by Jim Moffitt, President
At the August 4, 2022, Port Ludlow Village Council (PLVC) Board Meeting, the following reports were given:
Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue (PLF&R), East Jefferson County (EJFR), Chief Bret Black
Wildfire update: PLF&R and EJFR mobilized a task force sent to a Spokane area fire to help with containment efforts on August 3. The crew drove the entire night of August 3 and went right onto the fire line upon arrival. We have experienced three new fire incidents as of August 3. Currently there are 26 fires in Oregon and 15 in Washington State. There is one incident team committed and additional teams are on order for the western United States.
Q: Is the Spokane fire area forest, or grassland?
A: It is an urban interfaced area near homes and open space
Q: Do we loan out resources?
A: Yes, we loan out personnel and equipment. However, it is done so only if our base area (homeland) can be protected should an event happen.
Q: How many fire engines do we have?
A: Between PLF&R and EJFR there are nine stations—5 staffed stations and 4 volunteer stations. Typically, on task force requests from the state, one or two engines will be loaned only if backfill is available for the protection on our homeland area based on a reciprocal fill need.
Q: What is the current fire danger threat on the west side of the Cascades?
A: There is a warming trend coming. August and September will be hotter and dryer. Risk factors will be rising towards the end of August and in September.
PLF&R and EJFR Department consolidation/merger:
one year ago, PLF&R entered into an agreement for management of administrative and operations management from EJFR. It has proved to be such a helpful relationship that the fire commissioners and staff are aligned for a department consolidation. The service burden for both departments has increased and they field more than 6,000 calls per year. Pre-agreement, EJFR had a minimum staffing requirement of eight per day, and PLR&R two per day. Over the past year since the agreement, EJFR has raised their minimum staffing requirements to nine per day and PLF&R is now at three per day. This now allows station 33 (Port Ludlow) to be open much of the time. One big benefit to this agreement is that since January 1, 2022, station 33 has not had a single full closed shift. An effective response force is a national standard used to determine what it takes to put out a home fire and those numbers are 14 to 16 firefighters. Sixteen is ideal. Even with the combined staffing of twelve at both departments now, there is still a large shortage.
Q: Explain the role between career staff and volunteers?
A: Volunteers are particularly important to the department. There are approximately forty volunteers between both agencies. Those include volunteer positions as firefighters, EMS, and support volunteers such as water tender drivers. The first wave of any incident are the career staff, then the second wave consists of the volunteer staff for support efforts. Volunteers are pivotal and more are needed
Q: What are the qualifications to be a volunteer?
A: All volunteers are valuable. There are areas to support administrative efforts and community outreach. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer, email Chief Black at https://www.plfr.org/contact Find more information at plfr.org/copy-of-employment-opportunities, which provides information on the volunteer program.
Q: What is the goal of the department merger?
A: Maximize resources. Enhance safety and service to the communities and fire department staff. Improve workforce professional development to retain career staff. Improve financial resources to be sustainable.
Q: What needs to happen for the merger to take place?
A: Port Ludlow has already petitioned for the merger and EJFR agreed and ratified it. Port Ludlow submitted a resolution that was sent to the county for a ballot measure at the upcoming November ballot. Only Port Ludlow, District 3 residents will vote on the resolution. If a majority or those voting approve (51 percent or more), the merger will pass and become effective January 1, 2023
Q: What are the pros and cons of the proposed merger?
A: A public messaging plan is being developed that will supply objective documents, including resident outreach to answer any questions about the merger.
Q: What, if any, budget ramifications will this merger bring?
A: The merger will bring financial efficiencies to the department. Close to $350K per year in overhead savings will be seen with the merger. Due to postponed critical expenditures in equipment and facilities, a levy reconciliation will take place if the merger is approved. This means the current district boundaries for PLF&R and EJFR will be adjusted to be the same dollar levy amount. For sound fiscal management for a merged department to be sustainable, a levy rate increase will be requested sometime in the spring of 2023.
Q: What is the current area that PLF&R serves as District 3?
A: The boundaries extend on the North from Beaver Valley at Egg and I / Oak Bay Road just south of Sentinel Firs Road, Mats Mat, Port Ludlow, Paradise Bay, to Bridge Haven.
Port Ludlow Associates, Diana Smeland, President
Staffing: always a challenge and continues to be a priority for hiring, training, and retaining. OT2, phase 2 : Lot clearing has started. This should continue for the next 30 to 60 days. OWSI: acknowledged with an engineering excellence award for the new filtration plant facility. Fireside : Two Farm Fresh dinners are coming up. Spring Rain Farm on Friday, August 12 and Red Dog on Monday, August 29. Current information about the dinners can be found on the website and on Facebook. Golf Course : The course will be hosting two charity golf tournaments. The 10th annual Dove House August event is sold out. The Mitch Black Tournament will be held on September 18 .
Q: What will be the status of the trail near Mt. Wilder Court in OT-2 now that clearing is taking place for the new OT-2 phase home lots?
A: Once the clearing is completed, the trail will need to be moved and re-marked. Also, the Mt. Wilder Trail will be close to the Niblicks trail. It may be possible to connect those trails. Additional information will be available shortly.
Q: Any additional information on the expansion permit for the Marina?
A: The Corp of Engineers has assigned a case worker to the permit application. Hopefully, this will help move the process along. No word or timeline yet available on approval of the permit.
Jefferson County, Greg Brotherton, County Commissioner, District 3
Road maintenance is in full swing with chip sealing and repaving. The bridge in Quilcene is going to be replaced. The county is trying to focus on membership in volunteer working boards. Opportunities are available for residents in District 3 for the Public Infrastructure Board, and on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Jefferson County has other committees and board volunteer positions that are open. Further information on these and other positions may be obtained by emailing commissioner Brotherton at firstname.lastname@example.org. On a personal note, Commissioner Brotherton thanked all the Port Ludlow residents for their support during the primary election.
PLVC Committee Reports: Emergency Management – Bill Dean, Chair
Bill Dean and Pat Lohrey performed a complete update and renovation of the Block Captain orientation manual. This tool will be used by existing block captains for up-to-date information and training for newly joined block captains. The manual is available in an electronic version on the PLVC Website, Emergency Mgt Committee for anyone who wants to review or learn more about the block captain program.
The all-county picnic held by Jefferson County annually will be held this year on August 20 and 21. This will be the first time in three years that the picnic will be held in person. Several South Bay villages are planning events focusing on emergency preparedness on August 21.
The Great Washington Shake Out will occur on October 20, 2022 , at 10:20 a.m. Port Ludlow will be participating in this year’s Shake Out as we have done each year. More information will be provided by a presentation during the month of September.
Dave Jurca made a comment regarding the possibility of an Emergency Management eBlast going out to the Port Ludlow community stressing the need and opportunities for volunteering with our PLF&R department. Bill Dean will reach out to the JeffCo Public Information Officer to see what could be put together.
A final question was raised by Bill Dean—are you prepared? No time like the present to do an in-home assessment.
Volkswalk Update, Jane Holmes, Event Coordinator
Everything is on track. Volkswalk will take place on August 19, 20 and 21, 2022. Registration desk will be staffed by Volkswalk team members at the Bridge Deck located at the Beach Club. Three trails are included in this year’s event. 1. Teal Lake, Olympic Terrace, and the Niblicks Loop that has a 5K (about four miles) and a 10K option (about six miles). 2. The Timberton around the Bay trail which has a 5k and 10K option. 3. Anderson Lake State Park has both a 5K and a 10K option.
Maps, directions, and information will be provided at Bridge Deck upon registration. Event parking for the Timberton trail start will be at the Bay Club. For the Teal Lake trail start on Mt. Constance Way, Olympic Terrace Village. Porta potties will be available. This Volkswalk will have patches available for sale for those who may like to have a memento. PLVC Trails committee have been working to get the trails in great shape for this event. Signage for event parking will be available in the South Bay Villages in respect to the homeowners.
- Board Meeting: Thursday, September 1, 3:00 p.m., Zoom Video Conference Call
- Workshop Meeting: Tuesday, September 20, 3:00 p.m., Zoom Video Conference Call
- Get more info here: plvc.org/contact