I wanted to respond to a recent letter about North Whidbey Fire & Rescue sending firefighters and apparatus to help fight wild land fires in California.
First, these resources, which include apparatus and personnel, are reimbursed by the federal or state agency requesting the assistance. Most agencies have older, reserve apparatus to respond to regional calls for help. It’s what we do and how we plan.
Firefighters also volunteer for these assignments when they otherwise would not be serving our residents.
All emergency service professionals are trained to respond to potential exposure to COVID-19, including decontamination after calls of personnel, apparatus and equipment. We don’t quarantine because we wear appropriate personal protective equipment that prevents this need.
The fire service has a long history of pulling together to help others in need. Saving a life or a home is important whether it’s in Washington state or California. We are grateful for the opportunity to help so many in need down south while maintaining service levels here at home.
I encourage others to contact me personally if you have concerns about what we are doing to help others. My phone is 360-675-1131 or email to email@example.com
John Clark, chief
North Whidbey Fire & Rescue