July 14, 2012 in Washington Voices

Letters

 

Department sorry for training byproducts

Recently, the Spokane Valley Fire Department conducted wildland firefighting training to the northeast of Frazier Estates subdivision. The training, June 27-29, involved the ignition and management of fire in a wildland urban interface area, involving the type of challenges that our department must be prepared to respond to at any given time.

While this type of training is critical to ensure the readiness of our firefighters, we recognize that we fell short as an organization in our efforts to mitigate adverse impacts on the surrounding neighborhood. For falling short of our expectations, we sincerely apologize.

First, it was not our intention to allow the fire to smolder overnight and we did not communicate that intent adequately to the officers who were responsible for securing and remaining at the training site overnight June 28 and June 29. Second, during our extensive planning for this event, we did not include a discussion on the potential for down slope winds carrying smoke into residences with open windows.

Our department will conduct an after-action review to examine our planning and operations process to identify what went well with the training and where we can improve our processes.

Again, Spokane Valley Fire apologizes for the adverse impact and inconvenience brought upon citizens of both Fire District 9 and Spokane Valley Fire Department.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at (509) 892-4103.

Deputy Chief Andrew Hail

Spokane Valley Fire Department

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