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From the Chief: Midyear 2017 Report

Jul 13, 2017

bryan collinsWe have reached the halfway point in 2017 and I would like to update you on our progress toward some of our significant goals.

  • Fire Protection Class Rating – Effective April 1, the Department was reclassified for fire protection capabilities by the Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau (WSRB). SVFD has been working toward this goal for several years. It was exciting to learn that we would be re-rated as the only Class 2 department in Eastern Washington, and one of five in the State. If you haven’t yet contacted your insurance carrier to ask for a policy review, please do. You may be pleasantly surprised.
  • 2017 Budget – is on track and looks healthy as of midyear, with expenditures slightly below projected levels for the first six months. We have started the 2018 budgeting process and expect to be completed by October.
  • Kootenai County Response – This summer marks the beginning of a response relationship with Kootenai County Fire & Rescue. With Kootenai County bordering the East side of our service area, this will improve emergency responses to all types of incidents around the Stateline area.
  • PulsePoint – This summer will also bring an advance in PulsePoint, the free life-saving smartphone app that alerts CPR-trained bystanders in the immediate vicinity of a cardiac arrest. Called “PulsePoint Verified Responder” the new program will equip our professional first responders with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to carry with them off duty. They will be alerted if they are within an area where someone has suffered a Cardiac Arrest, and they will respond to help. This program further engages our professional responders by equipping and allowing them to respond to these emergencies even when they are “off duty”.
  • Medic 7 – A trial program called “Medic 7” has been implemented which allow two firefighters to respond to medical emergencies in a fully-equipped, utility vehicle in place of a Fire Engine. This quick response vehicle appears to be making a positive impact in its first three months and we will continue to gauge its effectiveness through September.

Staff has completed a review of their 2017 goals which will be included in a report to the Board of Fire Commissioners on July 24. Some of these midyear accomplishments are:

  • Liberty Lake Fire Station #3 – the construction of this relocated fire station is on time and on budget, with completion due by December 2017
  • Water Rescue Boat – has been purchased and crews are currently undergoing operator training. The new boat will be in service this summer.
  • Systems Conversion – to a new payroll, purchasing, human resources and accounts payable software system is underway and is due to be complete in 2017
  • Electronic Plan Review Filing System – a new system for construction plans has been implemented. The Fire Prevention Division has also begun electronic submittals for plan reviews which will significantly reduce turnaround time on plan review for developers.
  • Fire Data Analyist – this new position has been filled and will begin September 1. All Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping work and data analysis will be managed by this employee. Industry leaders like SVFD rely heavily upon data-driven decisions, so having a dedicated person doing this for the agency will pay dividends.

I wish you a relaxing and safe summer 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.”