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2023 Community Risk Reduction (CRR) Week

Jan 18, 2023

Each year, starting with the Martin Luther King holiday, fire departments around the nation support a weeklong campaign to educate communities about Community Risk Reduction. Community Risk Reduction, otherwise known as CRR, is a proactive, data-driven process to identify and prioritize local risks, followed by the integrated and strategic mitigation of those risks. The strategies used to reduce these risks and their impact include Education, Engineering, Enforcement, Economic Incentives/Disincentives, and Emergency Response. The strategies can be implemented separately or in conjunction with others. The goal of CRR is to build healthy, safe, and resilient communities.

Liberty Lake CRR Week Proclamation

Millwood CRR Week Proclamation

Spokane Valley CRR Week Proclamation

Liberty Lake, Millwood, and Spokane Valley City Councils have signed and adopted our 2023 CRR Week proclamations. To view these proclamations, please click the links above. Throughout the week, we will post videos discussing how Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) incorporates these five concepts of CRR.


  • Education: Education strategies and initiatives help to raise awareness and knowledge of a community’s fire and life safety risks and ways to mitigate these risks. Spokane Valley Fire Department offers several established educational programs as well as delivers fire and life safety presentations upon request. One of our newest programs, a bike safety and helmet giveaway program, is highlighted during our 2023 CRR Week Campaign.


  • Engineering: Engineering solutions mean changing a product or the physical environment to prevent or mitigate a risk. Spokane Valley Fire Department has developed several programs that incorporate engineering solutions. During our 2023 CRR Week Campaign, we share with you our new “fire station alerting systems”. It is currently being installed in all our stations. This new alerting system will help to reduce our emergency response times, increase situational awareness, protect our firefighters’ health and wellness, and reduce dispatch stress and call processing times.


  • Enforcement: Enforcement actions apply to mitigating risks through the legislative process of strengthening and adopting applicable laws. Our inspection process looks to ensure that codes are continuously observed and maintained throughout our service area and, in some cases, imposing penalties. Our inspectors and fire marshals look at risk factors, ranging from the building, contents, and use, while they conduct approximately 5,500 annual business inspections. We also inspect the Spokane County Fairgrounds before every event to ensure its safety to the vendors as well as the visitors that participate in the shows. We share with you the inspection process for a recent quilting show at The Fairgrounds.


  • Economic Incentives/Disincentives: Economic incentives/disincentives can be incorporated to mitigate risks. Economic disincentives can result in monetary fines, fees, tickets, or citations. Economic incentives can include sales, coupons, and discounts for mitigating risks. We spotlight our smoke alarm program for you during our 2023 CRR Week Campaign. In 2022, we installed over 800 FREE, smoke alarms in homes throughout our area. Since this program’s inception, we have saved 11 lives directly related to this program.


  • Emergency Response: Effective Emergency Response can mitigate sudden injury and illness, save lives, and reduce or prevent property loss throughout our community. Deploying the right resources, both personnel and equipment, with the right training is key to how we mitigate risks in our area. During the 2023 CRR Week Campaign, we feature a recent acquired structure training burn exercise. It is critical that we train and perfect our skills not only in how we provide medical care but also in how we fight fires.


Community Risk Reduction is very important to us. So much so that our mission statement reads “We are professionals who care for our community through emergency response and risk reduction.” We are proud to serve our community and protect you and your property every hour of every day.


These highlighted CRR Programs and many others, that reduce risks in our community, are made possible through the M&O Levy. Please vote on February 14, 2023.

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.”