February 17, 2015
State auditors made a finding of significant deficiency after completing a study of the record-keeping of Eastside Fire & Rescue.
Released by the state Feb. 2, the audit covered the timeframe between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2013.
Fire Chief Lee Soptich said auditors took exception to how the fire district kept track of major purchases, such as emergency fire vehicles.
February 10, 2015
Although offered a two-year extension of his contract, Eastside Fire & Rescue Chief Lee Soptich has announced his plans to step down from the leadership of the local fire and rescue squad in January 2016.
Soptich, 58, said he made his announcement to the EFR regional board of directors in December and again last month.
Soptich has been EFR chief since 1995.
December 31, 2014
The city’s first homicide might have been the biggest story of the year about to end, but there were several issues that got the attention of residents and city leaders as well.
Tree preservation became a hot topic and the ongoing construction of the East Lake Sammamish Trail continued to be a big source of contention for many residents living near the trail.
In no particular order, here are our choices for the 10 biggest local news stories of 2014.
September 11, 2014
NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 11, 2014
Five firefighters have been hired by Eastside Fire & Rescue to fill vacancies that exist or will happen by year’s end.
“This bunch is quite diverse, very talented and certainly motivated, so we could not be happier,” Fire Chief Lee Soptich said in a news release.
The five include a couple of military veterans, an experienced firefighter from a neighboring district, a former EFR volunteer and an owner of her own white-water rafting company.
August 7, 2014
New: Aug. 7, 10:33 a.m.
A move to make Eastside Fire & Rescue into a nonprofit is proceeding, but the Sammamish City Council wants some answers before they’ll support the effort.
Sammamish is a member of the consortium, including Issaquah, North Bend and Fire Districts 10 and 38, which provides fire and emergency services to the area. Read more
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
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.
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
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
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