Spokane County Fire District 8 swore in three new staff members this week, including the district’s first full-time female firefighter-paramedic.
Deputy Chief Tony Nielsen said the district has had some female volunteer firefighters, but Amanda Jordan is the first woman on its paid force.
In addition to Jordan, Blake Richards received his badge as a firefighter-paramedic and Thomas Hatley was sworn in as training division chief. They began work on April 16.
Before joining District 8, Jordan was a paramedic for the American Medical Response’s Spokane ambulance operation, and had volunteered at the Airway Heights Fire Department and Spokane County Fire District 8, Nielsen said.
He said Richards previously was a firefighter-paramedic for the Pullman Fire Department. Before that, Richards worked for Spokane County Fire District 9 and did a paramedic internship with the Coeur d’Alene Fire Department.
Nielsen said Hatley had worked a dozen years for the Lewiston Fire Department, where he was a captain filling in as a battalion chief when District 8 hired him.
In other business at this week’s District 8 commissioners meeting, Chief Bill Walkup gave a progress report on efforts to remodel the district’s station in Valleyford, where heavy snow collapsed the roof in February 2008. Nielsen said the work was delayed when mold was discovered in the crew quarters.
The station remains in use during the construction. Because of the mold problem, Nielsen said, two on-duty firefighters and a resident intern were shifted to the training room, which was converted to temporary living quarters with cubicle walls.
Nielsen said Walkup was reluctant to say when the work will be completed because “when he’s done it in the past, it hasn’t happened.”
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