South Whidbey Fire/EMS earns clean audit

Auditors representing Washington State reported no findings and left only one minor recommendation for South Whidbey Fire/EMS — Fire Chief Rusty Palmer should initial the monthly financial reports.

Palmer said he has reviewed every report since he’s been with the district, but has never left his autograph. Otherwise, it was a clean audit for the fire district.

“That was a wonderful thing,” Palmer said.

The district has another audit ahead, likely by the end of summer. Federal funding helped the district pay for a new radio system, its firefighter retention program and a soon to be delivered $486,000 fire suppression and marine response boat.

Palmer said the audit would likely be a short evaluation of the district’s finances and bookkeeping to make sure the federal money was spent on the appropriate endeavors.

“Basically, they’ll do a review, ‘You bought a boat, where is it?’ “ he said.

South Whidbey Fire’s three federal grants included: a radio system grant which was shared with Camano Island Fire & Rescue for a total of $400,000; a firefighter retention grant for $200,000 over four years; and a grant that covered 75 percent, about $356,250, of the fire boat’s nearly $500,000 price tag.

The vessel is expected to come in under budget upon final delivery later this month.

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