Firefighters bring career perspectives to Beaver Lake

June 22, 2014

New: June 22, 10:14 a.m.

If Chris Tarkir hadn’t been tenacious, he likely never would have landed what he calls his “dream job” with Eastside Fire & Rescue.
“It’s about believing in yourself, and probably the biggest characteristic a person has to have is that you can’t take no for an answer,” Tarkir told a group of students during a June 5 visit to Beaver Lake Middle School’s !MPACT after-school program.
Four of the Issaquah School District’s five middle schools offer !MPACT as a safe haven for students with working parents. The program generally runs until 6 p.m. on weekdays, and costs between $95 and $230 a month depending on how often a child attends. Read more

EFR imposes seasonal burn moratorium

June 16, 2014

Eastside Fire & Rescue begins the annual burning moratorium on June 15.  Anyone living within the boundaries of EFR needs to be aware of these guidelines:

Cooking and recreational burning, permit required (no-fee permit)

  • Not subject to the seasonal burn ban moratorium.
  • Cooking and recreational fires burning wood shall use only dry, seasoned wood.
  • Propane, natural gas and charcoal fires do not require a burn permit.

Read more

EFR agreement staying in place

May 13, 2014

New: May 13, 2:43 p.m.

Councilwoman Nancy Whitten raised the idea of re-opening parts of the Eastside Fire & Rescue agreement, but none of the other Sammamish City Council members were interested.
The agency is in the midst of becoming a nonprofit organization, which would allow some administrative changes that will not affect service to residents. Read more

EFR reduces turnout time

April 25, 2014

New: April 25, 1:16 p.m.

Units from Eastside Fire & Rescue have some of the best turnout times in the area, according to Laura Philpot, Sammamish’s assistant city manager.

During an April 14 presentation to the City Council, Philpot gave an overview of fire services in Sammamish.

She showed a graphic highlighting the turnout times from various fire stations around King County, and showed that EFR stations are consistently among the top. Read more

Sammamish firefighter climbs to honor her sister

March 16, 2014

New: March 16, 3:41 p.m.

Emily Harig stood out in the crowd of firefighters and volunteers at the Big Climb March 9 in Seattle. She was the firefighter wearing the pink helmet that read, “Climbing for Julia.”

The Sammamish woman, 21, ran up 1,316 stairs in Seattle’s Columbia Tower during the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

“I do the climb for my twin sister, Julia, who died from leukemia eight and a half months ago,” Harig said.

Emily Harig dons a pink firefighter helmet in honor of her sister before the 2013 stair climb.  Contributed photo

Emily Harig dons a pink firefighter helmet in honor of her sister before the 2013 stair climb. Contributed photo

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EFR agreement finalized

January 24, 2014

New: Jan. 24, 11:56 a.m.

It’s finally over. After more than two years of negotiations, an agreement is in place to preserve Eastside Fire & Rescue for at least another seven years.

On a 5-2 vote, the Sammamish City Council approved the new agreement Jan. 21, but not before dissenting council members Tom Odell and Kathleen Huckabay admonished the firefighters’ union. Read more

Sammamish City Council continues discussion of EFR contract

January 18, 2014

New: Jan. 18, 12:14 p.m.

Although approval on a new agreement for Eastside Fire & Rescue seems assured, two members of the Sammamish City Council raised concerns during a Jan. 14 council meeting.

The city has been negotiating with the other members of EFR for several months. The main issue involves a funding formula, which Sammamish officials say caused the city to subsidize fire service for other members. Read more

EFR agreement nearing completion

January 15, 2014

New: Jan. 15, 10:17 a.m.

On Jan. 7, Sammamish began what could be the end game of its drawn-out negotiations with other members of Eastside Fire and Rescue.

While some city council members advocated making a few last-second changes, others were quick to discourage them.

After years of complaints and months of intense discussions and brinksmanship, Sammamish secured a new funding model for the organization. The old model resulted in Sammamish subsidizing fire coverage for other members of EFR, city leaders complained. Read more

Kellman house burns

January 13, 2014

Updated: Jan. 14, 4:52 p.m.

Firefighters from Eastside Fire & Rescue burned down the Kellman house (the old pink mansion near City Hall and the library) as part of a training exercise Jan. 13. The burn was  done so firefighters can get experience fighting a house fire in a somewhat controlled environment.

After the burn, the site will be cleaned up and the location will become home to the Sammamish Community Center, expected to open in 2015.

Deal to save EFR nearly finished

December 18, 2013

New: Dec. 18, 12:24 p.m.

The Eastside Fire and Rescue Board did everything except sing “Auld Lang Syne” at its Dec. 12 meeting.

The board unanimously voted to accept the proposed funding model changes. That was followed with a unanimous vote to approve a revised EFR governing agreement. They even took a short break during the meeting to celebrate with glasses of sparkling cider and holiday cookies.

After months of vociferous disagreements over funding issues, the group joked and teased one another. Read more

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