Federal Way Fire Department
31617 1st Avenue South
Federal Way, WA 98003
Phone: 253-839-6234
e-mail: info@federalwayfire.org










Federal Way Fire Department
2000 Annual Report
Editing and Layout: Debbie Goetz
Digital Photography: Debbie Goetz
Photo Captions: Debbie Goetz
INTRODUCTION: Administrator Jim Hamilton
We are pleased to provide this annual report to the Federal Way community for the Federal Way Fire Department.
During 2000, the community experienced significant growth, particularly in commercial occupancies. The Department is addressing this growth through implementation of the actions identified in the Federal Way Fire Department Strategic Plan. Great progress has been made toward achievement of this plan.

The Department faced many issues during 2000. Three of particular significance are:

The addition of a second Training Officer. Training requirements in the fire service continue to grow in significance and complexity. Safety is becoming more of a driving force in training programs. This addition has helped to improve the quality and quantity of training that our firefighters receive.

The addition of three new firefighter positions. This will bring one additional station up to three-person staffing, leaving just one station with two-person staffing. This station is scheduled for three firefighters in 2002.

The addition of a Medical Services Officer to help guide our activities in Emergency Medical Services, which represent over 75 percent of our call volumes. Our growth in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) calls continues to average approximately 6 percent per year. In addition, the regulatory requirements in delivering EMS continue to escalate. The Medical Services Officer will help address these important needs.

Since January 2000, the Federal Way Fire Department has represented the City of Federal Way on the EMS Task Force. In 2000, the Task Force completed the following:

§ Reviewed progress in implementing the current strategic plan initiatives and original task force recommendations and reported its findings to the county and cities;

§ Provided oversight and direction on development of the strategic plan update with support from the county EMS division, the EMS Advisory Committee and the EMS Financial Staff Team; and

§ Recommended an updated EMS strategic plan and financing proposal to the county and cities with populations greater than 50,000. This will be completed by no later than March 31, 2001.

Brief highlights from each division of the Department are included in this annual report. They are indicative of the dedication and high capabilities of our employees as they continue to help people of the greater Federal Way community.


At the 2000 Awards Banquet, the department recognized several individuals, some for career achievements, others for outstanding accomplishments throughout the year.

In addition to department members and Fire Commissioners, many guests and elected officials were in attendance. They included: Senator Tracey Eide, Representative Mark Miloscia, and Federal Way Councilmembers Linda Kochmar, Jeanne Burbidge and Dean McColgan.

Special Presentation

As a special presentation, Chief of Operations Al Church received a Minnesota Vikings helmet autographed by Dante Culpepper, Chris Carter and Robert Smith. The award, given by the administrative team, recognized Church’s years of dedication to both the department and the Vikings.

During the banquet, annual awards were presented to the following individuals:


In 2000, the Federal Way Fire Fighters Foundation (the Foundation) formed as a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Charitable Corporation. Members of the Foundation include all department members and their families. Being part of the emergency response to the community puts us in the unique position of seeing needs as they are happening and responding quickly once the initial emergency is over.

The Foundation concentrates on several areas of support to the community:

Local Emergency Response

The Foundation is ready to assist citizens in our community who have suffered a loss that Federal Way Fire Fighters have responded to. Short-term assistance may be available to fill in the gap until the Red Cross or other longer term assistance can take effect.

In 2000, two elderly women were offered shelter over a weekend for themselves and their pet until King County’s GateKeeper program could kick in.

After fighting the arson fire at the Federal Way Food Bank, firefighters collected and donated over seven pickup loads of food to replace most of the food that was damaged by the fire and smoke.

Community Events

Foundation Members participated in several events, fundraising for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Northwest Burn Foundation, the Washington Council of Fire Fighters Burn Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and several others. Our members spent hundreds of hours collecting more than $10,000 for these organizations. The Foundation also worked with other community organizations to raise money for the annual Food and Toy Drive. This year the kickoff for the Food and Toy Drive was the lighting of the community Christmas tree at SeaTac Mall. More than 100 families were provided with holiday gifts and food for what may have been an otherwise bleak holiday season. 

Federal Way Fire History

Foundation members located and began restoration of the oldest fire engine that ever served the Federal Way Community. When restored, this old rig will be used in fundraising and to help raise the community’s awareness of fire safety. Originally stationed on 312th  Street, this 1936 Ford served Mirror Lake and the surrounding areas for many years before being given to a newly-formed Duvall Fire Department in 1958 for the sum of one dollar. In 2000, Duvall firefighters returned the old fire engine to Federal Way Fire Fighters, who in turn returned Duvall’s dollar. Restoration of the fire engine is expected to take a few years, with assistance from others in the community.

Outreach to Other Firefighters

In 2000, the Foundation contributed to the families of firefighters killed in the line of duty in other parts of the United States. Although small sums were sent by our firefighters, donations by firefighters around the country added up to assist the families left behind.  

Outreach to Firefighters in Other Countries

Upon finding out that firefighters in the Baja region of Mexico had very few air packs and were fighting fires without equipment or proper clothing, our Foundation members felt that something had to be done. Working with fire departments and equipment suppliers throughout our region, more than five tons of fire equipment and medical supplies were shipped to fire departments in Baja California.


The Information Systems Division is responsible for the Department’s Computer Network Infrastructure operations and maintenance.

The Federal Way Fire Department’s Personal Computer Network has significantly grown over the past few years. The network infrastructure now consists of a LAN/WAN schema with six servers, 36 workstations, five laptops, and an eight-workstation computer lab. We also continue to maintain our UNIX network, which is primarily dedicated to South Com for Computer Aided Dispatching and the Fire Prevention Division for Occupancy Inspection history and tracking.


The Fire Prevention division, comprised of a Fire Marshal, Assistant Fire Marshal, four Inspectors and two job-share Secretaries, remained busy throughout 2000 with the following duties:

  • Business license application inspection
  • City Development Review Committee meetings
  • Engine company inspection referrals
  • Fire investigations
  • Fire sprinkler and fire alarm systems testing and maintenance
  • Hydrant program complaints and repairs
  • Inspection and plan review: new construction, fire sprinklers, fire alarms
  • Juvenile fire setter interventions
  • Supra program
  • Uniform fire code permit inspections
  • Water flow tests

Significant changes for 2000 include:

PLATOON A: B/C Chuck Kahler

As the Federal Way Fire Department enters its sixth decade of service to the community, Platoon A continues to meet the challenge. As a shift, we continue to set the example in customer service, both internal and external. As you read about our areas of responsibility, you’ll note that nearly the entire shift is involved in meeting the expectations of the department’s mission statement.

FINANCE AND PERSONNEL: Carolyn Thomas, Personnel Coordinator

Two accounting technicians, under the supervision of the Personnel Coordinator, are responsible for payroll, accounts payable/receivable, and budget/financial reporting. They also answer non-emergency telephones and greet the public in the absence of the front desk secretary. Personnel records, insurance, and all human resource functions are the responsibility of the Personnel Coordinator who is also the Secretary to the Board of Commissioners. Support is provided to the Administrative team by the division.

Highlights of 2000

New Finance System Implemented

The accounting technicians faced a challenging year learning and implementing a brand-new finance system. This was necessary because the old program was not Y2K-compliant. “We survived” is their answer to what the significant events of the year were. They are to be congratulated for the smooth transition. 

New Personnel On Board

Joe Eliason, Wendy Chinn and Brenda Pfander started their professional firefighting careers with Federal Way on April 10. Eliason had been a resident firefighter since 1995. All have become valued members of the department.

Another addition to the department was Joe Ganem, who took on the Network Administrator position in May. Technology has become such an integral part of our daily lives and the fire department is no exception, so it was necessary that we have someone to manage the NT-based network and related technologies. 

Food and Toy Drive Meets with Success

The 2000 Food and Toy Drive was another resounding success and turned out to be bigger and better than ever. Volunteers from several community service groups, businesses and fire department personnel delivered food, toys and poinsettias to more than 100 families, including 365 children, to brighten their holiday season.

Safety Committee Continues Work

One of the essential and ongoing committees in the department is the Safety Committee.  Members meet at a different fire station every other month to discuss safety-related items, determine whether injuries and accidents that occur are preventable or not, find ways to prevent accidents and injuries in the future, and do a safety tour of the station. Members and a new chair are elected each year. The committee is made up of five members from the Union, two non-contract personnel, and three from Administration.

OPERATIONS: Deputy Chief Al Church


In 2000, Federal Way firefighters responded to 9,471 emergency incidents, an increase of 6.7% over 1999 alarm totals. Responses for 2000 are further broken down as follows:

Fire and other types of responses: 2,278 24.1%

Emergency Medical Service Responses: 7,193 75.9%

Total Federal Way Fire Responses: 9,471 100%



        FIRE LINKS                                          EMS/SAFETY LINKS



We issue various types of permits in an effort to improve the fire and life safety of the people that live and work in Federal Way. This section describes the different types of permits and how to get one. For more information please call the phone number listed below, or contact us.

Photo Album


Where do I call to get CPR classes?
Call the CPR Information Line at (253)529-7203 for class information.

What do I do with old gasoline/oil/paint that I don't want?
In King County, call Househo
ld Hazardous Waste at (206)296-4692 and in Pierce County, call 1-800-287-6429.

USING 9-1-1

9-1-1 is the telephone number to dial when you need help in an emergency. By dialing 9-1-1, you have access to fire, police, medical aid, rescue, and Poison Control.