Our hearts are with our brothers & sisters in Gig Harbor, as well as the friends and family of Eliza.With much sorrow, we regret to share the unexpected passing of a dedicated member of our fire service family on July 26.
Eliza Hoover joined Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One in 2009. She was our first career female firefighter, first female paramedic, EMS Provider of the Year, Advanced Cardiac Life Support instructor, and EMT course coordinator. However, Eliza was much more than a Firefighter/Paramedic.
She loved snowboarding with her son, hiking, and spending time with her German Shepherds. She deeply loved her family, treated others with kindness, and was our friend. We will miss her greatly. ... See MoreSee Less
Congratulations Fred!! Thank you for your service to both the community and the Union!! Enjoy retirement!RETIREMENT: We bid farewell this morning to Firefighter Paramedic Fred Spencer as he completed his final shift with us. Fred, a member of recruit class 1994-1, started his career with Bellevue Fire on January 18 that year. He spent seven and a half years as a firefighter, assigned to Fire Station 3 for much of that time and gaining valuable experience as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) riding on Aid 3. During his tenure as a firefighter, Fred became an acting engineer and acting lieutenant, served as a Community CPR Instructor and Explorer Post Advisor, and was a member of both the Basic Life Support (BLS) Equipment and BLS Apparatus committees. His exceptional work as an EMT was recognized by then Fire Chief Peter Lucarelli for six Automated External Defibrillator utilizations in one year and saving patient's lives.
Fred's passion for the medical side of our profession led him to attend the renowned Harborview/UW Paramedic Training program in Seattle in 2001. After finishing the training and returning to Bellevue in the summer of 2002, Fred immediately took to sharing his newfound knowledge and skills, both internally and externally. This included the following:
• Competency Based Training (CBT) for our firefighter/EMTs: 2002-2018 • CBT instructor and later coordinator for Mercer Island Fire Department: 2004-2017 • Instructor for the UW Paramedic Training program (during which he created a Prescription Medication curriculum): 2002-2019 • Faculty member at the Harborview Medical Center Community Training Center/Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course Director/Instructor for new and experienced providers: 2004-2017
Fred also served as an instructor for our other medics in training we refer to as the "Paramedic Roadshow" as well as a member of the ALS equipment committee. He periodically filled the role of acting medical services officer (MSO) from 2014 to present and, believing one day he'd want to be in that position permanently, promoted to lieutenant in 2017. It did not take him long to realize his skillset was more valuable in caring for critically ill and injured patients; he resigned his position as a lieutenant and was reassigned to our paramedic program. Later that year, he and another of our paramedics were given the department’s Exceptional Duty Award in for a prolonged wilderness rescue involving a critically ill patient.
In recent months and towards the end of his career, Fred has taken an active role in our mobile COVID-19 vaccination effort, serving more shifts than any other department member to ensure our community was protected. He has taken great satisfaction in this work as it afforded him the opportunity to take a proactive approach in the health of our residents. In his own words, "The people I saw at these events were not gravely ill as many patients I had seen through my years as a medic; in fact, they were all eager and quite happy to receive the vaccine. I was even able to coax a few extremely needle-phobic kids into trusting me enough to administer this painless shot." We received a letter from one very grateful parent about Fred’s exceptional patience and ability to gain the trust of their child who had been severely anxious about getting the vaccine. That child is now able to enjoy summer activities and looks forward to school next year knowing he’s protected.
Fred, the compassion you showed every one of your patients and dedication to your profession are commendable. We can't thank you enough for your many exceptional contributions to our department, residents and to the entire region. We wish you many happy years in retirement, and many days to celebrate as you sit in the stands and cheer on your beloved alma mater football team, the California Golden Bears….that is, unless they are playing against the Huskies or Cougs. 😁 ... See MoreSee Less
Station 2 experienced a first today . . . Everyone working today at Fire Station 2 served either in the Navy or the Marines. It might have happened at one of the stations with a smaller crew, but the SEVEN firefighters assigned at 2’s today all served our country!! Thanks for your service!! ... See MoreSee Less
Congratulations Tim! Enjoy the free time!!!RETIREMENT: Firefighter Tim Andruss has donned his bunker gear for the last time as he has retired after 18 ½ years of service to our community. Before joining the Bellevue Fire Department in January 2003, Tim volunteered with Lacey Fire District 3 for a year and a half. Tim was assigned to Fire Station 6 for a short time early on his career and then spent 12 years at Station 5. His final four years have been at Station 8 in the Lakemont area, and it was there he took on the extra role of being our department Map Specialist. This role brought him a great deal of satisfaction as he was able to formalize and streamline the process.
In 2005, Tim volunteered at an annual event our department hosts each February to recognize the contributions of an incredible group of seniors who volunteer their time helping others in the community throughout the year. The following year, Tim took over as the main organizer of the event, and continued doing so for the next 14 years. Sadly, due to the pandemic, the Senior Appreciation Luncheon has been canceled the past two years. Tim is very hopeful it will resume in 2022, and he has expressed deep gratitude for all members of the department who donated their time each year to make this a memorable event for the seniors being honored.
Another if Tim’s talents he lent at each of his assignments was his green thumb. He believed that flowers and fresh vegetables made the stations feel even more like the second home we go to each shift. Tim is grateful for what he describes as the “opportunity of a lifetime” - being able to serve the public alongside his Bellevue Fire Department coworkers. Tim, we are also grateful for your contributions and wish you many happy years of retired life! ... See MoreSee Less
Congratulations Dave!! Enjoy retirement!!RETIREMENT: We bid farewell yesterday to Firefighter Engineer Dave Kast who served our community for the past 32 ½ years. Before joining the Bellevue Fire Department in 1989, Dave gained some experience as a volunteer firefighter in Kirkland. After serving with us for five years, Dave was promoted to firefighter engineer in 1994 and was assigned to the newly opened Fire Station 8 in the Lakemont area. In this assignment, he also served as a technician to maintain and repair our inventory of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), ensuring the safety of our firefighters who rely on them to provide breathable air. Dave was later assigned to our flagship downtown Fire Station 1 and spent 18 years there. His officers valued his extensive knowledge of the complicated fire alarm panels and smoke control systems found in our many high-rise buildings. Dave finished his career by going back to Station 8, again serving as an SCBA tech.
Considered a top notch firefighter engineer, Dave was sought out by other engineers and those in training to answer questions about apparatus, hydraulics and equipment. He was a senior member of our Department Driving Instructor program. Dave also acquired his red card certification in 1994 which allowed him to deploy to multiple wildland fires in the region. In addition to working on several fire lines, he served as a radio operator for a Type 2 team. He was part of the Washington State Task Force team and deployed with them to the Oso landslide disaster as well as to Georgia after a hurricane. One of the things Dave is most proud of is the time he served as an advisor for our Bellevue Fire Explorers Post 311 program, mentoring future generations of firefighters. At least 10 of his students in that program have gone on to achieve their dream careers.
Dave, we wish you the best in your well-deserved retirement and thank you for your many contributions to our department and community. ... See MoreSee Less