From the Desk of Chief Jon Parkinson

June 18th, 2021, was the official last day for now-retired Fire Chief Bud Backer. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for an outstanding leader, mentor, and friend since I arrived at East Pierce Fire & Rescue in February of 2019. Under the leadership of Chief Backer, we have made tremendous strides in achieving safe staffing levels, replacing aging fire engines, and building new fire stations. As Chief Backer moves on, we wish him and his family the best in a well-deserved retirement.

On May 18th, 2021, I was sworn in as Fire Chief and worked alongside Chief Backer through the transition period. To say these are large shoes to fill is an understatement, but thankfully, I have had an excellent teacher to help me along the way. By the time this newsletter hits your mailbox, I will have been in the Fire Chief position for two months, and there is already a lot happening.

Sharing a bit about myself, I was born in Oregon, where I began my fire service career and met my wife, Summer, of 26 years. Summer and I have been together since high school and are the proud parents of three children. Two of our kids have graduated and begun their own lives, and our youngest begins her senior year of high school this fall.

We relocated from Oregon to Lacey in 1995, where I served as a Volunteer Firefighter. I later joined Eastside Fire & Rescue in Issaquah in 1998, where I worked for 21 years and last held the position of Deputy Chief. In 2019, I arrived at East Pierce as Deputy Chief, and the rest is history.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to participate in various teams and committees, including the wildland firefighting team, the hazardous materials team, a vehicle design committee, and the training division. In addition, I have attended the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD twice, and completed my associates, bachelors, and master’s degrees along the way.

I have enjoyed all aspects of the fire service and learned the impacts and importance of service to the community. Being a member of both the Sumner-Rotary and the Fife-Milton-Edgewood Chamber has been incredibly inspiring. It is hum- bling to see the number of community volunteers committed to serving and making the area better for all of us. My family truly loves life in the Bonney Lake area, and I am grateful to serve in our home community.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Fire Chief and entrusting East Pierce Fire & Rescue with your safety. I look forward to serving you for many years to come. If I can ever be of assistance, please reach out to me at Chief@eastpiercefire. org or call me at 253-863-1800.

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