South Whidbey Fire/EMS (SWFE) is excited to welcome six new members to the department.

Three of the members, Hunter Corbett, Kirsti Ranta and Trevor Mollenkopf, are “lateral” volunteers which means they are already qualified firefighters and will not need to repeat the fire academy. Corbett and Ranta both work for private ambulance companies and received their firefighter training through Everett Community College. They will volunteer out of Station 36 – Bayview. Mollenkopf works for the Seattle Fire Department and will volunteer out of Station 32 – Clinton.

The three other new volunteers recently began the local fire academy, running January 25-May 21, 2022. They are Ranger Buck (Station 36 – Bayview), Victor Reeves (Station 31 – Freeland) and Morgan Ratcliff (Station 32 – Clinton). This is a combined academy, which means SWFE is working together with the other island departments, North Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue and Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue.

Due to COVID-19, the academy utilizes a platform called “Resource One” to deliver much of the curriculum. Modifications have been made throughout the coursework to safely merge online instruction with in-person experience. After successfully completing the academy, students will graduate with IFSAC Firefighter 1, IFSAC Firefighter 2, Hazmat Awareness and Hazmat Operations certifications.

South Whidbey Fire/EMS is recruiting for future academies, including the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) academy, to run from mid-August to early December and the next fire academy, which begins in January 2023. To learn more or to complete an application, visit SWFE.org.