Administration and General Information
Fire Chief - Nick Swinhart was hired as the Fire Chief of the Camas-Washougal Fire Department on July 5th, 2011. The Fire Chief is responsible for managing all aspects of department operations. Duties include: budget preparation, representing the department at council meetings, establishing policies and procedures, training guidelines, personnel issues, long range planning, attending county chief meetings, ambulance advisory and workshop meetings and other duties as assigned by the City Administrator and Mayor.
Chief Nick Swinhart was born and raised in Washington state. He started in the fire service in 1989 as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Montesano. He became a paramedic in 1992 and spent most of his career with the Aberdeen Fire Department. In 2009 he was hired as the fire chief of Watertown, South Dakota, where he was also the president of the South Dakota Fire Chiefs Association. In 2011 he returned home to Washington as the fire chief of the Camas-Washougal Fire Department.
Chief Swinhart earned an Associates Degree in Emergency Medical Services from Tacoma Community College and a Bachelors Degree in Emergency Medical Services Management from the George Washington University. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program and is nationally accredited as a Chief Fire Officer by The Center for Public Safety Excellence.
In his spare time, Nick is a runner and mountain climber, having been a member of expeditions to Antarctica, Russia, Africa, and South America. He, his wife Anna, and their daughters make their home in Camas.
Division Chief of EMS - The Division Chief provides overall supervision and support of the department's paramedic program as well as EMS training for the Camas-Washougal and ECFR fire EMTs. The position also supervises a Training Captain, who assists the Division Chief in accomplishing the department's training goals. The Division Chief is the second in command at the department and assumes the fire chief's duties when the chief is absent.
Battalion Chiefs - In September 2005 as part of the re-structuring of the department, the Battalion Chief position was created to manage the daily operations of the fire stations and provide support to the Fire Chief and Fire Captains. The Battalion Chiefs work a 24 hour shift like the firefighters / paramedics and are stationed at the downtown station. Their duties include: direct department management on a 24/7 basis, command at fire suppression incidents, training, personnel management, determining staffing levels, fire marshal responsibilities and community relations. They also assume additional support functions as assigned by the fire chief.
Fire Captains - Currently there are nine Captains assigned to 24 hour platoon duty and one Captain assigned to head up the department's training program. Shift Captain's primary responsibilities include: supervising their crews consisting of paramedics and firefighters, responding to all incidents as dispatched, training, company fire prevention, community relations, and facility and apparatus maintenance.
Additionally all Captains are assigned additional duties that include: developing training guidelines, small equipment maintenance, uniforms and protective equipment ordering, annual hose testing, pre-fire planning, managing supplies, communications, information technologies, preparing specs for new apparatus and equipment, preparing staff reports and other duties as assigned by the Battalion Chiefs or Fire Chief.
Fire Prevention - The Fire Marshal's Office (FMO) is the core of community fire safety and fire education programs. The FMO is responsible for the daily inspections of industrial and commercial facilities and the implementation of a company fire prevention and pre-fire program. The FMO is also responsible for plans checking, permit approvals and new construction inspections. Another duty of the FMO is to investigate how a fire started. By state law all fires have to be investigated to determine the cause and origin. If the fire is criminal in nature the respective police department of the two cities become involved. As with the Camas and Washougal Police Departments, the FMO works side by side with the two water departments to ensure an adequate amount of water is available to fight fires. The FMO is located in downtown Camas and is staffed by the Fire Marshal, Deputy Fire Marshal, and Administrative Assistant.
Firefighters / Paramedics - The Camas-Washougal Fire Department is staffed by 35 career firefighters and paramedics. All suppression personnel have a varying level of EMS skills. Paramedics have the greatest skill level and comprise 24 members of the department. The department is the only fire department in Clark County with the capability to treat and transport patients. This capability improves patient care and guarantees continuous treatment from the same personnel from arrival on scene to transport to the hospital.
Department training programs include: fire suppression, fire prevention, EMS skills, swift water rescue, hazardous materials, confined space, rope rescue, bio-terrorism, community relations, apparatus driver training and inter-agency training with our neighboring fire districts and departments.
Administration - The administrative office is staffed by a Senior Administrative Support Assistant who works directly with the Fire Chief and assists in preparing the annual budget, preparing staff reports, developing charts and graphs as necessary, maintaining all personnel records, timekeeping functions and other administrative functions as requested. This position is also part of the department's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staff and serves as a vital part of the department's command staff.
Ambulance billing for the department is a part of the City's Finance Department. The Financial Assistant II in charge of billing reports to the Finance Director and is responsible for all the ambulance billing functions and answers all patient questions relating to EMS incidents. This position is responsible for maintaining records, preparing ambulance billing reports and staff reports as requested.