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Dec 31, 2019

Four more SVFD Firefighters are going to Paramedic School.

2020 has 4 more ambitious SVFD Firefighters going to Paramedic School!

In general, most Firefighters do not like recognition for all the great things they do. For most of them, they feel it is “just part of their job.” They are just “naturally” drawn to helping others.

Firefighters  are the “Quiet Professionals” serving their community doing their job quietly and well, every time and with dignity.

However, going to Paramedic School is a big deal and it takes a BIG time commitment from these Firefighters and their families. We want to honor their commitment to themselves, their future, their families, and their community.

The basic requirements for the program at INHS consists of 3 separate phases and takes approximately a year to complete. The first phase is the classroom portion which consists of 672 hours of in class time learning, this time is split over 3 days M-W and essentially adds an extra 24 hours of work to their week, not counting study time. The recommended amount of study time to keep up with the information is 20 hours per week, plus 3 to 5 hours to take each test.

The 24 hours a week class time is spent between class, lab time, and going over all the national registry skill sheets that cover everything from the basics of CPR, to IV and advanced airway placement (intubation), to drawing up approximately 80 medications.

They also must lead summative scenarios, where they are assigned a group and given an emergency call for service.  They run through the scenario acting as the lead paramedic, giving direction to the team, calculating medication doses, and being in charge of patient care for the simulated patient.   During the summative scenario they are being evaluated on the spot in front of their team.  Sounds a little stressful!

After this Phase I, Clinical Rotations begin.  This part takes place at the local hospitals, pulling shifts in the various different departments, ER, OR, Pediatrics, and OBGYN delivering babies.  “Yikes,” they say.  This second phase takes a MINIMUM of 258.5 hours.  They are required to get a certain number of IV starts, intubations, patient contacts, and yes, deliveries . . . again, “YIKES,” they say.

For these Firefighters, after this Phase II, life begins to return to some form of normalcy.

And then, the real test begins.  They now begin to practice in the field under the close eye of an assigned proctor/mentor.  This phase III is based upon a MINIMUM of 360 hours.  For the Firefighters, the nice part is that this is done on their regularly scheduled SVFD shifts.  They are assigned to one of SVFD’s busier engines to complete this training.  Once they reach the required number of patient interactions, they are then eligible to sit for the written National Registry Paramedic exam.

For these Firefighters, studying doesn’t stop when the classroom portion is over, they must continue to study their books for the next several months in order to pass the national certification test after their practicum.

The Firefighters believe that the real heroes in this whole process, are their “wives, kids, families and friends who are in the background picking up all the slack at home so that we are able to spend the hours upon hours outside of class that required for us to succeed.”  

We are beyond excited about SVFD Firefighters who continue to sacrifice so that they can grow and develop their skills here at the SVFD.  We are proud of these hardworking individuals who want to educate themselves in order to care for the community they serve more effectively and more efficiently.  Paramedic services and EMS calls top the list of calls for service here at the SVFD.

We want to thank these four Firefighters, Jeff Caldwell, Rawley Doggett, Nikko Humphry, and Ian Sutherland, for investing in their future and the care of the community they serves.

Four Paramedic Students

Congratulations on being accepted into Paramedic School!




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.”