At the meeting on the 22nd, there was a lot of support mentioned for our injured firefighter Wynn Loiland.

It was reported that he has been gaining ground on recovery and is progressing well in a physical therapy program.

I wish him the best on this difficult road.

 

Meanwhile, business continues at the fire district.

Almost every person at the meeting that spoke of the accident included some reference to information only available on this web site. Interestingly, the comments seem to indicate that many in the department are either being kept totally in a vacuum or are wholly in denial.

So while the ‘you do not need to respond’ letter was drafted by the fire chief indicates that it was all about Wynn and his recovery, he fails to mention that within the department this is not really the case.

From the beginning, I have asked if Deputy Chief Gordon Olson made an honest and accurate statement to the press, then why do we have a firefighter in the hospital. Facts continue to unfold that  D/C Olson was misinforming the public. And that the mis-leading information may have been deliberately put forth. After all, unless the information was checked or challenged, who would ever have known it was false?

The facts that are coming out clearly show the freeway incident response protocol, which is well documented, was not followed and the first department apparatus on the scene, Engine E-66 was not properly placed to protect the scene.

And that lack of following procedure was a direct cause leading to our injured fire fighter.

 

Three investigations, three conclusions?

 

Both the Washington State Patrol and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries are conducting extensive investigations into this incident. But the district is not satisfied with merely having public agencies investigate. Your chief has a backup plan.

Preparing for a major lawsuit, your hard earned tax dollars are now being spent to pay for a third investigative report. An Independent Investigation has been launched.

 

Preparing for the Lawsuit

This was not announced in a press release, or mentioned by the fire chief  to the board of commissioners. (Actually, the fire chief was again not present at the commissioners meeting, marking the second absence in as many meetings.)

Indeed, this use of tax money should have been an action originated by the board of commissioners. But that would have meant public awareness. Which is frowned upon by this administration as well as the board.

Instead, as a supplement to the last board of commissioners meeting of the year, Assistant Chief Ed Plumlee asked several administrative staff for department reports. It was in one of those reports that a department head made public, (and maybe some of the commissioners heard it from him for the first time also) that an Independent Investigation was ensuing.

 

Why an Independent Investigation?

There are two ongoing investigation being conducted. Because the incident was on I-5, the Washington State Patrol has jurisdiction.

Because it was a job related incident, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries get involved.

Not much more can be gained by taking your tax dollars and paying for another opinion, can it?

Unless the department is preparing for litigation.

It may already have been initiated, but this district is not talking.

Your fire chief has decided that spending money on unwarranted extra investigations is a good idea.Do you? Or do you think this is just another reason to question his abilities as a responsible and conscientious administrator?

 

Termination without cause

There are enough members on the board of commissioners that I have little question no matter how much ’cause’ may be available for terminating the chief contract, these commissioners will make sure it is worded to be ‘without cause’.

They will do everything possible to protect their friends retirement package that quietly voted for last year.

You see, even if these decisions by the chief culminate in releasing him from his contract, he still gets his $339,000 termination bonus and all earned benefits at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

Some more nice budget conscious management decisions from your board.

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