Academy graduates hired

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The Pierce County Tri-District has hired two graduates of the fire academy, Kirby Pollard and William Poe.

The Tri-District has three members: Pierce Country Fire District 12, District 20 and District 22, also known as East Pierce Fire and Rescue.

The graduates were sworn in at the May 16 fire commissioner's meeting. Both recently completed the 10-week North Bend Fire Academy program for Firefighter I certification. Pollard graduated at the top of the class and was named to the prestigious Chief's Company.

Pollard has been a volunteer for District 12 since 1998 and has been an emergency medical technician for more than 20 years.

As a volunteer, he was a member of the wildland team and last year received his dive rescue certification and joined the water rescue team.

Based at station 12-1 on 234th Avenue East, Pollard has responded to more than 300 calls a year for the past five years.

He served as a licensed practical nurse with the Army and retired after 17 years. For the past six years, he has been an LPN at Rainier School.

Pollard and his wife of 25 years have three children, one grandson and another grandchild on the way.

Poe was an EMT and East Pierce volunteer for three years before attending the fire academy.

He lives in Bonney Lake with his wife and 8-year old daughter.

Prior to joining the Tri-District, Poe worked as a subcontractor for Boeing, installing computers. Poe said he was inspired by friends in the fire service to change careers, volunteering at a nearby station.

Poe attended extra training classes to learn to drive fire engines. He is also a member of the wildland team and joined the water rescue team this year when he received his dive rescue certification.

In other news, East Pierce Fire and Rescue named the recipients of the 2005 Recognition Awards at a recent banquet for members of the district and their families.

Firefighter of the Year for District 12 is Ken Bannink; Officer of the Year is Bob McDonald and Maggie Winter was presented the Thawsh Inspirational Award.

For District 20, Don Taylor was named Firefighter of the Year. Mark Nevill was awarded Officer of the Year. He was also recognized for participating in the most alarms and the most drills.

James Parke was named Volunteer Firefighter of the Year at District 22. The Career Firefighter of the Year is Dan Guenthner. Craig Williams received the Emergency Medical Services Provider of the Year award. Eric McLeroy received the Fitness Award. The Chief's Company included Mike Roberts, Pat Beers, Matt Jewitt, Sean Alix and Parke.

Roberts was also named Career Officer of the Year. In addition, he is the first recipient of the Mike Roberts Goodwill Award. The award was named after Roberts, who retired this year. It will be presented annually to the firefighter who has done the most to promote goodwill in the community.

The Tri-District covers approximately 140 square miles and protects more than 57,000 residents. Career firefighters staff four stations, backed by six volunteer stations. A water rescue facility on Lake Tapps provides a base of operations for the water rescue team.

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