Letter: Erickson will bring fresh perspective to fire board

Editor,

I’m writing to endorse Savannah Erickson for South Whidbey Fire/EMS Commissioner. I have trained and served as a professional volunteer and career firefighter/EMT and investigator since 1992 in rural and metropolitan communities. For six generations my family has nurtured a great love for the all-volunteer departments and public safety workers that serve small towns, including Everett and Island County.

My small family has lived on Whidbey since 2000 and has served the South Whidbey Fire EMS Department for almost a decade. I have analyzed and communicated at length with each of the serving and prior fire commissioners, as well as the retiring fire chief.

I have also gotten to know and spoken with Savannah Erickson at length about the needs of our local employees and volunteers who deal with public crises. As a former FEMA employee, she has served with paid and volunteer crisis responders. She has taught, planned, collaborated, and managed teams. She has experience in leadership and the responsible use of public trust. She knows firsthand how a lack of personal care from leadership can negatively impact an organization’s most valuable asset, its people. She has the intellect and passion to reconnect the board of fire commissioners with the public at large, the members of the department, and follow through with transparency.

She brings a young, vibrant, and active perspective to the oversight of South Whidbey Fire/EMS. We need her experience working with diverse stakeholders to plan, budget, communicate, and build new relationships and heal relationships with those whom the agency has lost their trust.

I highly respect Jim Towers’ decades of service. Jim was integral in helping retain many volunteers in the department, but I am looking for a new perspective for the board. I know that we need a new commissioner from outside this “fish-bowl,” but with similar expertise that is qualified to make hard decisions and hold everyone accountable with a focus on the heart of the agency and the discipline to follow through for as long as it takes.

Savannah Erickson does.

Barry Pomeroy

Bayview

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