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From the Chief: New Ladder Truck Now in Service

Nov 6, 2017

Earlier this year, SVFD took delivery of Ladder 10, a replacement for the current aerial ladder truck at our Greenacres Firebryan collins Station #10. The new Ladder 10 is a 100ft. “tractor drawn aerial” ladder that bends (articulates) much like a fifth wheel trailer would. You may have seen it driving around town as our firefighters practice driver training.

The new ladder truck was placed into service on November 5, 2017

At our April 2017 Open House event at Greenacres Station #10, we fielded many questions about the new truck as hundreds of children and adults admired its size and equipment. Probably the most common question asked was “why do you need such a big ladder truck for the Spokane Valley – we don’t really have many high rise buildings, do we”?

While most citizens believe that these aerial devices are specifically for high rise fires, they actually serve many other functions in addition to their ability to reach buildings that are 60 or 70 feet high. When SVFD established our priorities for a new aerial ladder truck they were based upon three important criteria: compartment space, reach and maneuverability. In each of these areas the articulating aerial ladder outperforms a “straight chassis” ladder truck of the same size.

Extra compartment space is needed by ladder companies as they are tasked with “specialized” functions at fire and emergency scenes. Equipment to support their mission of search, ventilation, forcible entry, rapid intervention, auto disentanglement/extrication, special operations such as swift water and technical rescue, and more. This type of apparatus can have up to four times the amount of compartment space as compared to a standard straight chassis ladder truck of the same length which allows SVFD to carry all the necessary equipment to perform these missions with a high level of mastery.

The need for reach and access to building rooftops and windows is important regardless of whether the structure is two stories or seven. While the greater Valley SVFD's New Ladder 10doesn’t have many buildings over six stories, it does have many buildings that are at least two stories tall. Aerial access to these roofs and windows allow for fast and safe operations by our firefighters which ultimately results in more life and property saved in a fire.

These type of apparatus are the most maneuverable of all aerial ladder devices which is very important in areas that have narrow streets or tight access for large vehicles. Because the apparatus articulates, it can access areas that no other aerial device would be able to reach. Operationally this is a big advantage for our crews as they have greater and closer access to their tools, safety equipment and more reach with their ladder to effect rescues from upper floor windows and roofs along with roof ventilation operations.

Lastly, with the vehicle weight restrictions that are in place here in Washington State, it is becoming very difficult to purchase a ladder truck of sufficient size and water carrying capability and still be “legal” to drive on our roadways without being over the maximum weight allowed. An articulating aerial device is approximately 15,000 pounds lighter than a normal straight chassis ladder of the same length. With the additional axel on this truck, the weight is more evenly dispersed making it easier for our vehicles to stay within the weight limits.

I hope this brief introduction into the reasons “why” SVFD needs such a large ladder truck has been informative and I assure you that this apparatus will serve our communities very well over the next 20 years!

Thank you for your continued support!

~ Fire Chief Bryan Collins

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.”