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By Beka Compton
The Times 

CWWFD2 meeting update for March board meeting

Training planned for Incident Qualification Cards, no word on status of grant applications


March 18, 2021

WAITSBURG—Columbia-Walla Walla County Fire District 2 met for a regular meeting on March 10, 7 p.m.

Commissioners Jake Long, Deb Fortner, Bruce Abbey, Randy Charles, and Randy Farley were present. Eight other district members attended the meeting. Sabrina Smith of Waitsburg joined the meeting as a new volunteer.

District Clerk Anne Higgins gave a brief update on monthly expenses, reminding members that they needed to go to the Main Street Station to sign vouchers. Fortner also reminded department members that any package deliveries must be scheduled when someone is present at the station. Packages had been left by the door.

Commissioner Deb Fortner reported that there had been a total of three station workdays since the previous meeting, as the fire district continues mitigation efforts following a burst pipe. She shared that Walla Walla Electric donated lighting equipment for the upstairs portion of the station. Many boxes of station supplies, including the kitchen, have been put away, but she is still waiting for the contractor to complete related construction projects.

Interim chief Mohney reported that he had reached out to a local photographer, Scott Kirk, about volunteer ID cards. According to Mohney, Kirk does not create rigid ID cards (comparable to a driver’s license), as the district had initially envisioned; however, he could create a flexible option at the cost of $150, excluding the price of a badge carrier.

Fortner said that she had reached out to Walla Walla County Emergency Management (WWCEM), and her contact there said that volunteers would have to go through a State Patrol background check in order to obtain the ID cards through WWCEM.

Mohney reported that he had not heard anything from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regarding the 50/50 grant program, nor has he heard from FEMA about a grant that the district applied for earlier this year. Mohney spoke with Kate Hockersmith of Waitsburg, who agreed to help with grant writing. Fortner said that she would be forwarding grant information to one of the new volunteers interested in grant writing for the department.

Mohney shared that in-person training sessions were still unable to happen under current COVID-19 restrictions. There are planned Zoom-facilitated sessions and a field-day training in April for qualified members to get Red Cards. A Red Card also called an Incident Qualification Card, is an accepted interagency certification that a firefighter is qualified to do the required job when arriving on an incident issued by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.

The meeting adjourned shortly after a discussion on district-related training schedules.


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