Vashon Island Fire & Rescue has reached a new agreement with the local firefighters’ union that ensures a minimum of three career firefighters will be on duty at all times, while the district continues to train new volunteers and evaluates its new part-time staffing program.
This agreement with the union, finalized on Jan. 30, is a change from the former contract, which required two career firefighters as the minimum needed per shift. Previously, both union leaders and the district chiefs said two was an uncomfortably low number and insufficient to fight a fire or respond to simultaneous medical emergencies.
Assistant Chief Bob Larson last week addressed the benefits of the change in the case of fire.
“With three people you can go into rescue mode and do something; with only two you cannot,” he said.