• COVID-19 Update April 3, 2020

    Currently we are still able to respond as normal to your requests for emergency services.  There has yet to occur any COVID related issues that decrease staffing levels or response ability here at SWFA.  We are continuing internal measures to maintain wellness of our responders, and our responders are equipped with all necessary personal protection equipment to protect them when they respond. 

    Yesterday, SWFA experienced a new first and held our first public meeting in a virtual online format that was also available for our public to attend and listen.  During this meeting, our Commissioners took further steps to ensure that our operational abilities have the capability of continuing should this pandemic emergency worsen.  They adopted a resolution declaring a state of emergency that allows for quick response actions should the need occur, a resolution that allows our continued ability to pay our bills and payroll should a normal commission meeting be unable to occur due to the pandemic, and they passed a resolution that allows them to sign their necessary public documents electronically which meets the Governor's orders for that all public meetings be held virtually.

    I truly believe that these next few weeks are still very important towards minimizing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  Please contribute to your community by following the Governor’s orders and requests as well as those from our State Department of Health that are put in place to slow the spread of the COVID 19 virus.  These actions are necessary to maintain essential services from being overwhelmed.  By flattening the curve, we can improve our outcome through this very stressful time for all.  I am placing a link to an article that I believe helps us all understand that these efforts have tangible results.  https://news.yahoo.com/flattening-the-curve-on-coronavirus-what-california-and-washington-can-teach-the-world-130405639.html

    I still encourage everyone to visit https://whatcomcovid.com/ where you will find information from the Whatcom Unified Command efforts as well as links to Centers of Disease Control, State Health Department and Whatcom County Health Department as well as other COVID 19 related proclamations and updates.

    These next weeks are very important in minimizing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  Please contribute to your community by following the Governor’s orders and requests.

    Rod Topel, Fire Chief South Whatcom Fire Authority

    Posted Apr 3, 2020, 11:11 AM by Rod Topel
  • Special Board Meeting of the South Whatcom Board of Fire Commissioners
    There will be a special board meeting held by the Board of Fire Commissioners of the South Whatcom Fire Authority (SWFA) to be held at 3:00 pm on Thursday, April 02, 2020.  By order of the Governor of the State of Washington, Jay Inslee, shall be in a virtual environment, and in-person meetings are now prohibited effective immediately.  

    The purpose of the Special Meeting shall be to hear testimony to the COVID 19 Virus emergency and consider resolutions declaring an Emergency for the South Whatcom Fire Authority, and matters necessary to respond to the COVID 19 public health emergency and, matters that allow for the continued operation of necessary and routine matters that support SWFA operations. 

    Public Comments can be entered at any time during the meeting in the "Q&A" section.  The comments will be reviewed and read to the commission and they will respond at their discretion.  These questions will become part of the public record.

    A Web Link to Access the Public Meeting Shall be Made Available to the General Public on Thursday, April 02, prior to the start of the public meeting.



    Posted Apr 2, 2020, 8:44 AM by Mitch Nolze
  • A Message from the Fire Chief

    I would like an opportunity to update you specifically to South Whatcom Fire Authority, their activities and their response during this COVID 19 pandemic.

    First, the orders and requests from our Governor and our State Department of Health are critical to slowing the spread of the COVID 19 virus.  We echo their requests for you to take this pandemic seriously and to practice good physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet, wash your hands frequently and routinely, and stay home as much as possible and definitely stay home if you are sick.  The events of the pandemic are stressing our County’s system, and we here at SWFA are having difficulty obtaining critical personal protective equipment for our personnel from our normal vendor channels and are relying on a unified response led by the County’s Unified Command to help us get the supplies we need to keep our first responders safe.

    I want to ensure our citizens that we will make every effort to maintain our ability to respond to your requests for emergency services.  There has yet to occur any COVID related issues which decrease staffing levels or response ability here at SWFA.  I have instructed our dedicated staff of responders to put in place measures to maintain their wellness in the stations and on responses, as well as implored them to conduct themselves away from work as I asked you all earlier, limit their travel to only essential purposes, maintain physical distances, and practice good and routine hygiene.

    Additionally, we have begun checking each responder for any early indication of illness with required temporal temperatures prior to them being allowed to stay within the building and reporting to shift.  Our decontamination practice within our facilities has increased frequencies, and we are having administrative staff work remotely at all possible opportunities.

    Today, Monday, March 23, I also secured our facilities and restricted all public access with the exception of our legal requirements to be open for our public Fire Commissioner meetings.  We will still be here to answer questions and provide directions, but we are imposing the six-foot barrier and will assist people outside of the facility first, prior to access.  We request that if you need medical response that you please contact 9-1-1 for a response to your location.  We will still provide medical care to any and all who request and need. 

    South Whatcom Fire Authority is just one component of our overall community response to COVID 19.  We will work with the County’s Unified Command response to support their efforts and continue to be here for all our citizens, and we ask you to do the same.  Be understanding that this emergency is now more than just a health care related emergency as it is reaching the foundational components that make our society function.  Please be respectful to all by not hoarding, and only purchase what is necessary for your family.  Be kind to others and respect their space, and be understanding that all our community is feeling anxiety to the situation and have compassion and empathy.  Understand and be patient with our governmental institutions and private entities that are working hard to make better outcomes as all resources are currently very limited.  Lastly, verify what you read or hear about the virus against credible health information as provided by credible institutions.  You may visit WhatcomCOVID.com where you will find information from Centers of Disease Control, State Health Department and Whatcom County Health Department as well as COVID 19 related proclamations and updates.

    Rod Topel, Fire Chief South Whatcom Fire Authority

    Posted Mar 23, 2020, 1:57 PM by Rod Topel
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