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Adrienne Hawley began a six year term as a Fire Commissioner for South Whidbey Fire/EMS in January 2018. She replaces retiring Commissioner Robert Elliot whose term expired in 2017.

Hawley is a past volunteer member of the South Whidbey Fire/EMS team. It was after graduating from Seattle University, that she joined AmeriCorps on South Whidbey. During this time of volunteering in the schools and community, she decided to become a firefighter.

While with the department, she also obtained the EMT certification, joined the ropes rescue team, marine rescue, and vehicle extrication team.

The Freeland resident is a Washington State Park Ranger and has worked at Deception Pass and several other parks on the island.

“I love being a Ranger since I get to work outdoors and interact with diverse people,” said Hawley. “I also get to help maintain such beautiful and historic structures and landscapes on Whidbey Island.”

So what led her to run for Fire Commissioner in November 2017?

“I have a desire to help my community. I was raised in Freeland and after every adventure on the mainland or further afield, I keep finding myself back here,” she said. “I had such a fantastic time as a firefighter and I thought being a Commissioner would provide a new opportunity to help the community.”

Hawley has a background in education. At one point while living in Ireland, she lectured in two universities in Media and Politics, History, and International Relations. She holds a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication, and an MA in History. She also conducted PhD research in Media Studies.

“With that in mind, I have a few ideas about building partnerships in the community with a focus on education and engagement,” she said. “While an AmeriCorps volunteer, I also worked with volunteer recruitment and retention, so I’m excited to use these experiences for South Whidbey.”

South Whidbey Fire/EMS, has a team of over 60 dedicated volunteers and paid staff providing fire suppression, emergency medical service, marine, and rope rescue to residents and visitors for since 1950. To learn more about becoming a volunteer contact Chief H.L. “Rusty” Palmer at or visit our Volunteer Information page.

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