All About Us

South Whatcom Fire Authority is a municipal corporation that is formed under the Revised Code of Washington Title 52. The Fire Authority is its own political entity that has the authority to set boundaries for the purposes of taxing property owners for fire protection services. As a political entity the Fire Authority has its own elected officials known as “Fire Commissioners.” The Fire Commissioners are elected by the voters within the boundaries of the Fire Authority to serve on the governing board for the Fire Authority for six year terms. These terms are staggered so one to two positions comes up for election every two years. The governing board for SWFA is known as the “Board of Fire Commissioners” or simply the “Board.” The Board sets the organizational vision and culture; determines taxing levels; the level of services to be provided; and all other related issues regarding governance of the Fire Authority.

Our Commissioners and Administrative Staff


Dave Ralston, Fire Chief 

Rod Topel, Assistant Chief 









Stefen Paige, Commissioner Sudden Valley

Jim Peeples, Commissioner Geneva

Robert Ekdahl, Commissioner Yew St. Rd.

Brian Martin, Commissioner Chuckanut

James Willson, Commissioner Lake Samish


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