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Posted on Apr 30, 2015

Fire district updates its plan for future growth

Grant County Fire District No. 3 is starting the process to update its strategic plan, a plan that will lay the foundation for how the district will meet the growing demand for emergency services in the Quincy Valley.
“The Quincy Valley has seen a lot of changes and there are more to come,” said Chief Don Fortier. “We want our community to know that we have a plan in place to be ready to respond when you need us.”
A strategic plan will provide an overview of fire district operations for the next seven years, as well as capital needs, such as equipment, apparatus and facilities. The goal is to help Fire District No. 3 focus limited resources to provide the highest level of emergency service to families and businesses in the Quincy Valley, according to a press release from the fire district.
The fire district provides fire and life safety services to about 16,000 people over 500 square miles in Central Washington, including the communities of Quincy, Winchester, Low Gap, George, Sunland Estates, Trinidad and Crescent Bar.
About 80 volunteer and seven career firefighters responded to 699 emergency calls in 2014, 351 of which were for emergency medical service, according to the district.
The last strategic plan completed by the fire district was adopted in 2007. Since that time, the fire district finished construction on a fire station in George, replaced emergency apparatus, and trained personnel in hazardous materials response. It also introduced a Resident Firefighter program and added more personnel during daytime hours, which has reduced emergency response times.
The last strategic plan called for the fire district to increase training standards for its volunteer program. Volunteer firefighters now earn Firefighter I status, which is a national accreditation, and train in Basic Life Support for emergency medical care. Meeting these strategic plan goals has resulted in an increase in volunteer participation for the fire district, according to the press release.
The first step of the new strategic plan update is to develop a workgroup of fire district personnel, who will gather data and information to support the development of the plan. A Community Advisory Board will begin meeting in September to review this information, provide feedback and input into goals and strategies for the fire district moving forward.
The fire district will invite representatives from the City of Quincy and several community businesses and organizations, as well as people from the outlying areas of George, Sunland Estates and Crescent Bar, to serve on the committee.
The draft plan is expected to be presented to the Community Advisory Board in mid-November.
A final draft will be shared with the community at a public meeting and then adopted by the fire district’s board of fire commissioners in late 2015 or early 2016, according to the press release.


— By Jill FitzSimmons,