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Apr 7, 2020

For Immediate Release:

April 7, 2020


Julie Happy

Community Affairs Manager

Spokane Valley Fire






Community Connect COVID-19 Self Reporting










Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) has signed up to use a tool to help track COVID-19 in the SVFD Fire District.  The International Association of Fire Chiefs, along with technology partners First Due and Esri, have created a National Self-Reporting System, allowing the public to self-report critical COVID-19 related information directly to their respective First Responder Agencies. Data shared via Community Connect’s HIPPA compliant platform will not be used for any other purpose and is 100% secure with bank-level encryption and security protocols.

Community members who want to self-report can create an account at:

Community Connect, by First Due, is currently used nationwide, enabling citizens to maintain and share critical life safety profiles of their households with their respective Public Safety Agencies. With the COVID-19 health crisis developing across the United States, a COVID-19 focused version of Community Connect has been made available at NO COST to residents, Public Safety, health, and government agencies nationwide. The system allows the public to self-report their health status including high-risk or symptomatic details. This data is made instantly available to First Responders for use at the time of response as well as strategic analysis from an emergency management perspective, ultimately allowing them to be better serve the community and help save lives.

Self-reporting health status with a local Public Safety Agency allows a better response to the community. It will enable SVFD to manage resources, reach out proactively, and have a better understanding of where high-risk residents are located.

“Knowing whether someone in a household or facility is symptomatic, has tested positive, or are simply high-risk allows SVFD to make decisions that will ultimately save lives,” said Spokane Valley Fire Department, Fire Marshal, Greg Rogers. “We urge every resident, nursing home, and healthcare facility to #selfreport now so we can provide the best service we can during this time of need.”

“This crisis is drastically impacting the way First Responders and Public Safety Agencies respond to incidents across the country. Knowing the location of people who are affected, symptomatic, or most at-risk is absolutely crucial to helping them better serve our communities. The platform allows all of us to do our part and #selfreport – regardless of symptoms – immediately impacting how our First Responders protect us. This will ultimately save lives and help us all navigate through this unprecedented time so much more effectively,” explains Andreas Huber, First Due’s Co-Founder & CEO.

About First Due:

First Due is a public safety software company based in New York City and backed by Teamworthy Ventures, Collate Capital, New York Angels, and HBSAANY. First Due’s cloud-based First Responder safety and situational awareness platform reimagines Pre-Incident Planning, Emergency Response, and Community Engagement for Public Safety Agencies nationwide. By automating the aggregation of disparate data sources and providing powerful planning, mapping, and community engagement tools, Public Safety Agencies finally have actionable data on every structure for every call in a format they can consume in seconds.

Departments utilizing First Due such as Seattle, Ft. Lauderdale, Charlotte, and Fort Worth have the data they need to make better decisions before, during, and after incidents – leading to more positive outcomes.

Community Connect SVFD










First Due Media Contact:

Ron Kanter
Head of Growth

About the International Association of Fire Chiefs:

The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world’s leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and Public Safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally, and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders.

IAFC Media Contact:

Jim Philipps
Assistant Director, Strategic Communications


About Spokane Valley Fire Department
Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) serves a population of 125,000, including the cities of Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and Millwood, as well as surrounding unincorporated areas within the 75-square miles of Spokane County Fire District 1. In 2019, SVFD firefighter crews, including its paramedics and EMTs, responded to more than 18,326 emergency calls.

Established eighty years ago in 1940, SVFD is committed to pursuing excellence and is distinguished as an Accredited Agency by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International and by the fire district’s ISO Class 2 rating from the Washington Survey and Rating Bureau.

Connect with SVFD at: For department news, safety information, and timely updates, find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


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.”