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A 27-year veteran of the fire service has been hired as Division Chief for Okanogan County Fire District 6. Russell “Rusty” Stamps started his new position on March 11.
Stamps graduated from Spokane Community College’s Fire Science Technology program in 1987. He became a volunteer firefighter that same year for Chelan, and worked his way up to the position of volunteer captain. He eventually served as a paid battalion chief for Chelan County Fire District 7 before being named assistant fire chief in 2010.
“Rusty has been a volunteer and full-time firefighter, which is a good fit for our district,” said Assistant Chief Cody Acord. “His background in wildland firefighting is a huge benefit to our firefighters and community.”
Stamps’ primary responsibility will be training for approximately 40 volunteer firefighters for the district. More than 90 percent of the fire district’s emergency responders are volunteers.
In 2013, volunteer firefighters with the district logged 1,716 hours responding to emergencies and another 3,002 hours in training, plus additional time to maintain apparatus and equipment. Relying on volunteers saves fire district taxpayers $2.3 million per year in personnel costs.
“I appreciate this opportunity to serve, and look forward to using my skills to benefit the Methow Valley community,” said Stamps.
Okanogan County Fire District 6 had been looking for a division chief since early last year. This position will provide adequate staffing levels for the fire district if someone is out sick, on vacation or attending a mandatory training/meeting.
Stamps and his wife Dana, a medical transcriptionist will live in the West Chewuch area of Winthrop.