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Press Releases


Submitted by David Ellingson, WFCA Representative to the L&I Firefighter Technical Review Committee 
March 2018 Meeting:

1. The most significant agenda item this month involved a recent inspection of a fire district that resulted in over 100 pages of safety and health findings. There were 14 serious findings with another 11 general findings. The serious findings included asbestos hazards, mold and mushrooms growing inside a fire station, dry rot and structural integrity of the building, unserviceable engines without required maintenance, SCBA deficiencies, training deficiencies over several program areas, Blood Borne Pathogen program deficiencies and the list goes on. Building deficiencies were so extensive that the station may be condemned.
2. Some general findings are listed below. Review the WFCA “Dirty Dozen” pamphlet on the WFCA web site for a list of most common findings by L&I during fire service inspections. Use the pamphlet as a handy reference during inspection/walk around of your facilities and equipment.
a. Beards and respirators are not a good match. Beards do not allow a tight seal with the respirator face mask. Ensure your department has a comprehensive respiratory protection program – no facial hair, conduct medical screening of personnel and fit test respirators.
b. Ensure personnel who are required to wear respirators are fit tested.
c. Ensure hazardous material is stored in approved containers and the containers are properly labeled. Secondary containers must also be labeled.
d. Many departments/districts are replacing engines and medic units. Be sure to place a height and weight placard in view of the operator in the cab. Might want to include a requirement for a placard to be installed in the vehicle by the manufacturer.
e. Ensure emergency eyewash stations are located in areas where caustic chemicals are used.
f. Wear appropriate PPE when entering a hot zone.
g. Electrical safety – Remove from service electrical cords where wires are exposed. Empty spaces in breaker panels must have blanking plates installed. Do not block access to electrical panels.
h. Elevated lofts and storage areas need to be posted with load limit signs.

Click here to view past Firefighter Technical Review Committee meeting highlights.


Labor & Industries has developed an Excel Spreadsheet to use as a tool to help fire districts estimate their workers’ compensation premium costs in 2018. It includes the preliminary experience factor for each fire district. After entering estimated hours for the upcoming year, the spreadsheet will calculate total premiums, showing the employee and employer portion.


Please note that these rates are preliminary.

The public is invited to comment on L&I's proposed rates at public hearings around the state in October. The final rate decision will be announced by early December. Complete information is online at www.Lni.wa.gov/Rates.

Click here for detailed information regarding how to use this tool to estimate your 2018 premiums.


Submitted by Leo Marquez, Outreach Coordinator, Washington State Treasurer's Office

Washington’s Office of the State Treasurer (OST) successfully sold almost $24 million in Certificates of Participation (COPs) on September 12, 2017. The offering attracted 12 different bidders with Morgan Stanley & Co, LLC (Morgan Stanley) offering the lowest bid.

The COPs will help finance equipment needed by 18 local governments across Washington. Morgan Stanley bought $23,890,000 Series 2017B COPs, bidding 1.396718% on the certificates; this was .028899 less than the second lowest bidder - Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. After resizing, the total cost of financing the Series 2017B COPs will be $24,180,000. The COPs will reach final maturity on July 1st, 2027. The sale’s closing will be finalized on September 28th.

These COPs will be used to finance many different local projects. For example, in Kittitas County the Cle Elum-Roslyn School District will purchase three more school buses with their COP proceeds.

Washington Treasurer Duane Davidson remarked, “As a former Benton County Treasurer I’m well aware how COP financing can save local governments money. The Treasurer’s Office COP program can be a great option to get low cost financing for local capital projects. We want more local governments to consider this as they review their capital financing options.”

COPs are certificates issued by OST as a way for school districts, fire districts, cities and other local municipalities to finance equipment and real estate at a low rate. The state issues the certificates using the state’s credit rating, and the local groups who want to finance their equipment make the repayment. By using the financing power of OST, local districts get a fixed low cost rate, likely considerably lower than what they would pay if they were financing this equipment or real estate on their own.

You may contact Leo Marquez, Outreach Coordinator, Office of the State Treasurer, at 360.902.9034, or visit the Washington State Treasurer's Office online at www.tre.wa.gov/


Submitted by Washington State Archives

The Local Records Committee (LRC) approved the Local Government Common Records Retention Schedule (CORE) v. 4.0 at its May 18, 2017 meeting. The CORE 4.0 takes effect immediately and may be accessed online by clicking the following link:  CORE

A detailed Summary of Changes has been posted for your reference, and the online database will be updated as well. Do not hesitate to contact Washington State Archives with any questions you may have relating to the management of your agency’s records. Just send an email to: recordsmanagement@sos.wa.gov


Save Money and Staff Time on Your Public Works Rosters

Cities, Counties and special purpose districts can use MRSC Rosters to maintain their individual Small Works, Consultant, and Vendor rosters to make the roster contracting process easier. Join MRSC Rosters to save your agency money and time; click here for more information.