It is early in 2016 and it appears this year is going to be an interesting one for Lewis County Fire District #3. Our efforts in the past two years have not gone unnoticed. In the past two years the district has been evaluated by the Washington State Rating Bureau and the Washington Department of Labor and Industry. The outcomes of both evaluations were positive. The Washington State Rating Bureau reduced the districts’ insurance rating from an eight (8) to a six (6). This could mean possibly lower insurance premiums for home owners in the district. Check with your insurance company.
In 2015 your fire department responded to 321 calls. 253 EMS (aid) calls and 68 Fire calls. This is the highest number of calls we have had over the past five years. The next largest number was 300 calls in 2012. The volunteers are dedicated and committed to serving their community. Being a volunteer is becoming more of a commitment all of the time. The men and women of this department spend hours training along with their “regular” jobs plus respond to calls at all hours of the day or night. I would like to thank all of them for the job they do.
The preparation continues on our property just east of city limits. Moerke and Son’s drilled the well and we expect to move some of our training buildings to the property this year. We will also coordinate with the two medical helicopter companies, Northwest Airlift and Life Flight, and move our landing zone from the High School to the property on Mossyrock Road East. This will be a great benefit not only for us but for the school also. We will be able to safely operate without the concerns of interrupting school events or the congestion of entering and exiting the school grounds.
Last, but most certainly not least, I would like to ask for your support this fall when we attempt once more to approve a bond for the construction of a new Fire Station. We have simply outgrown our current station and cannot continue to operate at the level expected by you, the community, by the National Fire Protection Agency and other regulatory agencies in our current location. I know the dollar amount ($1.2 Million) sounds high and it is but consider the cost of replacing your home or the cost of a loved one’s life. If we can’t continue to improve the service we are able to deliver, if our hands are tied because of the limitations of our location, who will pay the price?
What a difference a year makes. I would like to start this year’s letter with a huge “Thank you” to everyone who supported us and voted to approve our bond for the new Fire Station. I also want to especially thank, Jack DeGode, Butch Senter, and Ron Palmer for expressing an interest and helping to publicize the dire need for a new building. We couldn’t have done it without their leadership.
As for the new station, I believe it is important to keep the public informed on the progress of construction. In January we selected an Architect and Engineering firm to design and manage the construction project. Frank Lawhead was selected and has been diligently working on the preliminary design. The estimated timeline for construction is; Pre-Application meeting with Community Development February 16th , 2017; Completion of plans and drawings May 2017; Going out for bid June 2017; Start Construction July 2017; Estimated completion January 2018. Please remember these are only ESTIMATES. I will post updates as we get them.
In 2016 the district responded to 264 incidents. 200 EMS (aid) calls and 64 Fire calls. Thankfully the number of incidents decreased this year. We conducted several CPR/First Aid classes which translated in to approximately 120 more people in our community who are qualified to render aid and perform lifesaving CPR in the first minutes of a crisis. If you need First Aid/CPR, please call or stop by the Fire Station and we will be glad to schedule a class.
In closing, I would to thank you again for the support you have shown to our Fire Department. 2017 promises to be a very busy year. I will update you with the progress of the New Station as information becomes available.
Douglas C. Fosburg
Fire Chief / Lewis County Fire District #3
Chief's Letter 2017