CFAI Accreditation Logo 2021-2026


Recent Articles


Sep 17, 2020

Dear SVFD,

I’m not sure if you can help me but I really hope so! On Thursday, September 10th around 9:00 pm, my brother’s apartment complex, the Montgomery Court Apartments, caught fire. The incident number is 2020060717.

After receiving a text from my brother about it, my husband and I made our way out to help my brother with his cats and to support him. When we got there, everything was chaotic and my brother didn’t know if his roommate’s two cats were okay; he had run out with his cat and was planning to go back for the other two but was unable to.

He had no updates and wasn’t able to get any answers until the PIO arrived. In all the chaos and trying to coordinate, the PIO went out of his way to make sure that my brother knew that he was going to get answers for him about the cats. He reassured him and made it a point to tell me when he saw me that he was going to update my brother and to also let me know if he had talked to my brother at all.

At the end of the night, or I guess early the next morning, one of the cats had been found and was safely in my brother’s vehicle but one still remained unaccounted for. When we parted ways with the PIO, we still hadn’t found her.

In all the commotion, I realized we didn’t even get the name of the PIO nor any contact information. As quickly as he had come into our lives, he was gone.

On Friday, September 11th, at 11;11 pm, I got a text from my brother. His roommate and himself had just spent two hours searching for Maya, the unaccounted for cat. They didn’t find her and were getting ready to head back to where they were staying. While getting into their respective cars, both looked up at the apartment window and saw two little glowing eyes staring back at them. It was Maya. She is okay.



I’m hoping you can find, or relay this message to, or put me in contact with the PIO that was there that night so I can just let him know that we got all three cats and they are all okay. He really took the time to listen to my brother about the cats and to make sure that everyone that was displaced by the fire had everything they needed. He brought an elderly woman shoes from her apartment, got medicine for people, and diaper bags for parents. And it may be his job but it really felt like he was doing everything as a personal favor to everyone there.

He was wearing a navy blue baseball cap with a red number 9 on the front if that helps. I’d just like him to know that the last cat was found and is safe and that his presence really helped.

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.”