Seven new firefighters and one new Public Education Officer will be officially introduced at this week's Fire Commissioners meeting set for Thursday, July 18 at 4:00 p.m. at the department's Training and Maintenance Facility.
Most of the "new" faces are already familiar faces to department members, as six of the seven firefighters have been with the department as dispatchers or resident firefighters.
Dean Fuller, Patrick Heier, Jim Hugo, Mike Lawson, and Tony Parise are former dispatchers who have been with the department for several years. Anthony John had been a resident firefighter for four and a half years.
When the department transferred to a new communications center earlier this year, positions were eliminated, giving the dispatchers an opportunity to become firefighters. The five named above, plus a former dispatch supervisor, Gene Beasley, became firefighters. Beasley was injured in the spring academy, but is scheduled to attend the next academy in September.
Firefighter Robert Bryant and Public Education Officer Monica Colby have also taken their places among the department. This is Bryant's first firefighting job. Colby brings nearly four years of experience as a Public Education Officer. She was formerly with the Sandy City Fire Department near Salt Lake City, Utah.
"We are extremely proud of the newest members of our department," said Al Church, Fire Chief. "The contributions they will make will continue to strengthen the service we provide to the Federal Way community."
Already, the firefighters have distinguished themselves among the ranks. Tony Parise placed first in the academy, earning Class Valedictorian. Patrick Heier served as Class President as also earned the Most Improved award. Anthony John and Robert Bryant were named to the Chief's Company, a prestigious honor among firefighters, difficult to attain.
Monica Colby, who started on July 1, was one of the first fire educators in Utah to be recognized as a Public Fire and Life Safety Educator I and brings extensive experience in citizen emergency preparation and CPR training. She is excited to begin working with the residents in Federal Way to reduce the number of injuries and fires in the area.