West Pierce Fire and Rescue
Several West Pierce Fire and Rescue Firefighters, along with their family and friends volunteered to cook for children at this year's Washington State Council of Fire Fighters Burn Foundation's Camp Eyabsut this week. The North Bend camp provides support and encouragement for young survivors of burn injuries. The camp has been staffed by volunteers and funded through donations for 29 years to provide free camp experiences and support services to burn victims around the Pacific Northwest. The camp draws its name from the Skagit Tribe’s Coastal Salish language, meaning “To Rise Above Anything.”
Four West Pierce firefighters: Firefighter/Paramedic Matt Garrels, Captain/Paramedic Mike Harn, Firefighter/Engineer Travis Kuch and Firefighter Chad Walker received Merit Awards for actions they took while off-duty.
Walker was camping with his family on April 2, when he witnessed a hit-and-run accident, directed police to where the driver was located and then provided the suspect with medical aid until local units arrived.
Harn was on a train in the nation’s capital when a fire occurred on April 23. The conductor advised everyone to evacuate and head toward the back of the train. Harn calmed passengers around him and assisted them to a safe location in the back of the train.
Kuch was participating in an athletic competition on April 30, when another participant fell to the floor due to a medical emergency. Kuch then assisted four other off-duty firefighters and a volunteer to assess the patient, who required CPR before local medical teams arrived.
Garrels was driving through Tacoma on May 6, when he noticed an elderly male on the sidewalk who appeared to be in distress. He immediately stopped his car to attend to the man who needed CPR, while another bystander called 9-1-1.