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Mar 26, 2020

In a world where children need positive examples and connections with adult mentors, Spokane Valley Fire Captain Matt Jorgensen found a place where he could contribute.  He became involved in his home community of Deer Park around 19 years ago when he saw a wrestling program in need of volunteers.  After volunteering and helping out at the Junior High level Matt became the head coach of the Deer Park High school team.

Captain Jorgensen











In those first few years it was very rudimentary.  They didn’t have a lot of money for traveling to tournaments or for much training, practice, or camps during the off season.  In fact, they would have to pack enough food, load up kids, and fund most of their own off season training.

Captain Jorgensen











They spent a lot of time early on creating and building a strong foundation for a program that would become extremely influential in changing the lives of the wrestlers on the team.  A success story for many wrestlers includes winning 8 Washington State team Championships, winning 5 seasons in a row at the 2A level, and placing in the top 4 for 13 straight years.  Many of these wrestlers have gone on to find success after graduating high school.  In recent years two wrestlers have been accepted to the Naval Academy and WestPoint.  Both were nominated and accepted by Cathy McMorris-Rodger’s to attend the military academies.   Other success stories include a first generation college graduate who became a Forester and at this time, three coaches now on the staff also wrestled for Matt.

Captain Jorgensen











These boys are better men from having been a part of this wrestling program in a rural community.  They learned incredible work ethics that have supported their ability to obtain further education and jobs.  Many businesses in the community will hire these boys because they know if you’re on the Deer Park Wrestling team, you are a worker!

Captain Jorgensen









Matt loves the wrestling community that has developed.  They have become a strong group that supports everyone.  In a time where parents can be competitive and individualistic, these parents come together to support the better good of all the wrestlers. They fund raise now to send boys to camps and they mentor boys that don’t have the best home life or don’t have a father figure at home or in their life.  All the coaches realize that coaching is more than moves and technique. They can have a real positive impact on young athletes.

Captain Jorgensen











While wrestling season may only be three months long, many of the coaches, wrestlers, and families spend 9 to 10 months a year with these kids. Training, fund raising, going to camps, and keeping them busy in the community takes up a lot of the off season time.  Matt tributes his ability to spend this kind of time with the team to his career at the Spokane Valley Fire Department.  He says that the department has been incredibly supportive of his work with the wrestling team.  He couldn’t do it without that kind of support.

Captain Jorgensen











It really hits home how much the wrestlers mean to him during the exhilarating wins and also during the crushing blows of defeat.  Matt hopes that being a member of the team helps them understand that what makes a great wrestler also helps with making a great life for yourself.  Hard work, dedication, and willingness to help others will make them all great members of any community.  Matt hopes that Deer Park wrestlers will leave with great wrestling memories and an understanding that life and wrestling both require hard work to find great success.

Captain Jorgensen











This is what it means to be a Spokane Valley Firefighter.  They care for the better good of a community.  They are natural givers.  They want to make the community better for everyone by lifting up those who may or may not have the same opportunities.

We love what Captain Matt Jorgensen does to help the Deer Park community.  We are all better citizens by his example.


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

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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.”