July 9, 2013
The Eastside Fire & Rescue board isn’t really known for unanimous decisions, especially when discussing the partners’ funding model. But at a June 13 regular meeting, they all agreed it was time to look at hiring an independent facilitator.
EFR is a consortium of Sammamish, Issaquah, North Bend and Fire Districts 10 and 38, but Sammamish officials have called the funding model unfair because it bases payments on the value of property rather than the number of service calls.
Sammamish officials had been trying to convince other members of EFR to switch to a funding model based 75 percent on property value and 25 percent on the number of service calls, but the other EFR partners rejected the proposal in March.
July 4, 2013
NEW — Noon July 4, 2013
The Fourth of July — what a day for picnics, family get-togethers, and of course fireworks!
However, an average of 10,000 fireworks related injuries are reported every year in emergency rooms across the country, according to Eastside Fire & Rescue. Alarming statistics show children between the ages of 6 and 11 account for the highest percentage of injuries.
Even legal fireworks can be dangerous. Something as simple as a fireworks sparkler burns at a temperature of 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. All too often, such fireworks that are considered legal end up in the hands of young children who are unsupervised.
July 3, 2013
NEW — 5:35 p.m. July 3, 2013
Eastside Fire & Rescue station No. 72 had the strange honor of putting a fire out at their old station house.
EFR Deputy Chief of Operations Greg Tryon said firefighters first got a call about the smell of smoke at 4:22 p.m. July 3, which he said was then quickly upgraded to a structure fire.
The building, a manufactured home firefighters slept in at the old station, near the corner of 17th Avenue Northwest and Maple Avenue Northwest, was not believed to be occupied, Tryon said.
“It’s currently considered suspicious, and is being investigated by King County fire investigators and the Issaquah Police,” he said of the blaze.
The fire, which took about 15 minutes to get under control, was in the crawlspace of the building near a wood porch.
Tryon said the firefighters moved out of the old station about a year and a half ago.
July 2, 2013
The community of families that live just off of Cedar Grove Road Southeast, near Four Lakes, is a close-knit bunch. So close, in fact, that they often take vacations together.
Sheri Greenman, however, had to sit out the latest one, while her neighbors and friends visited a remote property in Oregon the week of June 17.
Commitments kept Greenman home, but as any friendly neighbor would do, she agreed to look after her friends’ properties, all of which sit on large-acreage plots.
July 2, 2013
Capt. Thomas Needham looked at the engraved antique fire extinguisher, a gift from Eastside Fire & Rescue for his 45 years of service, and said, “You know, I think I might have put out a fire or two with one of these.”
Needham, 61, retired in May and a retirement recognition ceremony was held at EFR’s regular board meeting June 13.
Chief Lee Soptich told the crowded room about how Needham went up to the Issaquah fire chief when he was just 15 and a half years old and said he wanted to be a firefighter. The chief told him to come back when he was 16.
A couple of days after celebrating his birthday, Needham went back to the fire chief, reiterating his desire to become a firefighter.
June 4, 2013
May 7, 2013
Dry, warm weather means more people are outdoors enjoying the sunshine and waterways. The warm weather conditions mean the public will look for ways to cool off. What better way than taking advantage of the beautiful areas that surround us?
Unfortunately, sun, heat and fair-weather activities such as swimming also present their share of hazards. Drowning is the second leading cause of injury/death for children under the age of 18, according to a press release from Eastside Fire & Rescue. Most drowning deaths occur in outdoor settings such as lakes, rivers, and ponds.
Fishing and boating are major factors in drowning among middle-age men, according to the release. U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets are required for children 12 years or younger while on boats less than 19 feet long. The best thing anyone can do to stay safe is to always wear a life jacket when fishing and playing in or near the water.
It is important to understand your limits and be aware of water conditions. Dangerous currents, cold water temperatures, hidden debris and objects in the water can pose unknown hazards.
April 2, 2013
Eastside Fire & Rescue partners are generally unwilling to change the way they fund the agency to save Sammamish a few bucks.
At a March 18 funding model committee meeting, members told Sammamish representatives they wanted to find some way to preserve the partnership, but they were unwilling to change the current funding arrangement.
Right now, EFR partners — Issaquah, North Bend, Sammamish, and fire districts 10 and 38 — pay into the partnership based solely on property values.
March 26, 2013
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.
March 5, 2013
A head-on collision turned fatal after a Chrysler car struck an oncoming truck.
At 6:44 p.m. Feb. 25, Issaquah police responded to the 22800 block of Southeast 43rd Way where the wreck occurred. Witnesses at the scene told police that the car, driven by an 83-year-old unidentified Issaquah female, headed down the street without headlights before abruptly veering onto the other side of the road.