The month of September was busier than usual at the Key Center firehouse. It was a time of elections, promotions and Labor Day commotion. Along with his routine duties, Fire Chief Eric Livingood Nelsen helped wage a campaign to lift the lid on a levy and at the same time was in the middle of filling staff vacancies.
The appeal for the levy lid lift was approved by voters. Responding before the certification date, Christina Bosch, administrative assistant at Station 2, said, “I think we can feel pretty confident that this levy lid lift is going to pass…This shows that we really do have the support of our citizens out here and they want what’s best for our community.”
According to unofficial election results from the Pierce County Auditor’s Office in mid-September, the levy was passed by a vote of 52.77 percent out of the 4,303 votes cast. The results are not official until they are certified.
The hiring process, which occurred after extensive search and testing procedures were met, also kept Chief Nelsen busy. He was pleased to announce that two candidates within the force stepped up to meet the qualifications. Paul Bosch was promoted to division chief, in charge of training and technical services, and Hal Wolverton was promoted to shift captain. He is an EMT/firefighter in charge of water rescue and, with the promotion, now inherits all the duties of shift captain. Nelsen asked the wives to pin the new badges on the officers. He said that the wives are very important support staff for a most demanding job.
The Labor Day holiday put a few extra demands on their job. KP residents may have heard the sirens or may have been caught in the traffic delays. Operations Chief Tom Lique said it felt busy. There were three calls Friday, Sept. 3. The most time consuming call was to the 8700 block on SR-302. Three people were transported from the scene with injuries, but none appeared to be life threatening. Both east- and westbound traffic was tied up for about 30 minutes.
Saturday had four calls with the most time consuming call at KP Highway and SR-302. Four patients were transported and units were involved in this rescue for nearly an hour and a half. Sunday had 11 alarms, one of which included an inner-tubing accident at the Home-Carr Inlet. Two patients were transported to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital from that accident. Monday was the quietest day of the holiday weekend, with two medical and two burn complaint alarms.
Meanwhile, the work of moving into the new Wauna fire station has begun. Final inspection is complete and Nelsen expects the station to be open and operational in October. A grand opening celebration is being planned for next spring.