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Community Update from Chief Swinhart

This is my third week as Fire Chief of the Key Peninsula Fire Department. It has been an amazing whirlwind of activity as I work to integrate myself in to the community and department while trying to wrap my head around all the challenges we face. Thank you so much to the many community and department members I have met who have been so welcoming! I would be remiss if I did not call out staff like Assistant Chief Hal Wolverton and Division Chief Jason Learned for helping getting me up to speed on everything.

My goal is to get community updates to our website on a regular basis, at least every two weeks if not more often. Here are some things I’ve been working on for the past 3 weeks, and some updates and items of interest for our Key Peninsula community:

· Getting familiar with all department operations, policies, and budgeting

· Conducting interviews with all staff members to understand what everyone feels are the most important challenges we must address

· Establishing weekly check-ins with labor and volunteer leadership

· Reviewing our deployment options going forward as we integrate new staff

· Meeting weekly with Board Chair

· Attended first CAP meeting week of May 16

· Served as guest speaker at the Memorial Day ceremony at Vaughn Bay Cemetery on May 29

Items of community interest:

· One of the biggest topics we’re dealing with is our property acquisition across from Station 46. The current status is we are awaiting an electrical contractor to give us an estimate on required repairs on June 6. Once we have that information I will bring that before the Board at the next available public meeting to discuss next steps.

· We will be conducting a training house burn on June 4

· This past weekend we had sewer problems at Station 49 (Longbranch). Thanks to the quick actions of Assistant Chief Hal Wolverton, Russell Hurd, and Battalion Chief Chris Hagen, the matter was resolved quickly and crews were displaced for only 24 hours.

· Just to jump out in front of any potential rumors, your fire department did not buy a new fire boat. Community members may have noticed a large fire boat behind Station 46. This belongs to the McNeill Island Fire Department and they asked for our assistance providing them temporary space to conduct some necessary maintenance. It should be gone within a few days.

· Captain Dale Heidal is retiring at the end of June. Congratulations on a well-earned retirement, Dale! Ryan Williams has been promoted to Captain to succeed Dale. Congratulations, Ryan!

Until Next Time,

Nick Swinhart

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