WE ARE READY FOR WILDFIRES
After the devastating local losses as a result of Firestorm in 1991, fire chiefs from across Washington State came together and worked with officials to develop a means whereby each fire jurisdiction could summon aid should their own local resources become overwhelmed by such a large scale incident. The result was the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan, which continues to effectively meet this critical need year after year. During many of these incidents, the Spokane Valley Fire Department has answered the call, providing fire engines staffed with members trained and experienced in Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) operations. At other times, we have been on the receiving end of such help, most recently during the Valley View Fire that destroyed 12 homes on over 1,000 acres of timbered land in 2008.
Large incidents involving hundreds or even thousands of responders also require highly trained Incident Management Teams (IMTs). These teams have been involved in the management of scores of large wildland fires, as well as such events as the WTO riots in Seattle (1999), 9-11 Terrorist Attacks in New York (2001), the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in Texas (2003), and hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005). Currently, the Spokane Valley Fire Department supports its members in participating on these teams at the regional and national levels. In addition to the assistance they are able to provide at each incident, their gained experience is a valuable asset within the Spokane Valley and throughout Spokane County.
At SVFD we have also taken the initiative to administer a communications trailer program. This is a communications resource that is available for incidents regionally as well as anywhere in Spokane County. It contains a radio cache, portable repeaters to construct a local system and is staffed by qualified SVFD personnel. This resource is rated as a Washington State Type 3 communications trailer and is utilized on large wildland fires throughout the state. The members who staff the trailer have earned a positive reputation by providing IMTs with an initial command post, large format fire maps, GPS equipment, and a communications system capable of linking the many resources spread out across a fire area onto one command channel.