Thursday, September 27, 2012

City Manager appoints interim Fire Chief James P. Duggan to permanent position

Chief James P. Duggan
City Manager T.C. Broadnax announced the appointment of James P. Duggan to the permanent position of Tacoma Fire Chief. Duggan has been serving on an interim basis for the past six months. Duggan will assume command of his new role effective immediately.

“Fire services remain a top priority in City core services. I am confident Chief Duggan’s experience and leadership will help the Fire Department continue to provide the highest level of fire and emergency services to the citizens of Tacoma,” said Broadnax.

As the chief administrator of the Fire Department, Duggan will plan, direct, manage and oversee daily operations and all aspects of emergency services including implementing strategic plans and procedures, establishing efficient service delivery methods and response time mechanisms, and tracking the department’s budget.

“I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve the community as Fire Chief. I look forward to leading this great department through these challenging times,” said Duggan.

During his tenure as interim, Duggan worked to launch department-wide initiatives focused on identifying and implementing fire service industry best practices; restructured the roles and responsibilities of the operations bureaus; and adopted the “FD Cares Program” as an alternative resource for 9-1-1 callers. Prior to his interim position, Duggan served as assistant fire chief for six years managing the Emergency Medical Services Division.

Over his 29-year career with the Tacoma Fire Department, Duggan was the first medical services officer and has also served as paramedic supervisor, fireboat pilot and firefighter.

A native of Tacoma, Chief Duggan holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the University of Washington, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Puget Sound, and attended graduate school at M.I.T. Duggan is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and Washington State Fire Chiefs.

Chief Duggan is the 21st Fire Chief in the departments 123 year history.

NEWS RELEASE from the City of Tacoma, Washington

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Firefighters rescue a person stranded on the cliffside in Pt. Defiance Park

Incident Date: 8/25/12
Issuing Officer: BC Gary Steinhoff & BC Jim Scott
Incident Location: Point Defiance Park
Incident Type: Rope Rescue

Narrative:  At 7:33 p.m. Tacoma firefighters responded for a reported person trapped on the hillside in Point Defiance Park near the Gig Harbor lookout area. 

Crews arrived to find one person stuck a short distance down the embankment.  As the tide came in the person climbed the steep bank in the dark, but got stuck near the top of the hill where the incline becomes vertical and impassible.  Crews set up a high-angle rope rescue system, sent a firefighter over the edge to harness the person and pull them to safety. 

The person was evaluated and released at the scene with no injuries to report. 


Crews extinguish house fire on N. Stevens Street

Incident Date: 9/25/12
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke
Incident Location: 1601 N. Stevens
Incident Type: Residential Structure Fire

Narrative:  At 10:42 a.m. seven companies of Tacoma Firefighters (four engines, one ladder, one medic company and command staff) responded to a reported house fire.

The first arriving engine company found heavy smoke showing from the back and side of 1,256 one-story house with a basement.  Crews made a rapid interior attack with handlines, ventilated the structure of smoke and completed search and rescue.  No occupants were home at the time of the fire and there are no injuries to report.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.  

UPDATE:  Fire investigators have determined that the cause of the fire was a pet's heat lamp in contact with combustibles, resulting in an estimated $150,000 damage to the building and its contents. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fire Engulfs Detached Garage on East 65th Street

Incident Date:  9/23/12
Issuing Officer: BC Jim Scott & Joe Meinecke
Incident Location: 1213 E. 65th Street
Incident Type: Garage Fire

Narrative:  At 7:27 p.m. eight companies of Tacoma Firefighters (five engines, one ladder, one medic company and command staff) responded to a reported structure fire.

The first arriving engine company found a fully involved fire in an approximately 480 square foot detached garage.  In a well coordinated effort, crews attacked the fire that involved the garage and two vehicles with handlines, protected exposure buildings, and safety officers monitored overhead power lines that were impinged upon by the intense flames. 

Crews evaluated one patient at the scene (no transport) and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

UPDATE:  The cause of the fire was smoking materials, resulting in an estimated $33,000 damage to the building and its contents.