24 Hour Burn Ban Hotline
Fire District 44 was formed January 6, 1953. Today, Fire District 44 protects a population of over 32,000, 70 square miles, with an assessed value of 2.6 billion dollars. Our current operating budget is approximately 4 million. In April of 2006, the City of Black Diamond and Fire District 44 entered into a contract for fire and emergency services. Fire District 44 is comprised of urban/rural residential property with several schools and some commercial business. A few prominent landmarks include the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation, Pacific International Raceways and the Washington National Golf Course. Fire District 44 has mutual aid agreements and borders with the following agencies: Auburn (Valley Regional Fire Authority), Kent, KCFD 28, KCFD 37 and KCFD 43. King County Medic One provides advanced life support services. Fire District 44 is dispatched by Valley Communications. We respond to approximately 2,000 alarms each year (60-70% are medical related call).
Fire District 44 serves under the direction of an elected, five member Board of Commissioners. Each Commissioner serves a six-year term.
Fire District 44 has three Chief Officers. Fire Chief Greg Smith, Deputy Chief Mike Barlow and Assistant Chief Robert Young. Fire District 44 is a combination career/volunteer district. The district has 19 career personnel including 4 Captains, 6 Lieutenants, 1 Training Officer Assistant, and 8 Line Fire Fighters. All career personnel are members of IAFF Local 3186. There are 3 full time secretaries, 1 Public Information Officer, 1 full time mechanic and 2 part time facilities personnel. The district has approximately 125 volunteers.
The district operates out of eight (8) fire stations, deploying 10 structure fire apparatus, 4 wild land brush trucks, three 2000-gallon water tenders, 1 medium and 1 light rescue vehicle, 7 aid vehicles, special operations support vehicle, 14 person transport van, five-ton flat bed truck and a variety of four wheel drive command vehicles and a training/safety officer vehicle.
The district owns and operates 2 thermal imager devices, 11 Physio Life Pac 12's, 4 Hurst hydraulic spreaders and a full complement of vehicle extrication tools.
The district has 4 specialized teams capable of handling incidents that require specific training. Swift Water Rescue Team (the district has several incidents a year involving the rivers in our jurisdiction), Low Angle Rescue, Confined Space Rescue and our South Puget Sound Regional Hand Team (Wild Land Fire Fighting).
The Fire Chief is Gregory Smith. Chief Smith is a thirty-six year fire service veteran. He has served with four departments as both a career firefighter and as a volunteer.
Mike Barlow, with twenty-five years of fire department service, is the Deputy Chief.
Robert Young is the Assistant Chief in charge of training and EMS. Asst. Chief Young has been with the district for twenty-two years, as a volunteer and a career firefighter.
Through the combination of career and volunteer personnel, KCFPD 44 is able to provide the citizens of the community with prompt responses from well-trained people within the limits of our operating budget. Volunteers also provide the department with a wide variety of skills that they learn and utilize at their regular vocations.
A combination of volunteer and career staff provide Fire and Basic Life Support (BLS) service to the community. Currently, all career firefighters and seventy-two volunteers are certified EMT's with defibrillator certification.
All volunteers are trained in the essentials of fire fighting and first aid. Our volunteers are expected to participate in no less than three of the four regular Thursday night drills. Essential skills are honed and new skills are introduced at these weekly drills.
Some volunteers respond from home, others reside at a fire station, and others live outside district boundaries. Those volunteers living outside the boundaries are reserve fire fighters who participate in the "Out of District Responder Program." Reserve fire fighters are held to the same rigorous training standard as all fire fighters in this District. They are required to work three shifts each month. KCFPD 44 also uses "resident volunteers" who are assigned living quarters in a fire station in return for three shifts each week.
Volunteer Fire Fighters receive on duty injury medical coverage, reimbursement for calls and training, life insurance, and the opportunity for additional training.
Applications are accepted throughout the year for the spring and fall academies. There is a background check on each applicant. The Academy will begin with a Physical Agility Test. An Applicant for the Academy must be 18 years of age and have a valid Washington State Driver's License. He/She must have the physical strength, health and endurance to perform fire suppression and rescue.