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2017: A Year in Review

Dec 15, 2017

It’s hard to believe, but 2017 is quickly coming to a close. We here at SVFD are wrapping up outstanding projects and planning is in full swing for 2018. This year has been very gratifying with some significant accomplishments that will have a lasting impact on the citizens we serve, here in the greater Spokane Valley.bryan collins

  • Fire Protection Class Rating – Early in the year, we learned that after years of hard work and planning, the homeowners and businesses within the cities served by SVFD would see their Fire Insurance Premium lowered from a Class 3 rating down to a Class 2. This new Class 2 rating has the potential to save money on the fire insurance portion of homeowner and business policies. This rating is among the lowest in the State of Washington. Only four other fire departments in the state have received a Class 2 rating and they are all west of the Cascades.
  • Project RISK – Our Community Risk Reduction initiative, Project RISK, has been a primary focus during this past year. Project RISK is aimed at reducing fire and medical emergencies in our community through proactive, targeted outreach and education. The Department installed over 1,300 free smoke detectors in homes within our service area in conjunction with hundreds of free Home Fire Safety Visits. The program has been very well-received within the community and we look forward to expanding and growing as we move into 2018.
  • Regional Communications – SVFD has been involved in a regional initiative to create an “integrated regional communications center” which will lead to a more efficient and effective emergency communications system that is sustainable well into the future. The project is expected to continue throughout 2018 with early implementation in the first part of 2019.
  • 2018 Budget – This fall was busy as we worked with the SVFD Board of Commissioners to establish and approve the 2018 budget. The budget was approved by the Board in November and contains funding for modest growth in some programs and some measured Capital spending. The approved budget allows for the continued excellent service and programs that the citizens of the greater Spokane Valley have learned to expect and deserve.|
  • Liberty Lake Station #3 – Lastly, we completed our fire station relocation project in Liberty Lake. The beautiful new fire station opened on December 4 with a ribbon cutting ceremony which was headed up by our wonderful partners at the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and officials from the City of Liberty Lake. The eight month project not only looks fantastic and provides our firefighters with a state-of-the-art facility for delivering emergency services, but it also came in ahead of schedule and under budget! This is an exceptional accomplishment by everyone involved including the architects, builders and SVFD staff, all of which spent many hours seeing to the project’s successful completion.

These are just a few of the highlights from your Fire Department as we wrap up the year 2017. I look forward to the coming year and many more accomplishments as we continue to provide a great value to our communities.

I wish you a safe and very happy holiday season and as always thank you for your continued support!

Bryan Collins, Fire Chief

Did you Know?


  • You can sign up for a station tour. Great for small groups.
  • You should replace the batteries in your smoke alarms twice a year.
  • Creating a defensible space with regards to wildfires could just save your home or property.

Media Contact

  • Julie Happy
  • 509-892-4155

Commissioner Patrick Burch

Board Member Since: July 18, 2016
Current term expires: December 31, 2025

Commissioner Burch was appointed to the Board of Fire Commissioners in July 2016 to fill an unexpired term and has served continuously since that time. He became a volunteer member of the Department’s CERT Team in 2008 and later served as a team leader/member of Fire Corps.

“I admire the Spokane Valley Fire Department’s focus on continuous improvement. Our dedication to the community, fiscal responsibility and the fact that we are one of the few accredited fire departments in the State of Washington all make SVFD great!”

Note: As the individual appointed to this non-partisan position, Commissioner Burch was elected by voters in November 2017.

Commissioner Mike Kester

Board Member Since: January 1, 2020
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2025

Commissioner Mike Kester was elected to the Board of Fire Commissioners in November, 2019.

Commissioner Kester grew up in the Spokane area and has a deep appreciation for just how fortunate we all are to live in this beautiful area. He believes that being involved in this community is not something to take lightly.

His background includes joining the United States Coast Guard (U.S.C.G) after high school and serving on a port firefighting boat doing search and rescue in Portland, Oregon.  After the Coast Guard, he attended the University of Montana earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Resource Management.  He then went on to work for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, serving in their Parks Department.

Spokane was the next step in his career. He  went to work for the Burlington Santa Fe Railroad and the next 22 years was spent as a conductor moving freight. Commissioner Kester  retired in 2010 after a workplace injury and now,  he and his wife enjoy making meals for World War II Veterans, helping out at the YMCA ,and providing meals for those in need.

“In the 25 years of being a resident of the Spokane Valley the professionalism of the SVFD has inspired me to take an active part in bettering our community. We have one of the best fire departments in the whole Pacific Northwest. My wife and I have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. I have dedicated my life to keeping them safe.  I want to apply that dedication to our community.  Keeping us all safe is a goal we should all aspire to in one way or another. Communication within the department and with the public is, and always will be one of my primary goals.”

Commissioner John Guarisco

Board Member since: August 27, 2018
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2027

Commissioner Guarisco was appointed to the Board of Fire Commissioners in August 2018 to fill an unexpired term and has served continuously since that time. Commissioner Guarisco founded Marjoni Marketing in 2004 and in 2010 merged with MDI marketing. He then pursued Real Estate, earning his license and now, currently serves the greater Spokane area as a licensed Realtor. He has long been active in the community and has won numerous awards during his career including the Volunteer of the Year (2014) and the Community Caring Award (2010) from the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce.  He is a member of the Greater Spokane Valley Rotary Club and holds an AA degree from Spokane Falls Community College.

Note: As the individual appointed to this non-partisan position, Commissioner Guarisco was elected by voters in November 2019.

Commissioner Bill Anderson

Board Member since: January 1, 2000
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2023

Commissioner Anderson served our community as a Spokane Valley Fire Department firefighter for 29 years. Throughout his career, he worked as a firefighter, dispatcher and engineer before he was promoted and became an officer. He was Station Captain of Millwood Station 2 when he retired in 1999. During his years as firefighter, he was an active leader of Spokane Valley Firefighters Local 876 and served as a trustee on the Washington State Council of Firefighters for 25 years.

“It’s important to me that we continue the good service we’ve always given the people. We’ve accomplished a lot and are pulling in the same direction to get better. I’m very proud of the Spokane Valley Fire Department.”

Commissioner Brian Asmus

Board Member Since: June 14, 2021
Current term expires: 

Commissioner Brian Asmus was appointed to the Spokane Valley Fire Department Board of Fire Commissioners in 2021.

Commissioner Asmus is the former Liberty Lake Police Chief and current Director of Safety and Security at Central Valley School District (CVSD).

“Brian Asmus brings extensive Public Safety leadership experience, and a long history of being actively engaged in his community to his new role as a SVFD Commissioner,” said SVFD Fire Chief, Bryan Collins. “During his time as a Police Chief, Brian interacted with SVFD firefighters and administrators on a regular basis, making him very familiar with our structure, standing within our communities, as well as with many of our current SVFD board members and personnel. Brian’s experience working and collaborating on regional issues aligns nicely with SVFD’s philosophy and will help us continue to be a catalyst for local and regional excellence and innovation.”