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Apr 28, 2021



In traumatic situations, every second counts. When you’re waiting for help to arrive, you can take matters into your own hands which will give you a better chance to survive the most terrifying circumstances.

“Being early is the biggest game changer that you bring to the table,” said RW Pegau, a paramedic with the Spokane Valley Fire Department.

You don’t have to be a trained paramedic like Pegau to administer life-saving treatments and can make trauma kits for your families with a few simple items you probably have lying around the house.

The main concern in trauma is stopping the blood. Whether it’s an animal bite, lawn mower accident or something else, keeping as much blood in your body is key to helping you have the best recovery following the event.

“When it comes to bleeding, you only have seconds. You have a limited, very finite amount of blood that is in your body,” Pegau said. “We need to keep as much of it in your body as possible for you to even have a positive outcome.”

Here’s what you should have in a trauma kit:

  • A bag (you can use Ziploc bags for this)
    • Kids at home can even decorate the bag to keep them engaged and accountable for your family’s safety plan.
  • Gauze and dressing
  • Multiple methods to stop bleeding
    • An old t-shirt will work to absorb a lot of blood.
  • Ponchos or rain gear
  • Tourniquet
    • You can find options here to purchase.
  • Compression bandages
    • These will constrict on their own after wrapping.
  • Tape
    • This will allow you freedom to let go of your wound while you wait for help to arrive.

While you can buy pre-made trauma kits, each family has specific needs for their lifestyle and activities they participate in which is why Pegau recommends making a personal kit to suit your family’s needs.

“The reality is you want to make a kit that’s custom to your family because nobody knows what you need better than you do,” he said.

He says the sooner you can jump in and take quick, effective action, the better off you’ll be down the road. If you want to learn more ways to deal with trauma and get some practice for emergency situations, the Spokane Valley Fire Department offers free classes for the community where you can learn to stop bleeding. You can learn more about ‘Stop the Bleed’ classes here.

Here’s what’s in RW’s personal trauma kit:

Bag x1

Face Mask x1

Gloves x3

Iodine x3

Alcohol x3

Vionex x3

Bandaids x3

Poncho x1

Thermal Blanket x2

4×4 gauze x3

5×9 gauze x3

10×30 trauma pad x1

Gauze Dressing Roll x1

Koban/Cling Roll x1

Tape x1

Glow Stick x1

Pen light x1

Shears x1

Hemostat clamp x1

Tourniquet x1

Z-pak x1

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.”