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Creating opportunities to educate children about fire safety is a priority for the Spokane Valley Fire Department. We teach fire safety to children to help keep families safe and be better prepared for a fire crisis. Fires in the home are the number one killer of children under age 14 in the United States. Most fires occur at night and spread rapidly through the home, leaving as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Partnering with local schools to teach fire safety is a win-win for the schools, students and Spokane Valley Fire Department!


Each year SVFD visits all of the elementary schools in our service area specifically speaking to second grade students about becoming Junior Fire Marshals. We teach children that they are big enough for fire safety. Firefighters visit second grade classrooms to show a video and speak with children about fire safety. Students are given a “Junior Fire Marshal homework” assignment to talk about and assess home fire safety with their family. Firefighters return to the school the following week to reinforce fire safety messages and reward students who completed their homework with a hands-on tour of a SVFD fire engine. We hope you will support our efforts and encourage your child to practice fire safety skills in your home.

Sound Off with the Home Fire Safety Patrol – 3RD GRADE

Each year SVFD visits all the elementary schools in our service area to give third grade students the opportunity to participate in the Sound Off with the Home Fire Safety Patrol program. This program was developed by specialists at Young Minds Inspired and national fire safety experts. It includes three activities that get students and their families involved in testing their home smoke alarms, checking for potential fire dangers in the home, and planning how to escape in the event of a home fire.


With a goal of reducing the number of fires set by adolescents, SVFD delivers a fast-paced, engaging 55-minute program to all 7th grade students in seven middle schools our service area each year. Taught as part of the science curriculum, students learn the seven steps of the scientific method as defined in the “Guide for Fire & Explosion Investigations” (NFPA 921).

Taught by firefighter and former fire investigator Rick Freier and his retired arson dog Mako, the program aims to demonstrate a real world application of the scientific method, educate students about the devastating consequences of playing with fire and demonstrate that science can be exciting and fun. Along with the scientific method, the program also discusses the difference between the three fire cause classifications: incendiary, accidental and natural. Students also hear about related fire safety topics including smoke alarms, pulling a fire alarm for fun, and keeping lighters and matches away from younger siblings.

During the five-year period ending in 2016, the program had been presented to about 5,000 students. As of June 2016, only one student who had participated in the program had been caught setting a fire.


Since 2013, Spokane Valley Firefighters have been teaching hands-only CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) use to students attending four high schools in East Valley and West Valley school districts. Twice a year for two days, firefighters teach CPR as part of the 9th grade Health curriculum. We teach about 800 students per year.

In 2013, the Washington State legislature passed a law requiring every high school graduate to be trained in hands-only CPR and AED use, beginning with the graduating class of 2017. State law makers realized that every year in the U.S., roughly 360,000 people experience cardiac arrests outside a hospital and only 10% survive, because only 1 out of 4 receive bystander CPR before emergency medical crews arrive.

In partnership with our community schools, SVFD implemented a program to ensure this mandated training is delivered to all students before graduation. East Valley and West Valley school districts welcomed the no-cost program and have worked with SVFD to train all freshman students (and others who may have missed the training in previous years) to meet the state mandate. SVFD firefighters deliver a fun, interactive and realistic learning experience for students with a high student to instructor ratio that allows each student to gain firsthand experience performing CPR for longer durations of time and integrating an AED. This program is a win-win for SVFD and our schools as we continue to build capacity and confidence among our young citizens to perform CPR and use an AED in case of emergency.


A team of off-duty SVFD firefighters teach two programs at Spokane Valley Tech (SVT), a school for high school students to gain technical skills and experience in growing industries with a focus on career and college readiness.

  • Fire Science and Emergency Medical Services – this program introduces students to structural and wildland firefighting and the emergency medical system. The program uses state-of-the-art equipment and facilities including an onsite fire engine. The program develops the required teamwork, leadership, mental and physical skills to be successful in the fire service.
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) – this program prepares students to test for their Emergency Medical Technician Certification. It is taught by SVFD firefighters in partnership with Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS). It is available to high school seniors by application.

Spokane Valley Tech programs serve 11th and 12th grade students from all local school districts. The curriculum is rigorous and students are eligible to earn college credit and/or various professional certifications. For more information call 228-5600.

Read about SVFD Engineer John Nelson and Spokane Valley Tech

Did you Know?


  • 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.”