projects are scheduled to run concurrently over the next few months with final results at the end of summer in time for the next recruitment drive.

Work has already begun on updating our Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), last month I met with each station’s officers to review facilities for space and function to ensure our buildings can support our staffing needs.  This month I will be assessing our apparatus for operational function and location within the District. This information will then be used to update the CIP which ties into two goals set under Critical Issue III “Resource Management” 1) June 2018 assess all facilities for space and function to ensure they can support the staffing recommended in Critical Issue 1 for inclusion in the Capital Improvement Plan.  2) By June 2018 assess all apparatus locations and capabilities to identify a long term replacement plan in the Capital Improvement Plan.

Finally, this month we will begin to prepare the necessary documents for our WSRB re-rate scheduled for June 18th, this re-rate will allow us to work on Objective III under Critical Issue IV “Community Accountability” where we review the list of improvements from our previous WSRB rating for areas to improve fire protection, this list will be utilized to ensure equipment is available and maintained to provide sufficient fire protection in our community.  Additionally, decisions regarding staffing and purchases may be made utilizing WSRB to help understand the level of fire protection that we will be capable of providing following the decision.

Department Training and Safety:  by Captain Jim Johnston

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

Developed the May Drill Schedule: Equipment Check / Station Drill / L&I Heat Awareness Video, OTEP Workshop B, Circuit Drill, Firefighter Choice, Recruit School Graduation.

On April 4th the Safety / Training Committee held a required quarterly meeting.

On April 14th we had a Firefighter Field Day for the Recruits and current members.  We drilled on extrication, SCBA air management, and firefighter self-rescue topics.  At lunchtime our District ended up responding to a structure fire, Chief Craig had me bring all the Recruits and put them to work.  This was their 1st actual fire, they all did great!

On April 21st and 22nd we hosted a 2-day National Fire Academy Incident Safety Officer class, there were 24 students that attended from Yakima, Benton, and Walla Walla counties. 

The classroom portion of 2018 Officer Development training is complete, last month we started on our fire scenarios to follow up the classroom training.  Using our computer simulator we will run simulated fires to work on communications, incident command and safety for the rest of 2018.

Fire Prevention / Public Education:  by Captain Jim Johnston

On April 9th Chief Craig and I attended a meeting at the Yakima Police Station with Yakima Fire, Yakima Police, and Yakima Sheriff regarding school evacuation drills.  Several topics were discussed regarding what is the best practice for safety in a situation where there could be an active shooter involved relative to a fire incident or drill at a school.

On April 11th I attended a meeting at West Valley High School with all of the Administrators in the District.  Yakima Fire has jurisdiction at three elementary schools, the Junior High and Middle School.  They have been getting some push back from some of the schools on Code Enforcement.  YFD put on a brief Powerpoint to explain the code enforcement requirements.  Myself and the Yakima County Fire Marshal’s Office attended this meeting to show support and solidarity.

From April 24th thru the 26th we attended Mountainview, Cottonwood, and Ahtanum Valley Elementary Schools with the EDITH house.  In total we ran 180 2nd Graders thru the program.

Budget/Finance:  by Officer Boisselle

I continue to work on our Annual Report for the State Auditor’s Office.  This is the first year reporting in the BIAS system and I have run into a few entry issue that I am currently fixing.  I am hoping to have the report done for your review at the May 22nd meeting.  The report is due to the Auditor’s Office by May 31st.

As we look ahead to the updating of the Capital Improvement Plan and the preparation of the 2019 budget, decisions will need to be made on the feasibility and funding of adding onto Station 51.  Chief Craig and I will be meeting with a bond representative to discuss our existing bond, which expires in December 2019, and the options for financing a new capital project. 

Recruitment & Retention:  by LT Chris Lyons

In April we started the midyear hiring process for cadets/experienced firefighters. We received 10 applications in total with 9 being from the high school program and 1 experienced firefighter. At the close of the application acceptance period for experienced firefighters, I posted that we are now accepting applications for our 2019 recruit school.

I have been working with members of each station to create a survey that would help us find common areas that we should look for when recruiting. I will continue to work with them and send the survey out in the month of May.

CTE Program / Cadet Program:  by LT Chris Lyons

We wrapped up the wildland classroom portion and the students that applied will be attending our live burn training in May. With the completion of the wildland portion, the focus of the class from now till the end of the year will be all hands-on drill ground time.


The concept of merging the Emergency Management Director and Emergency Medical Services Director positions are still being considered by the County Commissioners.  The Chiefs Association has several concerns regarding a possible merger and requested a work study be completed for both positons to determine if this is feasible.  At this time we have been shown an organizational chart outlining the changes as well as salaries for positions.  We have not seen a work/time study for the positons.  Speaking with several Chiefs and you at our last Board meeting I believe there are valid concerns regarding merging these positons and at this time I am not convinced this would have a positive impact on our District.  I anticipate the Chiefs Association receiving the requested information prior to any decisions being made and having an opportunity to provide input to the County Commissioners.

Last month the Chiefs Association held our annual mutual aid meeting to make adjustments to the plan, at this time we are waiting for Yakima Fire to finalize their portion of the document so we can adopt a final version, in the mean time we continue to operate under the 2017 plan.

Also last month, in preparation of wildland season, a meeting was held here bringing together all the partners regarding wildland fire.  The information was informational and a great opportunity to meet all the players from the agencies we work cooperatively with prior to being on scene of an incident.  Yakima County is predicted to have high fire potential in 2018 and preparation is underway to combat these potential fires.

Our BIA contract has expired and they are currently working on updates for the contract. I spoke with Ryan Sanchey from BIA regarding the contract, at this time District 5 is reviewing the contract for changes.  I advised Ryan rather than him going through both of us we were good with looking at the final copy they come up with before we consider adopting the contract.


In April there were a total of 49 incidents in District (3 fires, 32 EMS, 3 service call and 11 good intents), 40 of those incidents were handled by our personnel.           

Incidents:                                       YTD                                                    

Station 51                   11                   54

Station 52                     9                    47       

Station 53                     5                   29

Station 54                    2                    18

Station 50                   14                   77

Yakima                        2                    10

Ambulance Only         6                    17

YTD                                                 252

Automatic Aid Received (both agencies respond)   Automatic Aid Given            

From Highland           0                                  To Highland                0

From Yakima              1                                  To Yakima                   3

From Gleed                 0

YTD                 7                                              YTD                 17       

Mutual Aid Received             0                    Mutual Aid Given      1 (YTC)                         YTD                 0                                        YTD                 11       

Three fires accounted for $190,900 in losses last month, the pre-incident value of these properties was $319,000 for two buildings and one ATV.  An attic fire in a double wide mobile home caused $85,000 in loss, with fire in the attic space crews worked diligently on salvaging contents of the home while extinguishing the fire to limit property loss.  A fully involved detached garage fire with several vehicles involved was $102,000 in loss, this fire was in the early morning hours and was not detected until fire was through the roof of the building. Crews worked to protect the house exposed to the fire then extinguished.  The final loss was an off road ATV accounting for $3,900 in loss. The ATV caught fire and was extinguished by the owner prior to our arrival.


Rescue 52 is finished and will be delivered May 2nd. Station 52 intends to put the new rescue in service at drill May 2nd.  We have no use for the old 1995 Rescue and plan to surplus it in the next month or so.

The pre-bid walk through for the addition/remodel of Station 52 was completed May 1st, bids are due May 17th.  Following the bid opening we will review the bids to determine the best course of action for you to take at our May 22nd meeting.

As I mentioned at our last meeting Pacific Power denied our claim for the damage to our refrigerator and freezer. I checked with our electrician regarding protecting the building from this type of incident in the future. He advised that the cost to outfit the building with protection would be more than $20k, based on this he did not recommend to install the protection.  I am working on appealing the decision to not take responsibility for the damage as I believe Pacific Power should have adequate protection in place to avoid $3,000 in damages due to wind.

I have met with a landscaper to receive quotes for projects at Stations 53 and 54.  We have located the septic tank at Station 54 and plan to have it pumped, inspected and raise the lid height before finishing that rock bed. 

The tank indicator lights have been installed on Engines 51 and 251.  We had another air leak in Air 50 that we were able to fix however, we will continue to monitor the system.

At this time we are awaiting the arrival of our extrication equipment, server, spare SCBA bottles and conference room chairs.  This month we will be issuing the PPE we ordered, installing a light bar on Duty 50 and ordering the command car to replace the Mountaineer.

Good of the Order:

The next Commissioners quarterly meeting is May 17th in Gleed. I will not be at our May 22nd meeting due to attending the Chief’s conference.  You and your spouse are invited to attend Recruit graduation May 30th at 19:00.  The Fire Commissioner’s Chelan seminar is June 1-3.


Nathan Craig

Fire Chief