Griffey bill to help mobilize fire services during emergencies passes House

The Washington State House of Representatives approved a bill Friday by Rep. Dan Griffey that would help ensure fire services continue to be deployed during emergency response efforts.

When a local jurisdiction needs assistance beyond the capabilities of local resources in times of extraordinary emergency, a request may be made to the Chief of the Washington State Patrol for a state mobilization of fire services. Originally, fire department mobilization was restricted to firefighting purposes only. However, during the Oso landslide incident in 2014, a state mobilization request was denied. Legislation co-sponsored by Griffey in 2015 redefined mobilization to include all hazards, thereby removing restrictions and providing more opportunities for firefighters to lend assistance in times of emergency.

The current all-hazard fire mobilization process is set to expire later this year. Griffey's House Bill 1170 would eliminate the expiration date.

“This bill is a necessary emergency-preparedness measure,” said Griffey, R-Allyn. “We have seen some terrible wildfires that have been devastating to families and communities throughout Washington. While we're thankful to have not had another large-scale tragedy like Oso experienced several years ago, we need to be ready for any and all tragedies that may come our way. The fire service mobilization process is absolutely critical for our preparedness efforts.”

House Bill 1170 now awaits a public hearing in the Senate.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov