Snoqualmie Tribe and Eastside Fire & Rescue Celebrate Arrival of New Emergency Aid Vehicle

On May 4th, the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe and Eastside Fire & Rescue (EF&R) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the arrival of their new emergency aid vehicle. The vehicle was purchased with grant funding secured by the tribe and EF&R through the Indian Community Development Block Grant – American Rescue Plan Act (ICDBG-ARP).

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by local officials, tribal leaders, and members of the press. The event began with a pre-recorded song by the Snoqualmie Tribe’s Culture Department, followed by remarks from Chairman De Los Angeles, Congresswoman Schrier, King County Council Member Perry, and EF&R Deputy Chief Aho.

“We hope this vehicle will help save lives with our partner Eastside Fire & Rescue. The Tribe has a long-standing relationship with Eastside Fire, who has been a reliable partner as they have provided high-quality emergency medical services to the Tribal reservation,” said Tribal Chairman Robert de los Angeles. “This is an exciting opportunity for us to work with Eastside Fire & Rescue to upgrade our emergency medical response capabilities and provide even better care for the community.”

The grant was awarded on January 19, 2022, after the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe and EF&R applied in response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant funding allowed the purchase of a new emergency aid vehicle with advanced safety features, including built-in partitions to separate patients from vehicle operators and state-of-the-art UV sanitation equipment.

“The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe has shown invaluable leadership throughout our communities in ensuring that our residents are as safe as possible. They showed great dedication, generosity and commitment to the safety of all of our residents throughout the pandemic in their partnership with Eastside Fire & Rescue to share their COVID-19 vaccinations with over 40,000 residents to keep us all healthy. Their investment in this emergency aid vehicle for Eastside Fire & Rescue to support the emergency needs of the Snoqualmie Casino, as well as the greater community, beyond is just the next step in their focus on the greater good of our district,” said Councilmember Sarah Perry.

“The team at Eastside Fire & Rescue is an excellent partnership as a regional leadership in first response – whether it’s addressing fires, responding to behavioral health crises, or other emergencies. I’m looking forward to the impact of the Snoqualmie Tribe and Eastside Fire & Rescue on our district through this vehicle and also look forward to continuing to find ways to be supportive of their efforts. Partnerships like this truly allow our region to be a leader in action and innovation!”

United States Representative Kim Schrier also spoke at the event, congratulating the tribe on securing the grant and highlighting the importance of emergency response in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ceremony also included a vehicle blessing and the unveiling of tribal artwork renderings for the new aid vehicle. The Tribe did a call to artists, and last week the Tribal Council selected a piece designed by Tribal Member Taylor Cameron with artwork contributed by Tribal Member Rhonda Spencer.

According to the artist’s statement, the woven pattern that runs the length of the ambulance above the images is symbolic of Cedar that is used by Coast Salish people for weaving. The artist wanted to include this as cedar is a meaningful resource to the Snoqualmie people but also a symbol of how our communities are woven together through the aid rendered by this vehicle.

The second design element was provided by Tribal Artist Rhonda Spencer, the moon design. The Snoqualmie are the People of the Moon. The moon story is about how the moon provided life for us to live and survive. This vehicle will provide life support services to the community.

The Final design element done by Tribal Artist Taylor Cameron is the salmon; the salmon are a food source and sustain tribal communities across Washington. The ‘S’ symbolizes the water movement of a river, like the river that feeds the Snoqualmie Falls, which are sacred to the Snoqualmie people. The “S” design also represents the “S” for Snoqualmie. Salmon and water are life-sustaining to tribal communities, as the vehicle will be to the larger community.

The Snoqualmie Tribe and EF&R have had a strong partnership for many years, with EF&R staffing the existing aid car on the tribe’s reservation since 2019. The new vehicle will further strengthen this partnership, allowing for improved response times and enhanced patient safety. Eastside Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Aho called the vehicle a “symbol of work and trust.”

The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe is a federally recognized tribe in the Salish Sea region of Washington State, known as the People of the Moon. Tribal enterprises provide over 1,700 jobs in the Snoqualmie Valley, and the tribe has donated more than $12 million to nonprofit organizations in Washington State since 2010.

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  • I feel fortunate to have such generous neighbors. Thank you Snoqualmie tribe

  • Many thanks to the people of the Snoqualmie Tribe for their continuing generosity to us all.

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