Crews battle car fire at I-90/SR 18 interchange, recently-approved tax funds ‘making a difference’

It only took two months after a November public safety levy passed for the Snoqualmie Fire Department to hire a new firefighter, a position paid for by additional property tax funds approved by that levy.

In mid January Theresa Tozier joined the Snoqualmie Fire Department as a lateral-firefighter/EMT, becoming the first female career-firefighter hired by the department.

SFD Lt. Kelly Gall said Tozier just started her the second month of her intensive, year-long probationary firefighter training that includes everything from car fires, house fires, auto extrications, emergency medical service, driving/pumping the fire engine – and just knowing the area of Snoqualmie, as well as Fall City and North Bend.

On Wednesday, March 1, 2017, PFF Tozier was part of a response that some local residents may have witnessed at the I-90/SR 18 interchange area.

Around 4:30PM, the Snoqualmie Fire Department responded to a car fire in the westbound I-90 off-ramp to SR 18/Snoqualmie Parkway.  This was the second accident in this westbound I-90 exit ramp area in just two days.

The car fire was triggered by a rear-end accident, when a car collided with the back of a pickup truck. The car’s female driver was able to safely exit her vehicle before a fire ignited in the engine compartment. The male driver of the pickup truck also did not suffer any injuries.

Lt. Gall said this was Tozier’s first car fire response since being hired. She and fellow firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire. He wanted citizens to know their tax money is “making a difference” – is  “doing some good.”

According to the City of Snoqualmie, public safety levy funds enabled the Snoqualmie Fire Department to reach the nationally-recognized service standard of having three firefighters on duty 24 hours a day – and now also allows SFD to respond to more than one fire or emergency medical call at a time.  [The levy also provides funds for two additional police officers. Those positions are in the process of being filled.]

Probationary Firefighter Tozier is graduate of the Everett Community College Fire Academy. Before being hired by SFD, she worked as a part-time firefighter with Lake Stevens Fire and Granite Falls Fire. Tozier also has experience mentoring other firefighter recruits at the academy, a degree in athletic training, and experience in personal athletic training.


PFF Tozier helping extinguish car fire at I-90/SR 18 interchange on 3/1/17. Photo: SFD

“Snoqualmie Tax money, Making a Difference”



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    1. SPD, Fall City FD, and EF&R all respond to I-90 accidents in the Snoqualmie Valley. I think it just depends who has available trucks and crews.

        1. Am not completely sure how jurisdictions work when it comes to accidents on nearby state freeways. Per the many accident stories I have covered, multiple fire departments willrespond to freeway accidents. The first accident that occurred that day in the same area saw response from three different departments. I believe it becomes more about helping the accident victims – so what departments are available to help at the time respond. You could reach out to SFD Chief Mark Correira to confirm how the state freeway responses are handled – 425-888-1551

      1. I 90 is not in the city of Snoqualmie’s jurisdictionall boundaries, although in this car accident/car fire, Snoqualmie’s engine was the closest engine avalible to respond. They were not on the initial responce (run card). That was E73 out of Sammamish Highland Station. Snoqualmie crews heard the call on the radio and since they were much closers, they “Jumped the call”,

  • Misleading headline. Soooooo if that massive tax hike wasn’t approved, nobody would have responded?

    1. The tax hike has provided a much needed 12th firefigjter to Snoqualmie’s staffing. This puts 4 career firefighters on each shift. (Snoqualmie Fire has a 3 shift department)
      With vacations and holidays that happen on the shift, this leaves a 3 person minimim crew on each shift, 24 hours a day. This is vital because laws and rules are in place stating, for a rescue of a person in a house fire, there needs to be a minimum of 3 firefighters on scene, 2 to complete a rescue and 1 to remain outside for command and safety of the firefighters.

      1. Thank you, Lt. Gall, for confirming (here and above) that the headline and the premise of the story are misleading.

        I don’t think anyone objects to the good work done by the Snoqualmie FD in responding to this incident on I-90, and we are all grateful to the citizens of Snoqualmie for funding this work through their recently increased property taxes.

        But the whole point of fire districts is that they need to be funded commensurate to their risk. I-90 is Eastside Fire and Rescue; if EFR can’t respond to the incident, so that Snoqualmie FD has to, then EFR needs to raise their taxes, not Snoqualmie’s.

        What this story says–and apparently this is clear to most readers–is that Snoqualmie increased funding for Snoqualmie FD, and now Snoqualmie FD is picking up the slack for EFR. (For E73, specifically, according to Lt.Gall’s comments–thanks!) That’s what this story says — I have no way of knowing if the story is accurate.

        If one follows this story to its logical conclusion–if the citizens of Snoqualmie raise their property taxes high enough, then the Snoqualmie FD will be able to make a difference by responding to incidents and protecting the lives and property of everyone in the Seattle area.

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