November 21, 2013
New: Nov. 21, 11:56 a.m.
Sammamish will stay with Eastside Fire and Rescue, provided it gets a funding change and at least a few changes to the governance model.
The City Council voted unanimously Nov. 12 to accept a proposed change to the funding model, which looks to save Sammamish more than $411,000 per year.
The council also voted on a series of changes it would like to see made to the agreement that underpins the partnership. Read more
November 8, 2013
New: Nov. 8, 11:47 a.m.
If there’s smoke rising from behind the Sammamish Library, it might just be nothing more than firefighter training.
Firefighters from Eastside Fire & Rescue will be conducting a series of drills for the next two months leading up to a big burn of the Kellman mansion, the large pink house off 228th Avenue near City Hall and the library.
“We’re trying to get as much out of this building as we possibly can,” said Josie Williams, EFR spokeswoman. Read more
November 6, 2013
New: Nov. 6, 11:18 a.m.
With a little bit of showmanship, City Manager Ben Yazici recommended that Sammamish stay in Eastside Fire & Rescue, citing a last-second breakthrough in negotiations.
But first, Yazici teased the crowd of about 70 who had stayed through hours of other city business. Read more
November 5, 2013
New: Nov. 5, 3:10 p.m.
Eastside Fire & Rescue’s firefighter’s union has offered to pay for a mediator to work out problems between Sammamish and Issaquah.
The two cities have been at loggerheads over the funding model for the regional fire agency. For years, Sammamish has been complaining that the current model ends up with Sammamish subsidizing fire services for other partners, in particular Issaquah. Read more
October 30, 2013
During the Oct. 14 City Council meeting, Creekside Elementary School Principal Robin Earl spoke about her dealings with the firefighters from Eastside Fire & Rescue.
The city is considering leaving the fire agency to start its own, community-based fire department.
Earl, a Sammamish resident, explained how the firefighters are a presence in her school and in the area, and how she finds them to be members of the community.
Her comments didn’t sit well with Mayor Tom Odell. Odell said she certainly has her First Amendment rights, but that she was going too far by noting her role as a school principal.
“She was weaving her personal rights in with the school,” Odell said. Read more
October 20, 2013
New: Oct. 20, 1:14 p.m.
Sammamish is pressing forward with discussions about leaving Eastside Fire & Rescue and forming its own fire department.
At its Oct. 14 meeting, the City Council heard a consultant’s report about the costs of starting a fire department, a report from City Manager Ben Yazici giving the historical context for the process, and the recommendations of an advisory board studying the issue.
Sammamish has been considering leaving the regional fire agency – comprised of the cities of Sammamish, Issaquah, North Bend, along with Fire Districts 10 and 38 – largely due to funding. The current funding model has Sammamish effectively subsidizing fire service in Issaquah and North Bend, said Mayor Tom Odell.
“We, frankly, think that we are being taken to the cleaners,” he said. Read more
August 20, 2013
New: Aug. 20, 12:53 p.m.
Come late September, the Eastside Fire & Rescue board will be right back where it was in June — having to decide on a funding model that meets the needs of all members.
The difference will be that in eight weeks the group will have agreed on two things: what value they need to offer to retain members and how they maintain a stable organization. The process won’t be easy, said facilitator Neville Wallace, with Online Business Systems of Portland. Read more
July 21, 2013
New: July 21, 11:16 a.m.
After years of simmering tensions with Eastside Fire & Rescue, the city of Sammamish commissioned a study to find the cost of starting its own fire department.
The answer: about $6 million. In 2013, Sammamish paid $6.04 million to get fire service from EFR.
City Council members were quick to point out during a July 15 meeting that there may be less expensive ways to run their own department, including relocating and possibly shrinking a fire station. Read more
June 21, 2013
New: June 21, 2 p.m.
The Eastside Fire & Rescue board isn’t really known for unanimous decisions when discussing the partners’ funding model. But at a June 13 regular meeting, they all agreed it was time to look at hiring an independent facilitator.
EFR is a consortium of Sammamish, Issaquah, North Bend and Fire Districts 10 and 38, but Sammamish officials have called the funding model unfair because it bases payments on the value of property rather than the number of service calls. Read more
June 9, 2013
For many years Eastside Fire and Rescue fighters have worked to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association as part of a bigger effort nationwide put on by the International Association of Fire Fighters, according to a press release from Eastside Fire Fighters. This year firefighters will be holding the annual “Fill the Boot” fundraiser on June 14.
Firefighters will be collecting donations at intersections in North Bend, Sammamish and Issaquah. The contributions of the fire fighters also go toward MDA’s summer camps for children, professional and public health education, and other programs, the press release stated.