2 face off for BI fire commission post

  • Friday, October 15, 2021 1:30am
  • News

BAINBRIDGE FIRE COMMISSION

POSITION 5

Tim Carey

Education, work and political experience that qualifies you for the job?

BA, University of Puget Sound. Incumbent fire commissioner, BIFD. Industry experience in software, marine and real estate investment with multiple board memberships across industries. Community service with BIFD as both a volunteer first-responder and as Volunteer Association Treasurer.

Top 3-5 concerns why you are running?

I want to be re-elected to:

Continue BIFD’s strong tradition of volunteerism (https://www.bifd.org/volunteering).

Maintain fiscal responsibility, as a steward of public funds (https://www.bifd.org/financial-information).

Enhance and extend the vision set forth in BIFD’s Strategic Plan (https://www.bifd.org/strategic-plan).

Foster stronger community involvement (https://www.bifd.org/community-risk-reduction).

Why vote for you rather than your opponent?

Recognizing the depth of education, training and effort BIFD members have amassed in pursuit of life-safety expertise, including my own pursuit of such expertise, I find it important to respect the team’s high level of professionalism and competence in this area, while adding value from other areas in which my expertise may prove beneficial.

David Dunn

Education, work and political experience that qualifies you for the job?

Bachelor of Arts, Washington State University; Seattle Police Detective (2000-20). Bainbridge Island volunteer, resident and relief shift firefighter (1997-2009)

Top 3-5 concerns why you are running?

I am concerned about the level of staffing for our paramedic units. Bainbridge fire currently has the ability to staff a single paramedic unit at a time. When that unit is already on a call, the department requires assistance from Kingston, Poulsbo or even further. If someone is having a critical medical event, particularly on the south end of the island, they can have a wait of over 30 minutes for advanced care. Currently, medics from off-island respond to Bainbridge calls on a weekly basis. I would like to see the island add an additional paramedic to every shift, to allow Bainbridge to manage two simultaneous, critical medical calls.

Bainbridge fire is unable to muster a full response to a house fire without assistance from off-island fire departments. This is due to a volunteer force that has dwindled from 50 or so 20 years ago to under five active volunteers today. This lack of resources means that our professional firefighters could run out of water or resources before off-island help arrives. I would work to reinvigorate the volunteer system through stronger advertising, training that fits a working professional’s schedule, and creative volunteers such as medical call-only volunteers and water tanker- only drivers.

Bainbridge fire needs to implement a stronger mental health safety net for our paid and volunteer staff. PTSD is a very real problem affecting firefighters, and Bainbridge is no exception. I would push the department to implement annual evaluations and support for all department members.

I would like to see Bainbridge fire hire and staff an ambulance dedicated to transportation only. Hundreds of times per year our firefighters transport patients to the hospital for medical emergencies. This takes our limited fire resources off island and often leaves our stations unstaffed.

Why vote for you rather than your opponent?

Almost all of the issues that I have outlined above are in the fire department’s strategic plan and have been for many years. My opponent has been in his current position for six years, and he and the other commissioners have not implemented these necessary changes. Over the past six years, available staffing for the island has actually gotten worse. Most off-island medical transports used to be performed by a nonprofit ambulance association. The fire board and the ambulance board failed to work together and that led to the ambulance association dissolving. This means that now, all off-island transports are conducted by on-duty firefighters. A transport off-island takes that unit out of service for 3-4 hours and leaves up to 1/3 of the island with their closest fire station unstaffed.

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