Northwest NEWS

July 6, 1998

Local News

The next 50 years

   The past fifty years in Woodinville and on the Eastside in general have been amazing. There has been tremendous expansion of not only the residential areas but also the general business growth as well.
   This expansion has been reflected in the growth of the Woodinville Fire District. We have seen the department grow from a single focus agency for fire responses to a multi-hazard response agency.
   We have seen the inclusion of emergency medical response, hazardous materials responses, technical rescue concerns and the demand for disaster education.
   With these new demands comes the need for a better firefighter. We now have a much broader educational base. The need for firefighters to have advanced degrees is becoming more apparent with each passing year, each new mandate and every new standard.
   Speaking of standards, the oversight by such agencies as state Labor and Industries, OSHA, WISHA, the National Fire Protection Agency and the federal government, to name a few, keeps the constant demand for education in the forefront of personnel planning.
   The next fifty years will bring many of the same and many new challenges for the fire service.
   With the continuing service demands coupled with the demands of taxpayers to lower assessments, operational dollars are shrinking. This has and will continue to push local fire districts to a regional concept in service delivery. We are more inclined to work together to make the dollars go farther.
   The new demands in response will greatly influence the educational demands and needs for fire organizations. We must be prepared to offer a quality product, highly trained personnel with quick response, or the public will look elsewhere for their service.
   Advances in equipment and techniques will also affect this educational demand. With the new and modern equipment developments comes a need to be better prepared to understand the changes.
   The next fifty will be an exciting time for the fire service. We will see our personnel requiring and demanding more diversified training and education. We will see our customers demanding more efficient and quality service for the dollars they spend. And we will definitely see the technological advancements in society reflected in our product-safety education and emergency response.
   We encourage all of our citizens to take a moment to stop in and talk to their emergency services providers. You may be surprised at what you find.