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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Fire department commissioners plan special meeting

Civil service commissioner to be sworn in; bid for new truck to be opened

The Spokane Valley Fire Department will get a new civil service commissioner Monday and will find out how much a new fire truck may cost.

Fire commissioners will conduct a special meeting Monday at 4 p.m. to swear in Mike Creighton as a member of the department’s three-member Civil Service Commission and to open a bid for a new truck that inadvertently was overlooked at this week’s regular meeting.

Chief Mike Thompson said fire commissioners unanimously chose Creighton earlier this week to replace Nancy Cowles, who resigned in January after moving out of the fire district.

Under state law, civil service commissioners are appointed to four-year terms and are responsible for ensuring that hiring and disciplinary procedures are fair.

Thompson said Creighton is a general contractor who has volunteered in Scouting and other community programs. Spokane Valley police Sgt. Wes Eylar was the only other applicant for the position.

“He was well qualified, too,” Thompson said. “It was not an easy decision for the board of fire commissioners.”

Commissioners interviewed both men Monday before making their selection.

Thompson said commissioners discovered, after opening three bids for a new pumper-rescue truck, that they had missed a fourth bid that wasn’t recognized as a bid when it arrived the preceding Friday. That bid, from Seagrave Fire Apparatus, will be opened Monday.

Seagrave was the only bidder in an earlier round of bidding last month. Commissioners rejected that $541,008 bid because they had budgeted only $480,000 and expected to have enough left over to equip the new truck.

The new bids that were opened this week ranged approximately from $417,000 to $490,000.

“I think we’ve got at least a couple of bids that fit within the budget, and hopefully they will meet the specifications,” Thompson said.

Also at this week’s meeting, commissioners heard a report that a consortium of fire districts and departments in Spokane County began soliciting bids March 27 for a regional ambulance contract.

Thompson said fire officials will conduct a conference Monday to answer questions from potential bidders, and bidding will close May 27. He said three companies have expressed interest in bidding, including American Medical Response, which provides most ambulance service in Spokane County.

Currently, only the Spokane Fire Department has a comprehensive contract with AMR. Consortium members hope a broader contract will drive down prices for patients while establishing performance standards based on population densities.

The consortium includes the Spokane Valley Fire Department – which serves Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and Millwood – and eight other independent fire districts, plus the Spokane, Airway Heights, Cheney and Medical Lake municipal fire departments. The group includes Fire Districts 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13.

Only Deer Park and Fire districts 2 and 12, which are served by volunteer ambulance groups, are not in the consortium.

“We’re just glad to see that bid package out and going through the process so we can bring this together after three years of hard work by everybody,” Thompson said.

John Craig may be contacted at johnc@spokesman.com.
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