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Rural fire districts work out payment plan, sign new agreement with City of Hoquiam

HOQUIAM, Wash. – Three fire districts that cover remote areas of Grays Harbor county have come to separate agreements with the City of Hoquiam to pay back debt and maintain ALS service.
The fire districts in Copalis Crossing, Humptulips, and Pacific Beach received letters this summer telling then that Hoquiam will only send out an ambulance for trauma-related injuries until their accounts were brought current.
City Administrator Brian Shay said this morning “Those issues have been resolved, and we adopted new contracts with district 8 and 16 last night. So we’re back to the original status quo of the city of Hoquiam providing the same fire and ambulance service that we have for many years with those districts.”
Commissioners from district 8, 16, and 17 have been working with Hoquiam officials to iron out a payment plan for thousands of dollars in back bills. The city council last night approved agreements with two of the three districts, Shay said district 17 is the only one that has not signed an agreement, and they’re expecting one soon.

Copalis Crossing Fire District appoints new Commissioner, signs ambulance agreement with Hoquiam

COPALIS CROSSING, Wash. – The fire district that covers Copalis Crossing in North Grays Harbor has signed a new contract with the city of Hoquiam for ambulance service, finalizing a deal to pay back-bills and maintain ALS service in the area.
Fire Commissioner Caroline Perry tells us the district appointed Rick Richers to the vacant commissioner’s seat this week, and with two passing levies; things are looking up for the volunteer fire department. Not a moment too soon either, they’ve suffered three break-ins and vandalism at one of their stations, and are still looking for volunteers, apply at their station 1617 Ocean Beach Rd, in Copalis Crossing.

Break in and vandalism prompt closure of fire hall in remote Grays Harbor county

HOQUIAM, Wash. – For the third time in about a year, a remote volunteer fire district has been broken into. The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department investigated the break in at Fire Station 82 off of Powell Road (Hoquiam) Monday afternoon.
Investigators say the thieves apparently used a vehicle to smash open a garage door and steal numerous lifesaving items including firefighter gear and breathing apparatus. Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate tells us that due to the amount of damage to their building, and the extent of the loss, Fire District 16 closed the station Monday and Tuesday. Fire Commissioner Caroline Perry tells us they have since made repairs to the door and lighting and have reopened the station.

The items that had been reported stolen include: tools, flashlights, bolt cutters, fire fighter gear to include helmets, boots, pants, gloves, and several sets of breathing apparatus’. 

Shumate said it should be noted that this district was broken into just over a year ago. The suspects in that case were eventually caught with the help of citizens. Anyone with information on this last burglary is asked to call the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department at 360-249-3711 or the dispatch center at 360-532-8765.

Fire District 16 in Copalis Crossing is accepting letters of interest for a vacant Fire Commissioners position. They will be reviewing them on the second Wednesday in November. The district covers Copalis Crossing and assists in the North beach area.

Copalis Crossing Fire District 16 irons out payment plan for service-stopping city debt

COPALIS CROSSING, Wash. – The fire district that covers Copalis Crossing has reached a deal with the City of Hoquiam to pay off back bills and restore ambulance service to the North Grays Harbor area.

Commissioners from district 16 met with Hoquiam officials and representatives from Senator Jim Hargrove’s office this week to iron out a payment plan for about $12-thousand owed. City Administrator Brian Shay tells us the arrangement should have them caught up within a year and a half. Shay commended the current leadership team of 16, and said that city staff are working on a new formal agreement to provide EMS service to the area.

Fire District 16 has two levies on the November ballot, one for EMS, and one for Fire.

Hoquiam cuts off non-trauma ambulance service to three rural areas

COPALIS CROSSING, Wash. – If you call for an ambulance in Northwest Grays Harbor county, you might not be injured enough for a ride into town anymore.
The fire districts that cover Copalis Crossing, Humptulips, and Pacific Beach received letters from the city of Hoquiam last month telling then that Hoquiam will only send out an ambulance for trauma-related injuries effective July first.
Hoquiam Mayor Jack Durney said this morning “We’ve been working with them, and it just got to a point where we have to get paid. If we get a call where we have to run to Pacific Beach, Copalis Crossing, or Taholah with an ambulance to help we have to bring in a couple of guys on overtime to protect Hoquiam.”
City Finance Director Mike Folkers told the Hoquiam city council at last night’s meeting that each of the three districts owed over 16-thousand, and have been unable to catch up on payments for over 3 years.