The fire committee report is a vital part of any decision making process for this community. We should heed what the committee recommends, both because of the depth of their study and the expertise of those on the committee. Following is a summary of this important information that will be delivered to town residents:
Losing our fire department will cost Ruston lives.
The Ruston council is making a life and death decision on your behalf. They are ignoring the fire committee findings and repeated public opposition by pursing a contract with Tacoma for emergency services.
Ruston Fire is fast and well-trained.
· 2:30 minutes 2007 Ruston Response Time
· 5.47 minutes 2006 Tacoma Response Time
Council Study Session January 14th, 7 pm 5219 N. Shirley Street
"I am concerned about the lack of expertise and qualifications in the field of emergency medical service of Ruston council members. I feel they lack the insight to make these life and death decisions."
Dr. Ferrer, Tacoma Trauma Surgeon and Fire Committee Member
“I would hold Ruston Fire Department emergency medical skills up against any department in Pierce County, paid or unpaid."
Lori Bisping, NREMT-P, SEI, Pierce County EMS Trainer
“Ruston Fire Department has the skill and capability to handle any fire, and one of the fastest response times in the state. Town residents are well protected.”
Pat Piper, Bates Fire Training Chief and member of Ruston Fire Department and Fire Committee
Full Report Available at
Or call (253) 228-8529 to have a copy delivered to your door
The committee brought many years of expertise to the table:
Dr. Tom Ferrer: 3 year resident, Tacoma trauma surgeon, member Pierce County Emergency Medical Service Council
Bob Pudlo: 40 year resident, former mayor and council member, helped re-form Ruston Fire Department (RFD) after failed contract with Tacoma Fire
Bruce Allen: Firefighter and EMT over 12 years, assistant RFD chief
Pat Piper: 27 year EMT, firefighter, training chief for Bates Fire Program (Outstanding Educator of the Year, 2007), RFD member
Lyle Hardin: 18 year resident, small business owner, business district officer
Edith Tallman: resident since 1960’s, active in town issues
Wayne Steber: 4 year resident, current council member, consultant (did not concur with committee findings)
The committee spent over a year examining the current department and Ruston’s future growth. They compared 4 local departments: Ruston, University Place, Tacoma and Browns Point. All evolved from volunteer departments, 2 still use them. They found:
· Quick response time means saved lives and property. Ruston has the fastest response time.
· Ruston has well-trained volunteers with many expert members, including a paramedic and firefighting instructor.
· All members are Emergency Medical Technicians (or in process).
· RFD has leveraged the limited resources allotted to them ($38 per resident in 2006).
· The department has performed well and is adequate for current needs over the next 2 years.
· Recent problems with Tacoma responding to Ruston calls are system errors that have been corrected.
Tacoma Fire gave a proposal for services that was considered. The committee felt Ruston is best served by enhancing our current department to meet future demands. They recommend:
· Increase department members to 20 (completed in 2007)
· Appoint a member as a public relations spokesperson to address on-going rumors and keep residents informed.
· Supplement volunteers with a residency program as Ruston grows, using the home next to town hall.
· Fund future needs with a levy as most local communities have done.
· Require sprinklers on new construction.