The use of volunteer firefighters is being promoted as a way to augment fire and emergency medical services in Eatonville.
Local officials held a town hall-style meeting Dec. 20 at Eatonville Community Center to spread information about volunteering, which South Pierce Fire and Rescue see as a way of bolstering fire protection service for the town
Another purpose for the meeting, according to officials, was for citizens to learn the facts about the current status and future of fire and emergency medical services (EMS) in Eatonville.
South Pierce Fire manages services for the town. Because of manpower limitations, there are a few days each month when the town's fire station isn't manned. That requires responses to in-town fires and medical emergencies to come from fire district stations, including one at 340th Street East and State Route 7.
The town contracts with the district because that's more affordable than running its own fire department.
"We're trying our best to provide the best service we can," said Mayor Mike Schaub at a Town Council meeting last week.
To help, “we are actively trying to rebuild a volunteer firefighter program in the town,” said South Pierce fire chief Lloyd Galey.
In general, volunteers serve alongside career firefighters on one of three rotating shifts for 36 hours per month. Volunteers must be at least 18 years and in good physical condition, and have acceptable driving records and no criminal background.
Volunteers for Eatonville duty live in Eatonville or within a five-mile radius. They are expected to respond to emergencies as a “come from home” volunteer, Galey said.
To apply, prospective volunteers can contact assistant chief Trenton Turner at 253-381-1549 or tturner@spfr.org.
In addition to managing Eatonville's service, South Pierce serves an area of approximately 140 square miles that has a combined population of about 25,000 people in the Roy, Lacamas, Clear Lake, Harts Lake and McKenna areas.