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There is still time to join the 2017 South Whidbey Fire/EMS Fire Academy.  Three local men and women, representing a variety of ages and occupations, have already submitted their applications and are on their way to officially become academy recruits. The deadline to apply in October 31.

“We are looking for people who want to make a difference. The training is challenging, but rewarding,” said Jason Laughren, Deputy Fire Chief.  “Anyone interested is encouraged to learn more about becoming a member of our team. This is a big decision. It will change your life in ways you’ve never imagined.”

Qualified candidates must be of good moral character and have a high school diploma, hold a valid Washington drivers license, and live within the district. Other requirements include passing a written exam, drug screen, background check, medical exam, and physical fitness test.

The academy lasts six months and involves 150 hours of study, training, and testing. Classes begin in January, with graduation in June.

“The commitment for first responders does not end upon graduation,” said Laughren. “In addition to answering calls to local emergencies, all members attend weekly drills and frequent trainings, plus participate in various meetings and community events.”

South Whidbey Fire/EMS has a rich tradition of serving the community since 1950. The dedicated team responded to 2,380 calls last year. To learn more contact Chief Rusty Palmer at or call (360) 321-1533. Applications may be found at

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