Judge Dave Larson swears in Caroline Vadino to the South King Fire Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, Jan. 4. Photo courtesy of South King Fire and Rescue

Judge Dave Larson swears in Caroline Vadino to the South King Fire Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, Jan. 4. Photo courtesy of South King Fire and Rescue

First female commissioner sworn in to South King Fire Board of Commissioners

Caroline Vadino is the first female commissioner to serve on the board since the department’s inception in 2006.

Caroline Vadino was sworn in to the South King Fire Board of Fire Commissioners on Tuesday night, securing her place in the department’s history as the first female fire commissioner.

Vadino, a Federal Way resident, ran unopposed in the 2021 general election for SKFR commissioner position 3. She was sworn in at a special fire commissioners meeting on Jan. 4 along with two other reelected commissioners.

“I really love this community,” Vadino told the Mirror after her election in Nov. 2021. Vadino graduated from Washington State University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and works as an accountant in the healthcare industry in Federal Way.

“What I find really interesting about fire and rescue is that people don’t often think about it until they need it,” she said. “When they need it, they want it to be the best service ever.”

Vadino said becoming the first female commissioner wasn’t her original intention, but she looks forward to learning more about the fire service through this leadership role, and utilizing her finance background to the benefit of the community and the department.

“It’s great to have a little different perspective,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to it and I think my background will be a little different [than the current commissioners].”

Vadino’s term expires in 2028.

On Tuesday night, commissioners Bill Fuller and Dave Berger were sworn in to their board positions.

Fuller was first elected to the board in Nov. 2015. He was previously a volunteer firefighter, retiring as a station lieutenant and training officer at South Snohomish County District 1. He retired from Weyerhaeuser Company as a senior scientific and engineering advisor at the Weyerhaeuser Technology Center after starting in 1967. He now operates his own firm, FRM Consulting.

Berger was appointed to the board of fire commissioners in March 2020, after the retirement of former commissioner Jim Fossos. Berger previously worked as a city manager, assistant city manager or general manager in several California cities, special districts to include a fire district and city fire department. He also served on the Board of the Multi-Service Center and is a member of Rotary International.


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From left, commissoners Dave Berger, Bill Fuller, Caroline Vadino, Mark Thompson and Chairman Bill Gates pictured on Tuesday, Jan. 4. Photo courtesy of South King Fire and Rescue

From left, commissoners Dave Berger, Bill Fuller, Caroline Vadino, Mark Thompson and Chairman Bill Gates pictured on Tuesday, Jan. 4. Photo courtesy of South King Fire and Rescue

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