Correction

May 13, 2015

The story “Eastside Fire & Rescue may seek status as a nonprofit,” in the May 6 edition of Sammamish Review, incorrectly stated with whom EFR is negotiating its collective bargaining agreement. EFR’s union is negotiating with EFR leadership.

Eastside Fire & Rescue may seek status as a nonprofit

May 5, 2015

Though it may not happen soon, Eastside Fire & Rescue is looking to become the first official nonprofit emergency service entity in Washington.

“Essentially, we’re a large umbrella group,” Deputy Chief Bud Backer said.

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Gas leak under control, East Lake Sammamish Parkway partially reopened

April 28, 2015

NEW — 1:43 p.m. April, 28, 2015

One lane of East Lake Sammamish Parkway is open after the roadway was closed for several hours this morning following a natural gas leak in the area of Northeast 49th Place and the parkway.

Puget Sound Energy crews had sealed the leak by about noon, Tim Larson, Sammamish communications coordinator, said in a press release.

The parkway had been completely closed north of Inglewood Hill Road. By noon, traffic was getting through in both directions as north and southbound drivers took turns using the one open lane with the help of flaggers.

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Homes evacuated, part of East Lake Sammamish Parkway closed due to gas leak

April 28, 2015

NEW — 10:34 a.m. April 28, 2015

A natural gas leak in the area of Northeast 49th Place and East Lake Sammamish Parkway has caused the evacuation of an unknown number of homes and the closure of East Lake Sammamish Parkway north of Inglewood Hill Road.

A private contractor working on a new home accidently punctured a gas main, according to the city of Sammamish.

Sammamish Police tweeted at about 10:20 a.m. that the street would reopen in about an hour.

The first emergency unit was sent to the area at 9:03 a.m., Eastside Fire & Rescue headquarters administration assistant Jay Hart said.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue promotes several employees

March 10, 2015

Amid an inspiring Eastside Pipes and Drums opening, followed by a prayer offered by EFR Chaplain Mike Ryan, and the taking of the Oath of Office led by Deputy Chief Greg Tryon, well-wishers honored several new supervisors.

By Jon Bromberg Jordan Simmonds, Justin Kiske and Jamee Mahoney are all smiles after being called ‘a new generation of leaders’ at a celebration for their recent promotions in Eastside Fire & Rescue.

By Jon Bromberg
Jordan Simmonds, Justin Kiske and Jamee Mahoney are all smiles after being called ‘a new generation of leaders’ at a celebration for their recent promotions in Eastside Fire & Rescue.

In what Fire Chief Lee Soptich cited as “a new generation of leaders” three EFR employees were recognized for recent appointments in the agency.

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State audit finds fault with EFR books

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.

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Lee Soptich to step down as Eastside Fire & Rescue chief

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.

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City’s first murder among most notable 2014 news

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.

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New firefighters join EFR

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.

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EFR on the road to becoming a nonprofit

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

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