CFAI Accreditation Logo 2021-2026

About SVFD

Recent Articles




Fire Chief Soto

Frank Soto Jr.

Fire Chief Soto began his career in 1996 with the Albuquerque Fire Department (AFD) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  During his time with AFD he enjoyed a diverse career in all divisions (Haz-Mat, TRT, Paramedicine, and Wildland) including executive leadership, management, and instruction.  In 2018, Chief Soto retired from AFD and joined the Rural Metro Fire Department in Tucson, Arizona where he worked as both the Assistant Chief of Operations and Administration. 2021 was his 25th year “on the job!”

Chief Soto holds a Master of Public Administration from Anna Maria College, as well as multiple Incident Command System (ICS) certifications, including Blue Card IC and Fire Officer IV (Proboard).  Additionally, he has completed many specialized leadership-training courses, including the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program; the Naval Postgraduate School’s Executive Leaders Program; and Texas A&M University’s Fire Service Chief Executive Officer Program. Chief Soto is also designated as a Chief Fire Officer and Chief EMS Officer through the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

He believes strongly in being active and involved in our community, ensuring department diversity and safety, and working in collaboration with other agencies, elected officials, and stakeholders to ensure that we meet the needs of our citizens.




Zack Bond

Zach Bond Deputy Chief of Operations

As the Deputy Chief of Operations Chief Bond is responsible and accountable for supervision of the delivery of Spokane Valley Fire Department emergency response services to the citizens and visitors of Spokane Valley, Millwood, Liberty Lake, and parts of unincorporated Spokane County. Additionally, the Deputy Chief of Operations supervises the fire department Training Division. This responsibility includes supervision of personnel, development of appropriate operational policies and guidelines, quality control, budget management, and responding to emergencies as necessary. The DC – Ops develops and maintains working partnerships with regional law enforcement, neighboring fire departments/districts, medical providers, and the public.

Deputy Chief Zack Bond began his career in 1996 as a Firefighter with the Salt Lake City Fire Department in Salt Lake City, Utah. From there he transferred to the Mountain View (CA) Fire Department where over his nearly 25 year career he held the ranks of Firefighter, Engineer, Captain, and Battalion Chief. He has been involved in operations, training, wildland, dispatch/communications, fleet management, apparatus specification, facilities, and personnel development. Chief Bond is a qualified All-Risk Strike Team Leader and has led teams of 20 Firefighters to many of the large wildland fires throughout California.

Chief Bond holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences. He is certified as a Company Officer, and Chief Officer as well as having several Executive Chief Officer certifications through the California State Fire Marshal’s office. Additionally he is a certified All-Risk Safety Officer, Blue Card Incident Commander, Hazardous Materials Incident Commander, and has numerous Incident Command System certifications.

Chief Bond believes strongly in providing the best service possible to the citizens through strategic resource deployment, and an emphasis on response company training and preparation.


DEPUTY CHIEF OF Administrative Support Services

Tom Hatley

Tom Hatley Deputy Chief of Administrative Support Services

Deputy Chief Hatley grew up in Colton, Washington, on the family farm. He earned an associate degree in Agri-Business and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Deputy Chief Tom Hatley has served the emergency services since 1992, beginning as a volunteer for Whitman County Fire District 14. In 1997 he accepted his first full-time position with Lewiston Fire Department and was promoted through the ranks of Firefighter, Engineer, and Captain. In Lewiston, Deputy Chief Hatley provided leadership and training with the State of Idaho Hazmat Team and earned certification in High Angle Rope Rescue, Swift Water Rescue, Aircraft Rescue Firefighting, and wildland firefighting. He worked on the farm in his free time, part-time with the United States Forest Service and the Department of Natural Resources. During his tenure at Lewiston Fire Department, he joined the Asotin County Fire District 1 as a volunteer firefighter.

In 2009, Chief Hatley joined Spokane County Fire District 8 and served as the Training Division Chief for eleven years. He was actively engaged and instructed at Spokane County Recruit Academies, supervised Volunteer and Career staff, and routinely served on Type 1, 2, and 3 Wildland Incident Management Teams.

In 2020 he served as Assistant Fire Chief for the City of Lynden, where he managed training and operations and was the City’s Fire Marshall. 

In December 2020, Chief Hatley accepted a position as the Fire Chief for Grays Harbor Fire District 2, where he oversaw a Fire District of 300 sq. miles and four fire stations.




Angela Golden

Angela Golden has served as Director of Finance with Spokane Valley Fire Department since July 2014. She has over 25 years of experience in government service. She began her career with Spokane County in 1995. She worked at the City of Spokane for over 17 years. Most of those years were spent working directly with the Fire Department and other public safety departments, such as Police, Municipal Court, and Probation. Angela Golden has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration/Accounting from Eastern Washington University. She has served in volunteer positions such as on the Washington Finance Officers Association Board from 2015 to 2017 as Conference Chair and as a member of the Supervisory Committee for the Spokane Firefighters Credit Union from 2016 to 2021.

Golden provides strategic leadership for SVFD’s finance and accounting functions. She oversees a wide range of finance functions, including Accounting, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Budget and Payroll. She is also responsible for all finance systems and policies/procedures.




Julie Happy

Community Affairs Director Julie Happy is a seasoned Communications, Public Education, and Marketing professional.  She has spent her professional life working in Public Education, Public Relations, and Marketing, bringing a human and customer service approach to a variety of industries including government.   Her passion is to share the professional work others do tirelessly every day, and often without notice, through a creative approach and a demonstration of application of community values.  Getting people excited about the cool things happening in their community and sharing difficult information in a relatable and personal format continues that passion.  Her work at the Spokane Valley Fire Department demonstrates that interest of taking government process and language and creating community interest through common language and shared understanding.   Looking at providing that key information from a community relevancy standpoint that allows people to care, be involved, or be in “the know,” is a key driver in Julie’s approach to communicating information to the Spokane community.  For her, it is all about understanding the community needs and creating shared understanding that the work being done meets those needs.  

Outside the office, Julie is an avid reader, an eternal academic, and a lover of pets.  She has an adventurous heart, loves to travel, loves culture, celebrates difference, and often puts herself in uncomfortable situations to learn, grow, and develop a new understanding of herself and the world at large.



Andreia Cuevas

Andreia Cuevas serves as Human Resources Director for Spokane Valley Fire Department. In her current role, Ms. Cuevas is responsible for leading the overall human resources strategy, talent acquisition, diversity and inclusion, compensation and benefits, employee relations, policy review/development, and support SVF strategies and goals for the future.

Ms. Cuevas has over 25 years of experience in human resources leadership roles within state and local government entities, healthcare, and international corporate environments. She has worked to lead and support a staff of 200 to 4,500 employees with previous employers such as Core Mark International, Kern Community College District, Sierra View Medical Centers, and most recently the municipality of the City of Fresno. Her roles have been in leadership positions specializing in benefits and compensation, investigations, recruitment, and general human resources.

Ms. Cuevas holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. She is a member of Society of Human Resources (SHRM) and Society of Hispanic Human Resources Professionals. Ms. Cuevas has several certifications and completed specialized trainings in many aspects of employment and human resources.

Priorities in her role involve supporting the staff of SVFD, representing the organization, and reinforcing the policies, procedures, and Federal/State legal requirements.




Joseph Yacker Information Technology Director

Joseph Yacker

Joseph Yacker has served the Spokane Valley Fire Department as Information Technology Director since March 2017.  He began employment with the Spokane Valley Fire Department as a Systems Analyst in June 2004 and has 30 years of experience in various technological fields, including web and software development, geographic information systems, database management, networking, virtualization, planning, architecture, and project management.  He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geography from the University of Washington.

As Information Technology Director, Joseph leads the Information Technology team as they ensure consistent, reliable, and secure technology operations, identify, and respond to the technological needs of the department, expand the use of technology in ways that contributes to the department’s mission and values, and provide a high level of personalized support.  Joseph values professionalism, hard work, integrity, and teamwork, and he strives to always learn and grow.

Away from the office, Joseph enjoys music, the good company of friends and family, and enjoying the beauty and splendor of the natural world.



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.

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.”