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SPOKANE REGIONAL EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS TO TRANSITION LEADERSHIP

Jul 19, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 19, 2019

Contact:        Julie Happy

                     Community Affairs Manager

                     Spokane Valley Fire Department

                     509.892.4155

 

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SPOKANE REGIONAL EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS TO TRANSITION LEADERSHIP

LORI MARKHAM HIRED AS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Spokane Regional Emergency Communications (SREC) dispatch center, which launched on July 1, is transitioning to the next phase of leadership.  Executive Director, Steve Reinke was hired back in August of 2018 on a short term contract.  The next phase of leadership will begin September 1, when Lori Markham, currently the Deputy Director of SREC Operations, assumes the Executive Director position.

“In 2018 during the Board’s search for an Executive director we were looking for a person with experience in establishing the structure, operations, policy and procedures, and legal requirements of an Integrated Communications Center,” said Spokane Valley Fire Chief, Bryan Collins.  “The Board intentionally hired an experienced professional to get the Regional Integrated Center up and running and established. Steve has accomplished exactly that in the timeframe we anticipated and has met those expectations of the Board.”

Lori came to SREC from the Combined Communication Center where she was hired in 2008 as a Fire Communications Specialist.  In 2017 she was appointed as the Acting Division Chief and filled that position until her official move to SREC on July 1 as the Deputy Director.

“The SREC Board is confident that Lori will continue to build upon our excellent foundation and will be successful in our efforts to provide Spokane County Residents and responders with an Emergency Communications system that is Efficient, Effective, Affordable and Sustainable well into the future,” said Chief Collins.

“It is a great time be a part of SREC and I am grateful and excited for the opportunity to be able to lead this thriving, effective, and efficient integrated center as it supports the Citizens and Responders in Spokane,” said SREC Deputy Director, Lori Markham.

SREC had its beginnings in 1998 when the Spokane County fire districts consolidated their communications systems into one, The Combined Communications Center.  In 2004 the Combined Communications Building was built with future interoperability in mind.  Today, with Steve Reinke’s help, the Spokane Regional Emergency Communications center has launched. He brought his 25 years of expertise in police, fire and emergency medical services response to the Spokane Region to help facilitate the development of SREC.  Steve retired from Integrated Centers in Washington and Oregon and committed a year of employment to facilitate the diverse and complex aspects of a project that brings together so many regional partners.

Gerry Gemmill, CEO of Spokane County and SREC Board Member added, “We selected Steve to help us set up this new entity and we all benefited greatly from his expertise. He is leaving us with our gratitude for a job well done. We are excited to have Lori take the reins in the Director role. She has shown great leadership in her time as Deputy Director and she is well respected by all the employees of the integrated emergency communications system.”

Emergency service communications in the Spokane region integrated on July 1 as Spokane Regional Emergency Communications, a single organization established as a Public Development Authority.  It was created to improve current operations and prepare for future technology.  Steve Reinke’s experience and help with this integration brings the Spokane metro area up to speed with the rest of the northwest in providing quality service in an emergency situation. This integrated approach focuses on customer service needs, getting emergency responders where they need to be faster, delivering on that established SREC standard of efficient, effective, affordable, and sustainable emergency service to the Spokane region.

“It’s been my honor to have been entrusted with the task of launching SREC,” said Spokane Regional Emergency Communications Executive Director, Steve Reinke. “It wouldn’t have happened without the incredible support I received from the County Commissioners, the SREC Board and our employees. Their commitment and perseverance through a long challenging process established a foundation for excellence that will pay off with improved service to the public and the area’s emergency responders far into the future.”

For more information about SREC visit www.srec911.org

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.

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. Commissioner Burch is co-owner and Business Manager of Neurotherapy Northwest. 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.”

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