SB 5338
As Reported by Senate Committee On:
Housing & Local Government, February 9, 2021
Title: An act relating to fire protection districts and education.
Brief Description: Concerning fire protection districts and education.
Sponsors: Senators Wilson, L., Randall and Rivers.
Brief History:
Committee Activity: Housing & Local Government: 2/02/21, 2/09/21 [DP].
Brief Summary of Bill
  • Authorizes a fire protection district to provide training and expend resources to mitigate work place injuries.
Majority Report: Do pass.
Signed by Senators Kuderer, Chair; Das, Vice Chair; Fortunato, Ranking Member; Gildon, Assistant Ranking Member; Short, Assistant Ranking Member; Lovelett and Warnick.
Staff: Jeff Olsen (786-7428)

A fire protection district (district) is a type of special purpose district created to provide fire prevention, fire suppression, and emergency medical services within a district's boundaries, which can include incorporated and unincorporated areas.

Districts are authorized to:

  • lease, operate, and provide fire and emergency medical apparatus and all other necessary facilities and equipment for the prevention and suppression of fires, provide emergency medical services, and the protection of life and property;
  • lease, own, maintain, and operate real property for housing, repairing, and maintaining their apparatus, facilities, machinery, and equipment;
  • contract with other governmental or private entities to consolidate, provide, or cooperate for fire prevention, protection, fire suppression, investigation, and emergency medical purposes;
  • encourage uniformity and coordination of district operations;
  • enter into contracts for life insurance for fire district personnel;
  • perform building and property inspections the district deems necessary to provide fire prevention services and prefire planning within the district; and
  • determine the origin and cause of fires occurring within the district.
Summary of Bill:

A fire protection district may provide training, expend resources, and enter into an interlocal agreement to mitigate injuries and reduce the level of harm and occurrence when responding to calls.  The training may include worker or workplace safety, first aid, injury prevention, and reduction of industrial-related accidents.

Appropriation: None.
Fiscal Note: Not requested.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

PRO:  A recent state auditor finding has determined that fire districts lack authority to provide certain types of worker and safety classes.  The City of Vancouver employees have taken training from the Northwest Regional Training Center for 20 years.  The Center provides first aid and safety training at affordable prices, and without access to their training costs for the City of Vancouver, may triple.  Emergency medical services has become a larger part of the activities of certain fire districts.  It is important to offer training on how to reduce and prevent injuries.  Without a clear definition and authority, important training and services may not be provided. 

Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Lynda Wilson, Prime Sponsor; Roy Rhine, Clark County Fire District 5; Tim Buck, City of Vancouver.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.