EFR Chief Lee Soptich receives Fire Chief of the Year Award

June 12, 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.

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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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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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Eastside Fire & Rescue establishes rooftop beehive at Issaquah station

May 8, 2012

Brian Gilomen, Eastside Fire & Rescue support services technician, checks on one of the frames in which his honeybees have built a honeycomb to incubate eggs and store honey. By Greg Farrar

The buzz at a downtown Issaquah fire station is all about honeybees.

Eastside Fire & Rescue established a beehive on the roof at Station 71 next to City Hall. Station 71 is perhaps the only fire station in the state, and maybe beyond, to host a rooftop beehive.

Honeybees use assembly-line efficiency to gather pollen, and produce beeswax and honey — prizes for amateur apiarists, or beekeepers.

The focus at the Station 71 beehive is conservation, although the agency could someday sell honey from the beehive. The experiment in rooftop beekeeping is meant to lend a hand to the strained honeybee population.

EFR Chief Lee Soptich proposed the idea after reading about tenants in rooftop beehives established on Seattle skyscrapers. Intrigued, Soptich turned to Brian Gilomen, support services technician for the agency and a backyard beekeeper, to establish a rooftop beehive at Station 71.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue plans emergency medical service pilot program

February 28, 2012

Why send three people to do a job that only takes one?

That’s been a common rhetorical question for fire officials trying to handle a steadily increasing workload — about two-thirds of which are medical calls — in a time of tight public finances. Eastside Fire & Rescue and King County’s Emergency Medical Service officials will put the theory to the test this year with a Community Medical Technician pilot program.

Under the program, the agency will staff a one-person unit that will respond in an SUV to nonlife-threatening medical calls — a broken finger, bad back pain or a nosebleed, for example. As of now, the standard EMT crew responds to those calls in a fully equipped aid car or fire truck, tying up three responders that might be needed at more major calls.

EFR Chief Lee Soptich said the pilot program may prove to be more efficient and a cheaper model than adding another full-service unit to keep up with call volumes — which have grown around 3 percent per year recently.

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Voters to decide fire station replacement

January 24, 2012

Many Issaquah-area residents should receive ballots in the days ahead as Fire District 10 asks voters to approve a bond for a replacement fire station meant to improve response times.

By Dona Mokin

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.

In a measure put before voters in a Feb. 14 special election, the district is asking voters to approve a $5.5 million 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.

Ballots should start to reach residents in unincorporated King County near Issaquah after Jan. 25.

Fire District 10 is the Eastside Fire & Rescue partner serving residents in Klahanie, May Valley, 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.

Officials plan to use bond dollars to relocate crews from Fire Station 78 from 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.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue seeks volunteer firefighters

January 24, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue has started a new push to get volunteers to join its ranks.

“Being a volunteer firefighter is a big commitment,” EFR chief and former volunteer firefighter Lee Soptich said in a press release. “But the rewards for helping your community and your neighbors are even greater.”

The communities for which EFR seeks volunteers are Issaquah, Maple Hills, May Valley, Tiger Mountain, Preston, North Bend, Sammamish, Lake Joy, Carnation and Wilderness Rim.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, drug-free and reside within five driving miles of the nearest EFR fire stations.

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Voters asked to approve $5.5 million to build fire station

December 20, 2011

Officials said building a fire station in May Valley could improve response times for residents in the Issaquah area.

The issue is due to go before Fire District 10 voters early next year.

Officials plan to ask district voters to approve a $5.5 million bond in a Feb. 14 special election. Fire District 10 is the Eastside Fire & Rescue partner serving residents in Klahanie, May Valley, Preston and Tiger Mountain in the Issaquah area.

Officials plan to use bond dollars to relocate crews from Fire Station 78 from 16135 S.E. 113th Place just outside Renton city limits to a modern facility at a more central location at Southeast May Valley Road and 207th Avenue Southeast. Such a move is meant to shift a fire station about three miles east, deeper into the district.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 72 mixes red and ‘green’

October 11, 2011

Solar panels line the rooftop of Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 72. Contributed

Station 72 is designed to lessen impact on environment

The red accents on Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 72 offer a traditional package for the “green” features embedded throughout the building.

Station 72 is the most energy efficient fire station on the planet. The city and EFR spearheaded a project to create a next-generation facility as a showcase for “green” innovations in Issaquah and a model for other fire departments.

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Who’s News

October 4, 2011

Overlake hires physician at Issaquah clinic

Overlake Hospital Medical Center recently hired Dr. Jennifer Edwards as a new primary care physician at its Issaquah clinics.

Edwards is a board-certified, family-practice physician.

Before joining Overlake, she worked as a core faculty member at Mercy Redding Family Practice Residency Program in Redding, Calif.

Edwards earned her medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine and completed her residency at the Shasta-Cascade Family Practice Residency Program, which is affiliated with the University of California-Davis.

Edwards has a special interest in women’s and infants’ care.

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