Lee Soptich sworn in as fire chiefs association president

January 25, 2011

Eastside Fire & Rescue Fire Chief Lee Soptich was sworn in as president of the King County Fire Chiefs Association on Jan. 19, for a second term.

Washington Court of Appeals Judge Anne Ellington conducted the swearing-in ceremony in Renton.

As president of the association, Soptich and association executive board members work with county and city officials on programs and projects of joint interest.

The association is active at the local and state level in promoting safety initiatives, public education, and emergency management and preparedness, in addition to supporting legislation on various matters.

“It’s been a real honor to be a part of the team that is leading the industry in serving the community, and influencing where we can for safer conditions internally for our employees and externally with our customers,” Soptich said.

He will serve in his position as president through 2011.

Eastside Fire & Rescue cuts could mean slower responses

November 9, 2010

Agency shields Issaquah Highlands station from reductions

Eastside Fire & Rescue has announced plans to reduce staffing at stations in Issaquah, Sammamish and other communities — and the cuts could mean slower response times for emergency crews.

In order to confront a budget shortfall, EFR plans to keep fewer responders on duty at fire stations. The result: Crews could take a longer time to reach emergencies, because help could come from more distant stations.

The agency has a policy to maintain three responders on duty at all times at nine stations throughout the EFR coverage area. Under the plan announced Nov. 5, the agency plans to drop a station per day from three responders on duty to two.

In extreme situations, EFR plans to reduce staffing by two responders and close a station for a day. The agency said the station is to be selected after considering workload, overall operation and location.

Read more

Eastside Fire & Rescue cuts could mean slower responses in Issaquah

November 6, 2010

NEW — 10 a.m. Nov. 6, 2010

Eastside Fire & Rescue has announced plans to reduce staffing at stations in Issaquah, Sammamish and other communities — and the cuts could mean slower response times for emergency crews.

In order to confront a budget shortfall, EFR plans to keep fewer responders on duty at fire stations.

The agency has a policy to maintain three responders on duty at all times at nine stations throughout EFR’s coverage area. Under the plan announced Friday, the agency plans to drop a station per day from three responders on duty to two.

Read more

Grande Parade opens Salmon Days Festival

September 28, 2010

The Issaquah Salmon Days Grande Parade will again kick off the annual two-day festival at 10 a.m. Oct. 2.

Issaquah will begin its 41st anniversary celebration with more than 100 entries, including stunning floats from the Northwest. Follow the procession from Front Street at Northwest Dogwood Street, down Gilman Boulevard to 12th Avenue and along 12th Avenue until the parade’s end past the Sports Authority parking lot. The Grande Parade is ohfishally spawnsored by Lakeside Industries.

Festival VIPs in the parade include Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger, Issaquah Police Chief Paul Ayers, Eastside Fire & Rescue Chief Lee Soptich and Issaquah Chamber of Commerce President Chris Hysom.

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Who’s News

September 21, 2010

EFR honors longtime county medical services director

Tom Hearne

The board of directors for Eastside Fire & Rescue recognized Tom Hearne, retired King County Emergency Medical Services director, for his accomplishments and contributions during the regularly scheduled meeting Sept. 9.

Hearne has served in the Emergency Medical Services Division of King County since 1978, and in the role of director from 1996-2009.

“No one has done more to advance pre-hospital care over the last 10 years in King County,” said EFR Chief Lee Soptich. Read more

Technology in emergency vehicles carries risks, rewards

July 6, 2010

State phone ban exempts emergency services agencies

Greg Tryon, Eastside Fire & Rescue battalion chief, describes the laptops, smart phones and other communications equipment used in the agency’s mobile command posts, fire trucks and aid cars. By Greg Farrar

Distractions abound for Eastside Fire & Rescue trucks roaring through downtown Issaquah or down Northwest Gilman Boulevard at rush hour: cars racing to catch a yellow light, cyclists steering through narrow bike lanes and drivers chatting into mobile phones or tapping out text messages.

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EFR directs donation toward new equipment purchases

June 29, 2010

Eastside Fire & Rescue is directing a donation of more than $4,700 to an organization primarily dedicated to buying equipment for their own firefighters.

“The work they’re doing helps us meet the mission we are tasked with,” said Jeff Griffin, EFR deputy chief of operations.

The donation is more than three-quarters of the money private ambulance service American Medical Response will donate to local charities the board chooses. This year’s donations included $1,500 to Ryan’s Solution, a nonprofit run by an EFR firefighter aimed at ending teenage abuse of prescription medicine, and $4,739 to Eastside Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association, a nonprofit support group for EFR firefighters.

The annual donation is part of EFR’s services agreement with AMR and can go to any nonprofit the board sees as worthy, provided they are a registered 501(c)3, according to EFR documents presented at the board of directors’ June 10 meeting. The volunteer association meets the requirement.

Brant Butte, AMR’s director of communications, said the company has not yet reviewed the board’s recommendation and will evaluate it when it hears from the board. In past years, the board has asked AMR to donate the money to area food banks.

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New fire marshal comes to EFR

March 23, 2010

Eastside Fire & Rescue has filled its fire marshal position, and more. Read more

Sammamish leaders scrutinize public relations push by fire officials

March 23, 2010

Elected officials debated the merits of ramping up public relations efforts for Eastside Fire & Rescue on March 11. Read more

EFR response times improve, overtime drops

March 2, 2010

When Eastside Fire & Rescue Chief Lee Soptich finally had a chance to reflect on 2009, one he counts as the most stressful of any in his 24 years as a fire chief, he said it was a mixed bag. Read more

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