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The Fire Service was created (primarily) to fight fires. Since then our mission has expanded into many other areas but at our core we fight fires. Today, these activities are referred to as “Fire Suppression” activities.

Fire suppression involves preparing for, responding to, and engaging in tasks necessary to control and extinguish fires. SVFD responds to many different types of fires:

  • Structural: homes, buildings, barns, commercial structures, etc.
  • Wildland: brush, timber, vegetation, etc.
  • Vehicular: cars, trucks, trailers, etc.
  • Equipment: machinery, heating/cooling units, stoves, appliances, etc.
  • Rubbish: trash, garbage, etc.
  • Fuel: gasoline, natural gas, etc.
  • Miscellaneous: campfires, power poles, etc.
  • Smoke/Odor: carbon monoxide and smoke alarms

To accomplish all of this the SVFD has eleven (11) front line, fully staffed fire apparatus, seven (7) specialized apparatus (one fully staffed), four (4) reserve fire apparatus, and five (5) command/control vehicles.

The front line fire apparatus consists of nine (9) Engine Companies and two (2) Ladder Companies.

Engine 5

Engine 5

Ladder 10

Ladder 10

Engines are designed to put out fires (extinguishment) by applying water to the fire. In order to accomplish this, they carry a water pump, hose, ladders and various types of task specific tools.  Some also carry the “Jaws of Life”, more technically referred to as “Extrication Tools” for use at auto accidents,  Engines are staffed with 3-4 Fire Fighters.

Ladders are designed for rescue, fire extinguishment, and support. These apparatus are equipped with additional ladders, specialized forcible entry tools, and several power saws for use when crews need to cut holes in roofs.  All of our Ladder apparatus also has a water pump, which enables our Ladder Companies to extinguish fires without the aid of an Engine

Brush 10

Brush 10

Valley 31

Valley 31

SVFD has three (3) Brush Trucks used for brush/timber fires. These are designed to go off-road and carry foam (which helps extinguish fires quicker.)  They also have specialized hand tools for digging a fire line.

Command and Control apparatus is designed to coordinate and focus firefighting efforts. Battalion Chiefs and Safety Officers respond in these apparatus.

The crews are highly trained and conducting multi-company fire suppression drills throughout the year. Crews are assigned to a specific apparatus and station.  This enables crews to focus on the structures in their area so that potential suppression activities will be much more effective.

When a fire is reported, the number and type of apparatus/crews dispatched is dependent on the type and size of the fire. For example, a residential house fire response will include the following:

  • Three (3) Engine Companies (9-12 Fire Fighters)
  • One (1) Ladder Company (3-4 Fire Fighters)
  • One (1) Rescue Company (3-4 Fire Fighters)
  • Two (2) Command Apparatus (2 Battalion Chiefs)
  • One (1) Safety Officer

Larger Structure Fires will get additional Apparatus and Crews. Brush Fires are categorized into “High, Moderate, and Low” response levels.  A low-level response will get one (1) brush truck.  A high response will get one (1) brush truck, one (1) additional engine, two (2) Command apparatus, and one (1) Safety Officer.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department has agreements with neighboring Fire Departments to provide service across district boundaries. This provides for the closest appropriate apparatus and crew to respond to a given incident.  For example, a house fire in the vicinity of 32Ave. and Sullivan Rd. would include apparatus from Spokane County Fire District #8.

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.

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.”