Q&A: South King Fire and Rescue Commissioner Pos. 2 candidates
The Federal Way Mirror asked candidate South King Fire and Relief Commissioners a few questions about their priorities and plans if elected. Read the candidates’ responses for Position 2 below. The general elections take place on Tuesday, November 2.
Editor’s note: Candidate Julian Martinez did not return a response before the Mirror deadline.
Bill Fuller (incumbent)
Brief Description of Yourself: Very soon after starting my 35 year career with Weyerhaeuser, I became a volunteer firefighter in South Snohomish County Fire District 1 at the station. During Weyerhaeuser’s R&D program at Federal Way’s Technology Center, I reluctantly retired as a lieutenant. EMT and station training officer after 9 years of service. In addition to my technical role at Weyerhaeuser, I was Director of Safety and Health at the Technology Center for three years and West Region Safety Manager for Pulp Mills for 2 years. . During this time in the area of occupational safety and health, I managed the technology center’s hazardous waste facility which removed hazardous chemicals from the entire company.
The three main priorities in the event of an election:
A. Property taxes represent 79% of the revenues that fund South King Fire. This source of financing is highly dependent on the evolution of the economy and the value of properties. The 2008 economic crisis led to reductions in personnel and equipment. We need to assess other funding alternatives such as a tax on fire services or the formation of a regional fire authority. These methods do not rely solely on property tax revenues as the main source of finance.
B. Through the fire marshals’ long-term monitoring and planning role, a new five-year plan will be developed to address the challenges Federal Way faces in areas such as continued population growth, the impact of public transit rapid, the location of the future station as construction continues at a rapid pace and large-scale emergency events (the Big One).
C. South King Fire and Rescue must maintain a Level 2 rating by the Washington State Survey and Rating Bureau which determines the cost of home and business insurance. This multifaceted periodic review examines all aspects of organization, funding, operations and performance. The role of the Board in strategic direction is essential for this rating. There are no departments classified at level 1 in the state.
The Council of Fire Marshals recently adopted a policy prohibiting unvaccinated firefighters from working with patients. Do you support this policy? Why or why not?
The governor’s mandate stipulated that all personnel providing medical attention during South King fire and rescue calls were to be fully immunized. The only permitted accommodation is based on a religious basis. Even then, unvaccinated employees should protect their co-workers by distancing themselves and masking in the workplace. A department may have non-medical exposure jobs to which an unvaccinated person can be transferred, if available. It is common knowledge that I and the other Commissioners adopted this policy unanimously. All the other departments in Zone 3 (south of Seattle and Bellevue) have done the same. By granting housing that defies the mandate and allows unvaccinated firefighters to treat patients, departments risk losing their state license to practice basic and advanced life support. It would be unacceptable.
Editor’s Note: This story has been abbreviated for the print edition.