WFD volunteer program in trouble?
I write this letter in an attempt to convey my thoughts and fear in regards to the consolidation of the Camas and Washougal fire departments.
I write this letter as a long standing volunteer.
In recent months, we have seen the Washougal Fire Department be subjected to dispersing Washougal career staff to the Camas stations, and Camas personnel staff to the Washougal stations. This event alone has disrupted the continuity between volunteers and career staff, and could have a devastating outcome to the volunteer department.
With no fault to the Camas personnel, they are unaware of day-to-day operations and the roles and responsibilities of the volunteers. The volunteers have been in existence for over 80 years and have been an important and vital organization with community service as their forefront.
The following are examples of some of the community services the Washougal volunteers perform:
Fire and life safety: Structure fires, wildland fires and rescues.
Medical services: Basic life services and standby medical personnel for football games.
Public education: CPR classes, Smokey Bear program, fire safety education in schools, at the station and during public events.
Public relations: Special events within our community, college scholarships, and sponsor/donate to organizations within our community including baseball and softball teams, community activities, purchase smoke detectors and fire/medical equipment and host the annual Turkey Carnival.