CFAI Accreditation Logo 2021-2026

SVFD News

Recent Articles

HALLOWEEN SAFETY

With Halloween just around the corner, we wanted to share some reminders on how to be safe while celebrating this spooky holiday. Not only do our...

read more

Winter Is Coming

Oct 25, 2022

Now is the time to prepare your home to be fire safe.

More fires happen in the winter months than any other time of the year.

During the cold months, we spend more time indoors, cooking, entertaining, celebrating, and heating our homes.

It is important to keep fire safety in mind when we return to “living indoors.”

Cooking:

  • Stay in the kitchen while you are cooking!  IF you must leave the room, even for just a minute, turn off the stove! 
  • Keep combustible items like cooking mitts, paper, towels, etc. away from heat sources.

Entertaining:

Cooking is often a relaxing and fun task that brings family and friends together, but cooking is also the number one cause of home fires and home injuries.

  • Unattended cooking is the leading factor in home cooking fires.
  • Ranges accounted for the largest share of home cooking fire incidents.
  • Frying poses the greatest risk of fire.
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.
  • Two-thirds of home cooking fires started when food or other cooking materials caught fire.

Celebrating:

No matter what holiday you are celebrating, remember fire safety.

  • Cook with care.
  • Decorate with care indoors and out.

Holidays:

What holiday causes the most fires?

Holiday cooking

  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires followed by Christmas Day and then Christmas Eve.

Home Heating:

If you are using a portable heater:

  • Make sure the heater has an automatic shut-off so if it tips over, it shuts off.
  • Keep anything that can burn such bedding, clothing, and curtains at least 3 feet from the heater.
  • Plug portable heaters directly into wall outlets. Never use an extension cord or power strip.
  • Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.

If you are using a fireplace:

  • Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out and starting a fire.
  • Do not burn paper in your fireplace.
  • Before you go to sleep or leave your home put the fire out completely.
  • Put ashes in a metal container with a lid. Store the container outside at least 3 feet from your home.

If you are using a wood stove:

  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned each year by a professional.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from the stove.
  • Do not burn paper in your wood stove.
  • Before you go to sleep or leave your home, put the fire out completely.

When heating your home, you need to be aware of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is called the “invisible killer” because it’s a colorless, odorless, and poisonous gas. More than 150 people in the U.S. die each year due to accidental CO poisoning from generators or fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces. Breathing CO at high levels can kill you.

Put CO alarms inside your home to provide an early warning of increasing CO levels. These alarms should be placed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.

As always, make sure you have a smoke alarm on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Test your alarms every month. Have a home fire escape plan and practice your plan at least twice a year. Make sure everyone knows how to escape your home if there is a fire.

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.”