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Jul 7, 2020

Many of us are eager to get out of the house. While there is no doubt you are safer at home as COVID-19 continues to spread, there are several considerations and actions you can take so that if you head out, you can do so as safely as possible.

4 Things to Consider

There is no way to ensure zero risk when leaving home. In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading. We cannot say how risky all the activities you may wish to participate in are, but we can share four important things to consider:

  1. The more people you interact with the more your risk of getting COVID-19 increases. Even if someone does not appear sick, they may have COVID-19.
  2. The closer you are to other people who may be infected, the greater your risk of getting sick. Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there is less ventilation.
  3. Spending longer time with people who may be infected increases your risk of becoming infected.
  4. Spending time with people who don’t wear a cloth face mask increases the risk that they could spread infection to you.

Know Before You Go










Ask the Right Questions

While it is a challenge to provide specific risk assessments for every activity, there is guidance in place for businesses as they reopen. And there are things that you as an individual can consider as you run errands, grab a meal or get some exercise. Think about what it is you would like to do and ask yourself some key questions to help make the best decision for you.

  • Will my activity put me in close contact with others?
  • Am I at higher risk for severe illness, or do I live with someone who is?
  • Do I need to travel to another community and what are the travel requirements to be aware of?
  • Do I know what to do if I get sick?

These are just a few examples of questions you should consider. If you are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, you may need take additional precautions.

Take Precautions If You Go Out

In addition to using those questions to help assess your own risk, you should continue to take preventative actions to protect yourself and others such as:

  • Following the mandate and wearing a cloth face covering
  • Keeping at least six feet of space between you and others (social distancing)
  • Washing your hands and avoiding touching your face
  • Using hand sanitizer while you are out and cannot wash your hands
  • Covering coughs and sneezes
  • Using touchless options whenever possible

One way to help with some of these preventive actions is to have a kit prepared for when you do go out. Include a face covering, hand sanitizer and tissues.

And finally, if you are sick or if you are in contact with someone who is sick within six feet and for 15 minutes or more, it is critical that you stay home and away from others. And if you are sick, or in contact with someone who is sick, get tested. By staying home, you are preventing spreading COVID-19 to others and helping our community.

Stay Informed

For questions about CoVid-19, call the Washington State Department of Health at 1-800-525-0127, press #.

Here are some additional resources:

Centers for Disease control and Prevention

Spokane Regional Health District

Follow trusted local and national agencies on social media

Spokane Valley Fire Department – @SpokaneValleyFireDepartment

Spokane Regional Health District – @spokanehealth

Centers Disease Control and Prevention – @CDC

Spokane County Emergency Management – @GEGEmergencyMgt

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.”