West Valley Firefighters

Quarterly Newsletter

1st Quarter of 2012


Chief's Monthly Report

Chief's Monthly Report

West Valley Fire Department

Yakima County Fire District 12

For the Meeting February 13th, 2024


Agenda Topic:            Department Monthly Progress Report

Prepared By:              Chief Nathan Craig

Date Prepared:           February 9, 2024


The primary purpose of this report is to keep the Board of Fire Commissioners informed as to the activities and progress on major programs or objectives.  The items listed, as near as possible, are in priority order.  As a second purpose, this report will be shared with the Officers Management Team and all fire personnel.



Station 53 Firefighter Ray Thomas retired this month with just over 30 years of service, we will celebrate Ray’s retirement at the awards banquet March 9th.

Station 51 Lieutenant Jason Wood resigned to take the Training Officer position at Selah.

Starting February, our total on-call Members is 78, 61 operations, and 12 support.  We have 4 on leave and 1 on light duty.  Our total number of personnel is 89.


In January there were a total of 87 alarms in our District, 74 we responded to, 12 ambulance only calls and 1 YFD covered.

Incidents:                                                YTD                   Incidents by Zone       YTD Zone               

Station 51                   9                     9                                  19                    19 (26%)

Station 52                   12                   12                                26                    26 (35%)

Station 53                   13                  13                                 22                    22 (30%)

Station 54                   5                     5                                  7                      7  (9%)

Station 50                   35                      35                                                           74

Yakima                        1                     1

Ambulance Only         12 (4 Lift)          12

Total                                                  87


Incident Type:                        Month            Type                                                                YTD

            Fire                              5                      4 bldg (2 AA),1 vehicle                                       5

            EMS                             69                    59 EMS, 9 MVC, 1 AMA                                   69

            Hazardous Condition      4                      1 gas, 3 elect                                                  4

            Service Call                   4                      4 Lift (4amb)                                                  4

            Good Intent                   0                                                                                          0

            False Alarm                   5                      4 AFA, 1 False Report                                      5



Action Taken:                         Month            Type                                                                YTD

            Canceled enroute         12                    3 EMS, 2 MVC, 2 AFA, 4 AA, 1 False                  12

            Extinguishment            2                      Bldg                                                                          2

            Provide BLS                 59                                                                                         59

            Assist Invalid               5                                                                                           5

            Investigate                  8                      2 AFA, 3 MVC, 1 AMA, 1 Veh Fire, 1 Elect                               8

            Other                          1                      ID Hazards                                                     1


Automatic Aid Received (both agencies respond)    Automatic Aid Given                                    

From Highland             0                                  To Highland                 2

From Yakima               4                                  To Yakima                    2

From Gleed                 0                                  To BIA                         0

  YTD                 4                                              YTD                 4         


Mutual Aid Received             0                                  Mutual Aid Given       0

          YTD                             0                                              YTD                 0         


An attic fire caused $42,500 in total damages last month.


Response Times: (Target= within 1 mile of station 8 minutes or less, add 2 minutes every mile after) Qualifying Alarms: 59mo, 59yr, Target met: mo. 36 (61%) yr. 36 (61%), Target not met: mo. 23 (39%) yr. 23 (39%).

Department Training and Safety: By DC Jim Johnston

January Drills included: Equipment Check / Station Drill, Pre-connect Evolutions, Alli Connect (Mental Health), SCBA Confidence / SCBA Quarterly, State of the Department.

Developed the February Drill Schedule: Equipment Check / Station Drill, OTEP Module 1 – (Stroke, Seizures, and Anaphylaxis), Building Construction & Fire Protection System Review, and Ladder Fundamentals and Maintenance.

On January 23rd we hosted District 5 with IFSAC Live Fire Testing.

Also on January 23rd, eight members were fitted for new turnout gear, currently there is about a 90 day turn around on receiving the gear.

On January 31st Officer Boisselle and myself completed the orientation for our one recruit, he will join two others – one from Gleed and the other from Highland.

On February 8th three members attended an IFSAC written test at East Valley Fire Department.

Recruitment / Retention: by DC Jim Johnston

With recent resignations and retirements at Stations 51 & 53 as well as an understaffed Station 54, we need more people.  I have been looking at ways to increase membership, I have been reviewing a report written by the United States Fire Administration in 2023 about recruitment and retention.  From a retention perspective, I believe we are doing a good job utilizing incentives, however on the recruitment side we are lacking.  Some of the departments that are discussed in the report have increased members by implementing residence programs, some have opened their borders to allow members from bigger geographical area to join, some have created a sleeper program, and some have a very solid Cadet program.  We can do more recruitment in the Cadet concept, this would be a one-to-two-year timeframe to see any real significant increases in membership and functionality, currently I have two cadet applications on file for the August hire date, I will be dropping off recruitment flyers at the high school soon advertising for Cadets.

I believe Station 51 will be fine in rebounding its numbers, we have several new members at 51 that are eager to step in, as time evolves, they will get the experience and prove to be valuable assets to the department.  With more housing development taking place in the Station 53 area, I am hopeful that we can gain additional membership.  Station 54 continues to be the real problem as far as recruitment goes, we have conducted targeted recruitment drives, we have also utilized the media to elicit recruitment in the 54 geographical area.  

Fire Prevention/Public Education: By Officer Boisselle

The Washington Association of School Administrators, through West Valley School District, will present West Valley Fire Department with the West Valley Community Award on May 16th for our partnership throughout the years, especially with FFA Farm Day.

The first issues of the 2024 quarterly District newsletter has been mailed out.

Budget/Finance: By Officer Boisselle

We have obtained a draft levy lid lift resolution from Cynthia Weed.  It is on the agenda to review.

January expenditures costs were larger than anticipated and nearly depleted the FIRE fund. Looking ahead to March and April expenditures, we will not have enough in our FIRE fund to cover payroll and day-to-day expenses.  I propose we take the $60k out of the CAPITAL fund as previously discussed to cover the cost of the new command vehicle, and “loan” the balance from the RESERVE fund.  We can then repay the loaned amount when taxes hit our fund in May.


Working with KME, Cascade Fire was able to obtain an additional 90 days of warranty for Engine 51.  We are still working on developing the specifications for the refurbishment of Tender 52.  This month we are sizing Members for 8 sets of bunker gear as well as striping the vehicles outlined in our budget.  Lt. Pfaff and crew were able to move the emergency lights, tonneau cover, and radio from the old Duty truck to the new Duty 50.

Strategic Plan:


We continue to work on the first quarter action plan.  We met with legislators in January to discuss issues facing our department including the 1% lid limit, on-call firefighter benefits and tax increment funding. 


I attended a BOCC work session regarding a residential burn, developed our first quarter newsletter, met with DNR for fuels reduction, and reviewed the Alli Connect program. 


Work continues monitoring and commenting on legislation, public education related to outdoor burning, levy lid lift, and transferring data to the new records system.




Last month we were awarded 2 DNR grants, the first was $18k toward the refurbishment of Tender 52 and the second was $4k for new fire shelters.  While in Olympia we discussed our budget request for emergency generators at Station 52 and 54.


AFG has opened, after we review the grant high priorities, we will determine the best item out of our Capital Improvement Plan to request funding for.




Last month we had a meeting with Districts 1 and 4 to discuss our upcoming lid lift requests to strategize on marketing and share information.


We held a meeting for all Wildfire Ready partners to discuss the 2024 program and improvements, we should have a contract with DNR ready to sign in the next few weeks.


Good of the Order:


Alli Connect was introduced to our Members and our first department wide health check survey was sent out February 1st, a report should be forthcoming.

Our first blood drive of the year brought in 36 units of blood for the Red Cross.

The Commissioners quarterly meeting is February 15th 18:00 at Naches Heights.

Our annual Awards Banquet will be March 9th.



Nathan Craig

Fire Chief