EFR board sets 2013 goals

March 26, 2013

By Michele Mihalovich

The Eastside Fire & Rescue board set seven goals for Fire Chief Lee Soptich to fulfill in 2013 at its March 14 board meeting.

Top on the list is to prepare for the 2014 collective bargaining agreement with the firefighters’ union, which also includes hiring an attorney to provide comparison data.

The second goal is to explore expanding the EFR partnership, which currently includes Issaquah, North Bend, Sammamish, and fire districts 10 and 38.

This comes at a time when the board is still waiting to hear whether Sammamish is going to withdraw from the partnership because it is unhappy with the current funding model that bases partnership costs on assessed property values.

The goal asks Soptich to research the pros and cons of expanding into neighboring jurisdictions, reaching out to potential partners and advising the board who, how and when is the best to invite potential jurisdictions to consider partnering.

The third goal is to consider creating and adopting a strategic plan for pursuing international accreditation.

Soptich’s fourth goal is to evaluate the need for an emergency management coordinator, a battalion chief or chiefs, and a facility maintenance position, along with costs for the new personnel.

Soptich is also being asked to provide better awareness of fireworks safety and stepping up enforcement of violators in coordination with law enforcement agencies.

The sixth goal is to look at considering the possibility of offering early retirement incentives, and the seventh goal is to implement the volunteer live-in/sleeper program at station 88 in Wilderness Rim in North Bend and consider the same for station 79 in May Valley near Issaquah.

The board came up with the set of goals at its board retreat held Feb. 6.

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