Nov. 2 election to decide Bainbridge fire spot

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



Andrea Chymiy

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

My educational background includes a B.S. in Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt University and an M.D. and M.P.H. (in Epidemiology) from Tulane University.

After completing my family medicine training at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle I worked as a family physician at the Doctors Clinic in Poulsbo for 12 years. Since 2015 I have been a co-owner and family physician at Pacifica Medicine & Wellness in Poulsbo.

My volunteer background includes serving as a Bainbridge Prepares Team Lead and as the coordinator of the Bainbridge Island Medical Reserve Corps since 2018. I have volunteered at Kitsap and COBI COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites since spring of 2020. I have served as an Empact Northwest USAR Team Physician since 2020 and as a CERT volunteer since 2017.

This would be my first elected position.

Top 3-5 concerns why you are running?

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of coordination between COBI, BIFD, community organizations (like Bainbridge Prepares, BI Senior Center, Rotary) and local businesses. As a fire commissioner, I would encourage BIFD to continue and deepen its involvement and support for community education and health and wellness services, including CPR and Stop the Bleed courses, COVID testing and vaccination sites, and more.

Providing ongoing and increasing support for BIFD fire safety and wildfire mitigation education should be a priority. The effect of climate change on our region means that living on an island no longer means that wildfires won’t affect us. Ensuring that community members have the knowledge they need to help protect themselves and their neighbors is essential.

Infrastructure issues that involve BIFD, like extension of water mains to more island communities and updating building codes, require a long-term outlook and productive interaction between BIFD, COBI and the community. As a fire commissioner, I would encourage ongoing and improved communication between the city, fire department and island communities to help ensure that growth and improvements in island infrastructure are based on solid science and fiscal responsibility.

Why vote for you rather than your opponent?

My opponent is also a well-qualified candidate, and I appreciate his willingness to serve. As the co-owner of a thriving medical practice, I am well aware of the importance of balancing budgets and thoughtful growth. As a community volunteer, I have been extensively involved in building coalitions, planning and implementing measures to meet the health and safety needs of the Bainbridge community. As a practicing physician, I am familiar with the medical issues served by almost 80% of 911 calls to BIFD. I look forward to bringing this expertise to the Bainbridge Island Fire Department Board of Commissioners.

Robert S. Peterson

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

Growing up, I can remember having been drawn to the fire service. I followed my dad and my brother who were highly involved in the volunteer fire department in our community. I’m from a small town, not unlike Bainbridge Island. As that area grew so did the needs of the community. Bainbridge Island is no longer that small volunteer department but rather a complex full-service organization.

Education/Degrees: Natural Science; Social Science; Fire Science. Completed work for Fire Administration add-on.

Work: 35 years in the fire service; nine years fire chief (two departments;) 13 years deputy chief, operations and fire prevention. Worked directly with fire commissions and city councils.

Political experience: 11 years as an elected utility commissioner. I am currently a small business owner.

Now: As an elected fire commissioner my primary responsibility is to work with the other members of the board to develop policies that serve the life and property safety needs of the Bainbridge Island community. As a fire professional at the highest level, I had the opportunity and responsibility for virtually every facet of the operation for which I served.

I worked for 30 years in budget development and control; 23 years in human resource management; five years specializing in fire prevention and 10 years in training. I worked in four separate fire service organizations each with their own challenges. I have enjoyed broad perspectives from the point of view of managing an organization and working almost daily with elected fire commissioners.

I am running for Fire Commissioner to continue my commitment to public service. The Bainbridge Island fire department is, from the measures that I know, a well run and effective organization. The commission is committed to running an efficient organization and have succeeded in that endeavor.

Top 3-5 concerns why you are running?

• Water supply: The island has a water supply for fire suppression that has not grown as the community has grown. Through the use of water tenders, the areas without fire hydrants can be serviced, to a degree.

• Staffing: while the number of citizen volunteers has decreased here and other communities the need for trained firefighters is seldom met, both volunteers and career firefighters.

• Infrastructure and equipment: fire apparatus and related equipment cost a fortune. Serious planning must be in place to provide for these needs.

• Budgeting: are the citizens of the fire district getting the “bang for the buck” they are paying for through their tax bill?

Why vote for you rather than your opponent?

I have dedicated my adult life to public service. I am a veteran, and I have the training, education and experience to effectively serve the citizens of this district. Being a good fire commissioner takes knowledge of the issues, the organization and the mission statement that guides it. I believe I am better prepared to serve based on my experience in the full spectrum of fire service issues. I am a good fit for this fire department and would like the opportunity to serve.

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