Clark County Fire Protection District 5 is governed by three elected officials to the Board of Fire Commissioners. They are Commissioners Mike Lyons, Roy Rhine, and Ron Gibson
Fire District 5 was established on June 18, 1954 with only one fire station and approximately 10 volunteer firemen. During the 1950s and 1960s, the District added personnel and fire equipment to their operations. In 1959, a new fire engine was purchased to the total price of $15,204. In 2021, a new fire engine costs in excess of $780,000.
Fire District 5 covered communities known today as Sifton, Orchards, Walnut Grove, Minnehaha, Fishers Landing, Vancouver Mall, Padden Parkway, Maple Tree, Road's End, Pleasant Highlands, Andresen/St John's, Sherwood, Sunnyside, Greater Brush Prairie, Heritage, Glenwood, and Proebstel areas. In 2022, the District includes approximately 94,000 residents and businesses over 36 square miles.
Through various annexations by the City of Vancouver, in 1994 the district entered into a cooperative fire services agreement with Vancouver Fire Department to provide Fire Suppression and Emergency Medical Services to Fire District 5 residents. The successful cooperative agreement helps the Fire District provide a higher level and quality of service than a standalone department. It continues today and we expect it to continue well into the future.
The Board of Commissioners recognized a need for medical and safety training in Southwest Washington. The Public Education division has provided trainings and certifications in a variety of areas:
- First Aid, CPR, Basic Life Support, & Advanced Life Support through the American Heart Association.
- OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) and WISHA (Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act) required safety training for over 500 municipal public works and private industry employees in Clark County.
- EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) training under the direction of the State of Washington Department of Health, and NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians), and long-standing partnership with Clark College.
Since its inception, Fire District 5 Public Education has trained an annual average of 6,000 students in these various disciplines and continues to be a leader in cost effective training throughout the region.
The Board of Commissioners led by Commissioner Rhine and Administrator Bethke worked diligently with legislators in the 17th, 18th, 26th and 49th Districts, knowing many of their constituents would be negatively affected if CCFD5 were no longer able to credential certain safety classes. Senators Lynda Wilson, Ann Rivers, Emily Randall all sponsored SB5338 along with support from Representatives Eric Robertson and Paul Harris. The WFCA promoted the bill since the language of the bill was broad to cover all fire districts in the state of Washington.
Fire districts can now provide training and certification, expend resources, and enter into interlocal agreements to mitigate the injuries and reduce the level of harm and occurrence in calls to which they respond.
The Bill was signed by Governor Inslee on April 7, 2021 and took effect on July 25, 2021.
Districts authorized—Health clinic services.
(1) Fire protection districts for the provision of fire prevention services, fire suppression services, emergency medical services, and for the protection of life and property are authorized to be established as provided in this title.
(3) Fire protection districts may provide training, expend resources, and enter into interlocal agreements to mitigate the injuries and reduce the level of harm and occurrence in calls they respond to. Examples of trainings are those that may directly or indirectly address worker and workplace safety, teach first aid, prevent injuries, and reduce industrial-related accidents.