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The SVFD Training Division provides progressive and responsive training to ensure our firefighters are properly equipped and well-trained professionals serving our community. This training is based on local, state and national standards.

Our firefighters train every day. They focus on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Fire Suppression training since these are the most common and/or highest risk responses and hazards we face. Training takes place in a variety of locations. Our training program includes:

  • Incident Command and Tactics
  • Emergency Vehicle Driving
  • Emergency Medical (Basic and Advanced Life Support)
  • Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations
  • Wildland Firefighting
  • Special Operations (swiftwater rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue, rope rescue, extrication)

Four Captains are assigned to the Training Division and respond as a dedicated Incident Safety Officer (ISO) at all major emergencies. The Incident Safety Officer functions as a set of eyes and ears for the incident commander with a particular focus on the safety of emergency responders.

In addition to continuous training for established firefighters, we also train newly-hired (probationary) firefighters through the Recruit Academy.  The Academy provides instruction in specific operational certifications including Firefighter I, II and Hazardous Materials. Probationary firefighters must successfully complete academic and operational testing throughout the Academy (IFSAC/Pro Board Certification). Upon graduation from the Academy, probationary firefighters are assigned to a specific station and crew to continue their year-long education by completing a series of task sheets, reading assignments and practical evaluations.

Our Training Division develops initial and ongoing education within the framework of organizational policies, strategic goals and job performance requirements as detailed in specific job descriptions. The training division reviews and updates programs and materials to ensure compliance with all state statutes and codes. Further training needs are identified through a formal analysis, formal and informal evaluations (individual and company), staff meetings, operations meetings, safety committee meetings, collaboration with area fire departments and regional training committees, conferences, education, and review of industry trends.

Regional Training 
Area fire departments have adopted a regional approach to emergency responses through Automatic Aid, crossing their borders daily to assist surrounding jurisdictions. This has prompted and necessitated a regional approach to training, as well. Now, Spokane Valley firefighters routinely train alongside fire crews from the City of Spokane, Spokane County Fire District 8, Spokane County Fire District 9 and others including AMR ambulance crews. Training together builds consistency in their actions and communication while responding to emergencies.

A multi-year training plan is now in place that synchronizes training topics, quarterly themes and regional training drills. This year, quarterly training themes include Mass Casualty Incidents, Rescue/Wildland Fire Incidents, High Rise Operations and Hazardous Materials Operations. These themes provide a template for regional training to better prepare firefighters from many departments to respond to emergencies together.

At the end of the day, more effective and efficient use of resources allows us to deliver excellent service to the public within and beyond the greater Spokane Valley.

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.”