Community

Chief Stout says farewell to South Whidbey

Fire District 3 Chief Dan Stout poses with a plaque presented at his retirement gathering in Freeland recently. With him are new chief H.L. “Rusty” Palmer and District 3 commissioners Mike Helland and Kenon Simmons. - Sherrye Wyatt photo
Fire District 3 Chief Dan Stout poses with a plaque presented at his retirement gathering in Freeland recently. With him are new chief H.L. “Rusty” Palmer and District 3 commissioners Mike Helland and Kenon Simmons.
— image credit: Sherrye Wyatt photo

Fire Chief Dan Stout got an emotional send-off recently as he retired after more than six years as head of Island County Fire District 3.

Stout, 66, was honored at a reception Thursday night, Jan. 28 at the Freeland Fire Station. Attending were fellow employees, district commissioners, volunteers and friends and relatives.

It was Stout’s last week with the district. New chief H.L. “Rusty” Palmer was sworn in earlier in January.

Stout said he will return to Spokane, where he and his wife Colleen have restored a 1914 farmhouse in the middle of several acres of wheat. His son and two daughters and his granddaughter all live in the Spokane area.

He said he hopes to do some volunteer work, although not in the fire service.

Stout came to the South Whidbey district as chief in February of 2004, after 12 years with a fire district in Spokane, the last 10 as chief.

Before that, he was a firefighter for 25 years with the Santa Barbara, Calif. Fire Department, retiring as a battalion chief.

While with District 3, Stout helped put together a strategic plan, and supervised the building of the $1.5 million Langley Fire Station, as well as the acquisition of property in Bayview for a new headquarters and training center.

The district includes about 66 square miles from the south end of the island north to a mile beyond Honeymoon Bay Road. Its six stations serve about 16,000 people. The district has six full-time employees, and about 100 volunteers.

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