FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[Conway, Wash.] During the October Fire Commissioners meeting, the Commission celebrated the five-year anniversary of the District Secretary, Stephanie Robbins. She maintains our financial records and is our public disclosure officer. Her command of the Districts administrative operations, financial record keeping, general support of our volunteer members and professional responsiveness to inquiries from the public are invaluable. She has become a critical resource of the Board to keep them informed, compliant, accountable and impartial in their governance oversight of the District. Stephanie’s fine work has resulted in successful completion of required and recurring State audits with no adverse findings. She led the implementation of a new general ledger and payroll system to bring the District into the latest technology and reporting capabilities. Her exceptional work and knowledge have made her a common resource for other fire districts to seek out her guidance and assistance. All three Commissioners expressed their gratitude to her efforts and results.
The Commission also recognized District Fire Chief Mike Ray, who was hired in 2017 as the Fire District’s first part time Fire Chief, in part on the recommendation of past Fire Chief, John VanPelt who served more than 40 years with the Fire District. Former Chief VanPelt established a rigorous search in 2017 to seat the District’s next Fire Chief. Mike Ray came through the rigorous and competitive process on top and became the District 3 Fire Chief on June 15, 2017. This was a significant change and no small decision for District 3 to hire a part-time paid Fire Chief. Previous Fire Chief’s in the 71 year history of the District were volunteers from the ranks of the firefighter members of the District. Two years later the Board of Commissioners look back with satisfaction of that process and outcome. Chairman Roger Heim expressed appreciation for the professionally managed operations under Chief Ray and the robust strategic planning he has guided in planning for the future of the District.
The three-person Fire Commission expressed their appreciation to all their volunteer firefighters as they reviewed the training hours and commitment to responding to emergency calls, at all hours of the day. Call volume and demand for their time continues to increase every month. Our dedicated volunteers respond 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, leaving their jobs and families to serve the Fire District.
Chairman Heim wishes to remind community members the Fire Commissioners meetings are open to the public. Meetings are usually held on the second Tuesday of each month, at District 3 Fire Station #2, 19746 E. Hickox Road. Meetings start at 7pm.
Skagit County Fire District 3 provides an emergency response to 5,400 people over 41 square miles. The district is bordered by the Snohomish-Skagit County line to the south; the Mount Vernon city limits to the north along the I-5 corridor; the Skagit River estuary to the west; and, east of the Conway School. Approximately 40 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians respond to an average of 450 calls a year. For more information, please visit www.skagitfire3.org.