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Spokane County SPOKANE VALLEY Fire Commissioner Position No. 1

6-year term; No salary. A Fire District is responsible for fire response and containment and for emergency medical services. The commission sets the general policies of the district, which are implemented by the hired professional fire chief and fire district personnel. One of commission's main duties is the adoption of the district's budget and proposal of any fire levies to be placed on the ballot to the people. The commission sets policies and approves all spending via the budget, whether for operations or capital items or public facility maintenance and improvements. The council also sets salaries for district employees.

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  • Candidate picture

    Patrick W. Burch

  • Candidate picture

    Bradley Mertens

Biographical Information

Why did you decide to run for this position?

What unique qualities do you bring to this job?

What do you think are the most important environmental issues your county will face due to changing climate?

What other issues face your fire district?

How do you intend to find a solution to your most urgent issues?

What part should your district play in your area’s environmental health?

Phone (509) 999-7152
Town where you live Veradale, WA
Experience (300 characters max) I have been serving as the Position 1 Fire Commissioner after being retained in November of 2017 and after being appointed to the position July 2016. I was also elected by the board of fire commissioners to serve as board chair during 2018 & 2019.
I was honored to be retained by the voters to the Spokane Valley Fire Department Board of Fire Commissioners in November of 2017. I want to continue to make sure the department is fiscally responsible with our tax dollars and continue maintaining and improving the services the Spokane Valley Fire Department provides.
An MBA from WSU, and my employment with The Boeing Company. I developed lean management skills, and as a financial controller I was responsible for large program budgets.

Currently I am the co-owner and business manager of Neurotherapy Northwest, a mental health practice, which has operated successfully for the past 13 years in Spokane Valley.
Increased fire danger due to dry conditions.
Keeping up with the growth that we are experiencing in our district. This has an impact on cost and response times.
By working together as a department, with other agencies who share common issues, and input from our citizens.
The SVFD's focus on community risk reduction and fire prevention can help homeowners and business get education and information to help reduce risk around their properties.
Phone (240) 274-7267
Town where you live Spokane Valley
Experience (300 characters max) I have been a firefighter (Volunteer, Part-Time and Career) for 17 years. I have been a Paramedic across the country for 16 years. I have been serving communities directly with patient care and have been a supervisor ensuring the best care possible for the communities I served.
I have lived in the Spokane Valley most of my life. I was born and raised in the valley and after moving about the country with my wife, we are setting up roots to raise our daughter in the valley. I have always wanted to serve my community and with my experience in the emergency services field from across the country I feel I can bring a skill set and knowledge to help improve the service provided both internally and externally.
I have been a part of 6 different emergency services organizations. This experience allows for some new ideas to be offered for new problems or even streamlining old issues with ideas from other agencies. I strongly believe that a fire department has a tremendous resource, in using ideas from other departments to help create solutions. For the citizens of Spokane Valley Fire this would be getting the correct resources, with highly trained personnel rapidly to emergencies. Keeping in mind that the citizens deserve a board that will always ask questions to ensure their taxes are spent correctly and smartly.
With the county having an increased growth of new businesses and new people moving to the area there is a concern with increased traffic, thus more air pollution. I am not sure there is a 100% solution to fossil fuels because the manufacturing process for some the fuel and energy solutions do require the use of fossil fuels. I feel that as a whole America does try and control its emissions however; larger developing countries create more emissions than many nations combine.
The fire district faces an increase in calls from a growing population. There is always a question raised why taxes are so high. I feel the personnel who are the boots on the ground require more support from all angles to ensure the citizens are getting great care and service. I believe that the department may need a review of their priorities of spending money.
With questions on taxes, I feel there needs to be better education on how taxes are spent within the district. Everyone from the board down needs to be an advocate for sensible spending and treating the taxers money with respect. Personnel on the ground deserve great support from all parts of the department. They should be pushing the direction of new equipment and technologies to make their job safer and more efficient. With reviewing the expenditures of the department, I will ask the tough questions and ensure the money being spent will provide a better service or will help offset costs from other parts of a taxpayers living expenses.
I feel that there can be a better use of large district vehicles for emergencies. This idea needs to be investigated. With the population moving out into the urban interface there needs to be equipment and highly trained personnel available to response and a quick mitigation of problems. Personnel and equipment should be available to assist surrounding communities to decrease the effects of fires which cause poor air quality.