2011 brought consolidation for NWFR

Published on Wed, Jan 4, 2012 by Tom Fields, NWFR chief

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North Whatcom Fire and Rescue (NWFR) responded to 2,459 calls through November  2011. Almost 77 percent of those calls were for emergency medical assistance; 5.5 percent of the calls were for fires. The remaining 17.5 percent of calls were for false alarms, public assists and hazardous conditions.

The fire marshal’s office coordinated commercial business inspections and fire safety education programs for children in area schools and day cares. 

The NWFR board of fire commissioners approved a three-year contract with the International Association of Firefighters Local 106.

NWFR was awarded a $604,233 grant for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) from the federal government. The grant will pay for 100 percent of four firefighter’s wages and benefits for two years with the recognition that the district will be required to pay all costs the third year.

NWFR and fire district 4 consolidated their services, effective July 1, enabling the districts to become more efficient. The consolidation could lead to a merger down the road; however, it would require a vote of district 4 taxpayers.

NWFR currently employs more than 100 members including administrative staff, mechanics, as well as career and part-paid firefighters. In addition, four lieutenants and one captain were promoted in 2011.

With chief Fields retiring on December 31, 2011, the NWFR fire commissioners appointed an interim chief until a new fire chief is hired, anticipated for July 1, 2012.

NWFR would also like to thank the communityfor their continued support of fire and medical emergency services. A review of the district would not be complete without special recognition of the dedicated volunteers who serve throughout the district. NWFR is grateful for your continued commitment and service.