MEET THE TEAM
Meet the team! West Thurston Fire is a combination fire department south of Olympia consisting of 100 career and volunteer staff members. Ranging from Support to Firefighter/EMTs, our diverse staff is ready to respond and serve their community in a variety of ways.
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS - WEST THURSTON
Meets on second Monday of every month @ 6:00PM
Meeting locations will be rotated each month from the Littlerock and Grand Mound Stations. See resolution below for more info.
Click here for upcoming board meeting agenda
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS - WEST THURSTON
Meets on second Monday of every month @ 17:00 hours
MEET THE CHIEFS
ADMINISTRATIVE & OPERATIONS BOARD
Russ Kaleiwahea, Fire Chief of West Thurston Regional Fire Authority joined Thurston County Fire District No. 11 as Fire Chief in 2002 following a fourteen year emergency service career as an emergency medical technician-paramedic-firefighter. Russ served as Paramedic- Firefighter & Lieutenant at TCFD2 and Paramedic- Captain at TCFD14. Prior to his fire service career Russ worked in private industry as a Paramedic and Emergency Medical Technician. In 1988 while working in an engineering capacity in the mining industry, Russ started pursuing his goal to serve as a paramedic by volunteering with one of the first surface mining rescue teams in the nation.
For over twenty years Chief Kaleiwahea has advocated for public education, and childhood injury prevention. As a child injury prevention specialist early in his career Russ recognized that often, the only opportunity emergency services personnel have to save one’s life is by preventing the incident from occurring, with this understanding Chief Kaleiwahea developed a child and adolescent trauma/ injury prevention program that is credited with educating thousands of children in the region. The Chief is a principal conceptual designer of an emergency crisis software program developed as a result of the Columbine, CO school shootings. The Program is widely used in K-12 schools throughout the United States.
The Chief is a former member of WREMS Injury prevention committee, SAFE Kids, Thurston County Medic One Operations committee, and Vice President Thurston County Chief’s Association, current Member of Washington State and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Chief Kaleiwahea attended Brescia University, Madisonville- University of Kentucky Branch Campus, and Tacoma Community College where he earned his Paramedic degree in 1990-91. Russ holds numerous certifications from the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress and the National Fire Academy.
In his spare time Russ enjoys life with his family including his wife of thirty years, four children and four grandchildren. Russ has a passion for boating, fishing, cooking, sports and coaching little league baseball and football
Robert joined the fire service in 1986, becoming a member of the Grand Mound Fire Department – District #14 at the age of 16. In 1989, he was hired as a Public Safety Telecommunicator with Thurston County 911 where he worked for 11 years. While with Fire District #14 he held the rank of firefighter, Lieutenant, Battalion Chief and served as the department’s training officer.
Robert has also worked for American Medical Response, the Department of Natural Resources and the State Fire Academy in North Bend. In May of 2000, Robert was hired as the Fire Chief by Thurston County Fire District #1 in Rochester. In the position of Fire Chief he successfully merged District #14 into District #1 in 2002, and helped create the fire based BLS transport program for the area.
In 2008, he began working on the regional fire authority program with Fire District #11. During 2007, he was a part of the planning and implementation team that resulted in the successful bond vote that provided for a new firehouse for District #1, as well as being a part of the successful regional fire authority vote in 2009.
The development of an emergency communication and coordination center in the new firehouse to handle local and regional disasters such as windstorms, snow and ice and flooding events, was a result of his planning. Robert holds numerous certifications for the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress and the National Fire Academy, as well as other State levels, and is also a member of Region 3 FEMA, Type 3 Incident Management Team.
ALL STAFF MEMBERS
ADMINISTRATION, UNION & VOLUNTEERS FIREFIGHTERS
CHIEF OFFICERS, TRAINING, AND ADMIN STAFF
OFFICERS & UNION FIREFIGHTER/ EMT'S
VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER/EMT STAFF
OFFICERS, FIREFIGHTERS/ EMTS, EMT'S, AND FIREFIGHTERS
VOLUNTEER SUPPORT STAFF
CHAPLAINS, REHAB TEAM, FIRETONES, ADMINISTRATIVE
WTRFA FIRE ACADEMY STUDENTS
WTRFA EMT STUDENTS
WTRFA'S NEW ADDITIONS