MESSAGE FROM THE FIRE CHIEF
On behalf of the staff of the Bellevue Fire Department, I am privileged to present the Fire Department’s 2021 Annual Report. As you review the stories told by numbers, data, and text, my hope is that you will notice the many successes and work items achieved. A high-level department overview suggests a professional department fully engaged in serving a growing and expanding community. We remain accredited through the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE). We enjoy a Class II rating conferred by the Washington State Survey and Ratings Bureau (WSRB), and our contract cities ratings have improved. These successes are possible because we enjoy the support and partnership of our peer city departments and being part of a professionally managed city team.
In compiling this retrospective for 2021, a few themes emerge that help us define the challenges and successes the year brought. Last summer it appeared, momentarily, that COVID was going to be a “one and done” event; this turned out not to be so. Our calls for service increased 20% to approximately 23,000, demonstrating a likely trend for increased reliance on emergency service delivery. Despite the COVID challenges we faced, 100% of fire prevention work was completed on time—evidence of engaged staff working hard to keep the community safe.
Our blended strategy of preventing every fire we can, then responding when called upon with rapid, professional suppression response ensured that Bellevue remained a safe place to live, work, and visit. Conducting mobile vaccinations, adapting safe work practices, and managing the impacts of evolving public health guidance kept us actively engaged in the community.
The year was one of significant personnel transitions, with several key positions turning over due to retirements and departures. I promoted 11 uniformed staff and 2 civilian staff. 14 new civilian staff in various positions throughout the department were recruited and oriented to their positions.