Fire chief report

by KEVIN O’BRIEN

Orcas Fire Chief

Total call volume for 2012 was 783 and for 2013 it was 879. To date for 2014 that number is at 459 – a 13.3 percent increase from last year.

On June 3, Orcas Fire and Rescue responded to an Eastsound restaurant for the report of a deck fire. Arriving personnel found the site of a small fire that was extinguished and was located on a railing of an exterior deck. The probable cause of the fire was determined to be an improperly discarded cigarette.

June 8: At approximately midnight on June 8, 25 Orcas Firefighters and 10 units responded to the View Haven neighborhood for the report of an explosion and fire in a home. Arriving responders found an approximate 1,700 square foot, wood frame home heavily involved in fire and immediately began fire suppression efforts.

The lone occupant of the home told responders that he was alerted to a loud “bang” and saw there was fire extending into his home originating from a vehicle parked in an adjacent carport. The man then exited his home uninjured.

OIFR and Lopez Fire and Rescue investigated the fire in coordination with the San Juan County Fire Marshal’s Office. The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental in nature originating in the vehicle parked in the carport.

OIFR assisted an adult male experiencing a significant cardiac episode on June 23. EMS personnel provided treatment including the administration of vital medication and cardiac shock therapy. The patient responded positively and was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bellingham.

OIFR responded to the report of an apartment fire on Lover’s Lane in Eastsound on June 25. Arriving personnel found a kitchen fire extinguished by the occupant and a neighbor utilizing fire extinguishers. The fire was investigated by OIFR in coordination with the San Juan County Fire Marshal’s Office. It was determined that the fire was accidental in nature and originated within the electrical components of the stove.

News and events

A group of OIFR officers attended “Incident Command Training,” which is a federally mandated  class. The training was held in Friday Harbor over the course of four days.

From June 16 through June 27, I attended the Executive Fire Officer’s Program at the National Fire Academy, which is a prominent, four-year, executive leadership program that includes applied research projects designed to improve emergency response capabilities.

On June 21, in partnership with Providence Regional Medical Center, we hosted a public injury prevention symposium with a focus on head injuries.