Orcas Island Fire and Rescue EMS personnel responded to 71 calls from July 8-August 12, 2013 The firefighters responded to 38. The year-to-date total for EMS is 392 and 151 for fire.
The total number of calls year-to-date are 543. For the comparable period in 2011 the total was 408, in 2012 it was 463
This year's responses are 33 percent higher than 2011 and 17.28 percent higher than 2012.
Fire Chief’s Goals and Priorities for 2013
Execute the mission of OIFR through direction of the Board of Commissioners
Improve and maintain fiscal accountability for all OIFR operations
Provide positive leadership for OIFR and our community
Improve reliability and performance for OIFR
Update the OIFR strategic plan
Provide sound management and oversight for all operations, equipment, facilities, projects and programs for OIFR
Update all policy, procedures and guidelines
Improve all communications (Radio, Interdepartmental, Community)
Expand public programs
Foster open and clear communications with the Orcas Island Community and our surrounding partners Notable Alarms
On July 19 2013, Orcas Island Fire & Rescue was dispatched to two structure fires in Olga early Friday morning. The first call came in at 3:01 a.m. as a smoke investigation, and the first fire engine on location found the Olga Artworks on fire and called in a full response.
The fire was located primarily on the east side of the building with the majority of fire damage to the exterior and roof/ceiling space. It is estimated that 30% of Olga Artworks building was involved.
Firefighters from San Juan Island Fire Department and Lopez Island Fire and Rescue responded via the Fire Boat Confidence and Washington State Ferries in their Ladder truck to assist.
Firefighters and community members worked together to save the artwork contained in the building.
At 3:29 a.m. a second structure fire involving approximately 50% of a two story carriage house was called in at Willis Ln, which is less than three miles from Olga Artworks. Available crews from Olga Artworks responded and successfully extinguished the fire. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters at either incident.
Both fires are considered to be suspicious in nature and continue to be under investigation by a team comprised of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Fire Arms, the San Juan County Fire Marshal, the San Juan County Sheriff, OIFR, Lopez Fire and EMS, and San Juan Island Fire and Rescue.
Sunday, July 21, at 2:30 a.m. OIFR EMS assisted a “walk-in” patient at Station 21 with chest pain and shortness of breath. The patient was treated and transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bellingham by Airlift Northwest.
In the Rosario Mansion On Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 6:06 a.m., twenty OIFR firefighters with eight fire department apparatus were dispatched to the Rosario Resort Mansion for the report of white smoke in the basement area of the mansion.
Arriving personnel found light white smoke originating in the basement of the mansion and discovered a plastic tote containing smoldering kitchen rags which generated the source of the smoke. The tote was removed from the basement and firefighters initiated ventilation practices to clear the smoke from the building.
The fire was determined to be accidental, caused by the spontaneous combustion of kitchen rags that contained the residue of cooking oils.
There were no injuries to civilians or responders and there was no significant fire or smoke damage to the building.
Since the May 1 "go live date" the Orcas Cares Program has served 17 people who have required assistance.
Orcas Cares is a partnership program created to assist seniors and disabled people. Our partners include the Senior Center, Lahari, Orcas Medical Foundation, Hearts and Hands, and the Lion’s Club.
News and Events
The OIFR Board of Fire Commissioners is now evaluating the draft 2013-2018 Strategic Plan crafted by 15 stakeholder members of the community and OIFR.
Paramedic/Duty Officer Search
Over the dates of July 25, 26, 27, 28, and 29 nine applicants participated in a comprehensive Paramedic/Duty Officer assessment center held at Station 21. Assessors from OIFR, San Juan EMS, Lopez Island Fire and Rescue, and the Orcas Community scored the applicant in the knowledge skills and abilities required of the position. Our three top candidates accepted positions: Nick Kiniski from Point Roberts began August 1; Bryce Hamilton from Grays Harbor County and Scott Williams from Kalispell Montana will start on September 1. Each will be establishing residence on Orcas Island.
Pancake Breakfasts/Chicken Dinner Over the “Fly-In” weekend of August 3rd and 4th the Volunteer Firefighter’s Association served pancakes each morning at our Fly-In Pancake Breakfast. Proceeds of the breakfast go toward providing scholarships and other community assistance programs. On Saturday evening the Association hosted a delicious roast chicken dinner with the proceeds going toward the September 11th Memorial fund.
Firewise Town Hall Presentation
Thursday, August 8, 6:00 p.m., at the Eastsound Fire Hall OIFR hosted an informative evening with our special guest Jack Cohen, a nationally renowned research physical scientist from the USDA National Forest Service Fire Sciences Laboratory. Mr. Cohen presented an enlightening lecture focused on what you can do around your home and property to prevent a destructive wildfire. OIFR continues to build our Firewise program. Special thanks to Firewise founder and Orcas resident Judith Cook for coordinating the presentation and helping us with Firewise…Thanks Judith!
OIFR will begin our budget hearing process beginning at our September 10, BOFC meeting.