District needs Gerald Smith as commissioner

Editor,

North Whidbey Fire and Rescue needs Gerald Smith for commissioner.

Things in the fire service have changed drastically in the last few years.

What used to work is now outdated and not as effective due to the changed environment we live in.

The environment is more dangerous. We have more synthetics in our furniture. We have electric cars.

We have hybrid cars and all fire departments are responding to more calls than in the past. As our population ages there are more and more medical calls. Fires are more dangerous due to increased chemicals in the contents of our homes. They burn faster and hotter than in the past. As buildings on Whidbey Island age and we use increased numbers of electronic devices, the old electrical systems are stressed.

North Whidbey Fire and Rescue needs a commissioner in tune with the current environment rather than how it used to be.

Gerald Smith is currently employed by the Department of Defense Fire Department at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. He is a firefighter at North Whidbey Fire and Rescue. He stepped down from being a captain so his wife could finish a college degree.

By working for the DOD Fire Department, he benefits from the latest and greatest training in all aspects of the fire service. He is exposed to the most modern techniques and equipment available to the fire service. He is required to keep his many qualifications current not only by the DOD but also by the State of Washington.

He is involved in and understands equipment maintenance on a daily basis, which would benefit NWFR.

Gerald submits budgets for approval to the Navy’s Regional Headquarters. He operates within a budget that is set by regional headquarters, which is why he has vast experience in not only budgeting but working within a budget. As a commissioner, Gerald Smith would ensure that NWFR operates within a budget and did not exceed it, just like he has for 15 years at the base and 24 years at North Whidbey Fire.

Gerald Smith will work with the two existing commissioners to ensure the citizens of North Whidbey the very best fire and EMS service available by bringing the latest techniques and ideas on how to best utilize their resources and personnel for the good of the community.

Please vote for Gerald Smith.

North Whidbey Fire and Rescue cannot afford to go backwards by returning to the past. Our lives and our property depend on new and innovative ideas and ways to deploy them with the equipment they have.

Jim O’Connor

Oak Harbor

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