Published November 23, 2012
Lacey, Tumwater fire departments add 5 new gradsCHELSEA KROTZER
The Tumwater Fire Department and Lacey Fire District 3 are welcoming five new firefighters to the ranks after a graduation ceremony at Bates Fire Academy in North Bend last weekend. The firefighters graduated Nov. 16 after spending 12 weeks learning the tools of the trade. Recruits at Bates learn about the history of the fire service, personal protective equipment, basic fire behavior, fire control, flammable liquids, survival techniques, ladder operations and hazardous materials over 10 weeks of fire training for Firefighter I certification, followed by two weeks of training for Firefighter II certification. Mike Braaten, Spencer Kast and Ron Smith are joining the Tumwater department. Their hirings were linked to an annexation of land that was part of the Black Lake Fire Department’s jurisdiction in 2007, said Tumwater Chief John Carpenter. The three will work at the department’s north end fire station, providing staffing at the station 35 percent of the time. Before their hires, the station was unstaffed. “The real advantage, though, is most days there will be an engine and two people in our command car that is licensed as a response vehicle,” Carpenter said. “We can handle two calls at the same time now. It’s limited, but gives us that capacity and reduces our dependence on mutual aid or making people wait.” Robert Gottbreht and Justin Frank are joining Lacey Fire District 3. Their hirings were part of the department’s contract with Medic One, boosting staffing at the district’s Steilacoom Road fire station from 12-hour to 24-hour operations. Gottbreht and Frank are part of a three-year comprehensive training program under the state’s Joint Apprenticeship Training Curriculum, said Lacey Fire Chief Steve Brooks.