Eastside Fire & Rescue Chief Lee Soptich receives Fire Chief of the Year Award

June 7, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 7, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue Fire Chief Lee A. Soptich has received the prestigious Chief Dan Packer – Fire Chief of the Year Award.

Soptich, who was nominated by agency members and surrounding department fire chiefs, received the award at the annual Washington Fire Chiefs banquet May 24.

The award is presented each year to the leader who contributes to their respective department and community in an exemplary way.

Each nominee must: emulate Fire Chief Dan Packer’s strong leadership characteristics of loyalty, determination, strength in action and relationships; give professional performance consistent with the WFC Code of Ethics; extend courtesy and respect to community, fellow employees and members of the WFC; have exceptional performance and accomplishments; contribute significantly to the safe and effective operations of fire service as a member of the WFC; and contribute above and beyond the normal call of duty.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue, King County mark National EMS Week

May 29, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue and King County officials marked May 20-26 as Emergency Medical Services Week.

National Emergency Medical Services Week is commemorated to publicize safety and honor the responders on the front lines of emergency medical care.

In a joint proclamation, King County Council members and King County Executive Dow Constantine honored the people and partnerships among 30 fire departments, six paramedic providers, five EMS dispatch centers and 19 hospitals in Medic One.

Introduced in 1970, King County Emergency Medical Services is a model nationwide for delivery of life-saving emergency responder services.

The proclamation highlights the cardiac arrest survival rate in King County. The figure recently reached the 50-percent mark — the best in the world. In comparison, the survival rate in Los Angeles is 7 percent, New York City is 5 percent and Chicago is 3 percent.

The cardiac arrest survival success is due in large part to the work of emergency responders, plus training to local citizens in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the availability of automated external defibrillators.

EFR — formed in 1999 and headquartered in Issaquah — serves Issaquah, North Bend, Sammamish, and fire protection districts 10 and 38.

Eastside Fire & Rescue, King County mark National EMS Week

May 24, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. May 24, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue and King County officials marked May 20-26 as Emergency Medical Services Week.

National Emergency Medical Services Week is commemorated to publicize safety and honor the dedication of responders on the front lines of emergency medical care.

In a joint proclamation, King County Council members and King County Executive Dow Constantine honored the people and partnerships among 30 fire departments, six paramedic providers, five EMS dispatch centers and 19 hospitals in Medic One.

Introduced in 1970, King County Emergency Medical Services is a model nationwide for delivery of life-saving emergency responder services.

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Plan progresses to relocate rural fire station near Issaquah

May 22, 2012

Construction should start on a May Valley fire station next summer, as local fire officials relocate firefighters and equipment deeper into Fire District 10 from a station close to the Renton city limits.

In late April, officials from Fire District 10 — May Valley, Mirrormont and other communities near Issaquah — completed the process to issue $5.5 million in construction bonds to build a May Valley fire station and complete other projects throughout the district.

Fire District 10 is the Eastside Fire & Rescue partner serving residents in Klahanie, May Valley, Mirrormont, Preston and Tiger Mountain in the Issaquah area, plus Carnation in rural King County.

The district encompasses about 130 square miles and about 28,000 people.

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Turnout hit 28 percent in February special election

March 6, 2012

Turnout in the Feb. 14 election to decide a $5.5 million bond for fire station construction reached 28 percent, King County Elections announced Feb. 28, as officials certified the election results.

State law required the Fire District 10 bond measure to receive a 60 percent yes vote from a turnout of at least 4,418 voters. The measure received a 64.7 percent yes vote from a turnout of 5,863 voters. (The district includes 20,791 registered voters.)

Fire District 10 is the Eastside Fire & Rescue partner serving residents in Klahanie, May Valley, Mirrormont, Preston and Tiger Mountain in the Issaquah area, plus Carnation in rural King County.

Officials plan to use bond dollars to relocate crews from Fire Station 78 at 16135 S.E. 113th Place near Renton to a modern facility at a more central location at Southeast May Valley Road and 207th Avenue Southeast.

Overall, elections officials issued 189,753 ballots for measures in Fire District 10 and school districts elsewhere in King County. The elections office predicted 38 percent turnout overall in the special elections, but turnout reached 32 percent in the contests.

Turnout reached 28 percent in February fire district election

February 29, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Feb. 29, 2012

Turnout in the Feb. 14 election to decide a $5.5 million bond for fire station construction reached 28 percent, King County Elections announced Tuesday, as officials certified the election results.

State law required the Fire District 10 bond measure to receive a 60 percent yes vote from a turnout of at least 4,418 voters. The measure received a 64.7 percent yes vote from a turnout of 5,863 voters. (The district includes 20,791 registered voters.)

Fire District 10 is the Eastside Fire & Rescue partner serving residents in Klahanie, May Valley, Mirrormont, Preston and Tiger Mountain in the Issaquah area, plus Carnation in rural King County.

The district encompasses about 130 square miles and about 28,000 people.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue honors late volunteer firefighter

February 28, 2012

Colleagues remember longtime Eastside Fire & Rescue Volunteer Battalion Chief John Waltosz as a firefighter committed to the agency and public service, even as the landscape and the fire department changed.

John Waltosz

Waltosz, 83, died Feb. 19 after a long career in EFR and, earlier, in a rural fire district and future EFR partner.

“He had tremendous respect for the fire service, and he wanted to make sure that everyone else who joined the fire service had that same sort of respect for the job, service to the public, service to the customers,” EFR Battalion Chief Dave McDaniel said.

Waltosz imparted a respect for the agency on fledgling members as the United States Army veteran recruited and trained residents to respond to fires and other emergencies.

“When new volunteers came into the agency, he always took them under his wing,” McDaniel said. “He really set them in the direction of what the fire service is as a volunteer, this is how it’s going to run. He was just a stickler for that.”

Waltosz lived near Station 78 — in the Coalfield area near Renton city limits — and responded to calls in the Coalfield, Lake Kathleen, Maple Hills and May Valley areas before retiring in November 1998. Waltosz started as a Fire District 10 volunteer firefighter 33 years earlier in January 1965. (Fire District 10 later joined EFR as a partner organization.)

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Fire District 10 voters OK $5.5 million bond to relocate fire station

February 21, 2012

Fire District 10 — May Valley, Mirrormont and other communities near Issaquah — received approval to build a fire station and upgrade other facilities as voters approved a $5.5 million bond in a special election Feb. 14.

Officials plan to use bond dollars to relocate crews from Fire Station 78 at 16135 S.E. 113th Place near Renton to a modern facility at a more central location at Southeast May Valley Road and 207th Avenue Southeast.

The district asked the electorate to OK the bond to fund a rebuilt Station 78 and improvements to other fire stations throughout the sprawling district. The price tag for the rebuilt station alone is expected to reach $4.5 million.

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Fire District 10 voters approve $5.5 million bond to relocate fire station

February 15, 2012

NEW — 12:05 p.m. Feb. 15, 2012

Fire District 10 — May Valley, Mirrormont and other communities near Issaquah — received approval to build a fire station and upgrade other facilities as voters approved a $5.5 million bond in a special election Tuesday.

Officials plan to use bond dollars to relocate crews from Fire Station 78 at 16135 S.E. 113th Place near Renton to a modern facility at a more central location at Southeast May Valley Road and 207th Avenue Southeast.

The district asked the electorate to OK the bond to fund a rebuilt Station 78 and improvements to other fire stations throughout the sprawling district. The price tag for the rebuilt station alone is expected to reach $4.5 million.

Homeowners should pay about 9 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value — or about $3 per month for a home assessed at $400,000 — to fund the bond. The district last asked voters to approve a bond in the mid-1990s.

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King County Elections predicts 38 percent turnout in February election

February 7, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Feb. 7, 2012

King County Elections mailed 186,500 ballots for a half dozen special districts late last month, and officials expect voters to return almost 71,000 ballots in the Feb. 14 election.

In the Issaquah area, Fire District 10 officials asked citizens to decide on a $5.5 million bond to fund a fire station replacement and other capital projects. The district — a partner in Eastside Fire & Rescue — includes Klahanie, May Valley, Preston and Tiger Mountain in the Issaquah area, plus Carnation in rural King County.

Fire District 10 officials said a fire station built in May Valley could improve response times for rural residents and alleviate the workload for Fire Station 71 along East Sunset Way in downtown Issaquah — a station responsible for serving many neighborhoods inside city limits.

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