Federal Way Mirror


Federal Way Mirror Sports Briefs | Aug. 13

August 13, 2008 · 8:27 AM

Betrayal hurts citizens and fire department As the fire chief of South King Fire and Rescue, I want to take a few moments to address all of the citizens we serve about an unfortunate series of events surrounding your fire department. These events were created by one individual who formerly held an entrusted financial position within our fire department; an individual who betrayed the trust placed in him by me, our fire department, and our citizens. The issues surrounding the misuse of public funds for personal gain by the aforementioned former member of South King Fire and Rescue have already been seen on television and read across various newspapers. I will not go into more detail about them here, as they will all be dealt with via our legal system. I prefer instead to address all of our citizens regarding the outstanding men and women who make up South King Fire and Rescue, and the pure fact that one misguided individual should not in any way decrease the level of trust you have placed in our dedicated personnel who serve you all every day. The firefighters, officers and support staff of South King Fire and Rescue all feel betrayed and hurt by the recent events that have been amply covered in the media. These same individuals also come to work every day ready to put their lives on the line to serve you and to be there on a moment’s notice whenever anyone in our community needs our help. They serve you with integrity; they give back to the community through their charitable organizations (such as the “Firefighters Foundation” and the “Aid Fund”); and they annually spearhead a drive to gather food and toys for the less-than-privileged members of the Federal Way, Des Moines and unincorporated King County communities we serve. Our employees are exceptional, and I am very proud of each and every one of them! Your fire department is strong, both operationally as well as financially. Your fire department is regarded as a leader in the fire service statewide. Your fire department will always be there whenever anyone needs our assistance. The reason for our fire department being so strong is our people — the members of our department, who will never take for granted the trust you have placed in them. I ask that each and every citizen understand that the betrayal of one individual should not reflect on the other 160 upstanding and hard-working members of our organization. Thank you for that understanding, and thank you for your ongoing support of the fire department. We will always be there when you need us! Our personnel truly put “service above self” and take to heart their commitment to our mission statement: “We help people by responding with professional fire department services.” Al Church Fire Chief, South King Fire and Rescue Compliance complaint You would think that a city government would be cognizant of our challenges with high gas and food prices and increasing fees nearly everywhere you look. It’s expensive to live a normal lifestyle today, and it’s getting worse. Yet Federal Way continues to make unfriendly moves and “crank up” the pressure on us. My wife recently got a knock on the door and was confronted by a city employee in the “compliance” department who was forceful and demanding that she show him her driver’s license. The compliance officer was following up on a complaint from a neighbor who got tired of looking at our RV and called to make a complaint. And with just one complaint, the City of Federal Way “makes” you move your RV. Just one complaint from a neighbor seeking vengeance that costs me more than $1,000 a year in storage. Thanks, Federal Way. Thanks for your highly discriminatory practice and for costing me money. I was told I can make complaints for all the other RV owners and I replied, “No thanks.” I’m not going to bring on the extra grief to my fellow citizens. It was very upsetting to have a city employee come to our home and demand to see a driver’s license. He is not a cop and she was not driving, so what’s up with that? According to the city employee I discussed this with, I was told that her boss had told them to “get tough” on the RV crowd. She didn’t agree with the practice, but is forced to comply. And our community park, it is constantly vandalized by young drivers who drive up on the lawn in cars, mopeds, go-karts and 4X4s. I’ve asked for years for a fence to protect our children, but nope, we’re on our own, and don’t you dare put up a fence on your own. No wonder Federal Way has such a bad rep and our home equity grows so slowly. Terry O’Day Federal Way

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