2019 Questions for Fire District Candidates: Answers by Robert S. Peterson
1) What interests inspired you to run for a position as a commissioner of the Fire District?
A: I have been in public service most of my adult life. Bainbridge Island is a vibrant community and I believe that my qualifications can be a strong benefit to the fire department. One of my strengths has been the ability to work constructively with others in many different settings. Problem solving is a strength I have and I enjoy the fruits of collective problem solving in a team setting. These are the sorts of things that have inspired me to seek the position.
2) Describe your relevant previous experiences that prepare you for the board role.
A: 34 years fire service; 9 as Fire Chief, two depts; 13 as Deputy Chief Operations; 12 as Battalion Chief, Captain, Firefighter. Eleven years as elected Utility Commissioner. 24 years working with Fire Commissions and City councils. Experience: disaster planning finance, labor relations, operations from engine company officer through nine years as Fire Chief. My experience working in four fire departments in two states, working as a chief officer has given me the opportunity to experience just about every type of challenge one could find in the fire service.
3) What skills, training. resources, and expertise will you bring to the Board?
A. Maybe not unique in the fire service but I care about people and positive outcomes to challenges. I have a proven track record of success in the fire service both in my desire to improve my skills and my desire to help. I have proven leadership skills and success working in the team environment. Extensive training through gaining fire science degree, classes leading to California Certified Chief Officer, National Fire Academy courses in personnel management, planning, and disaster planning and management.
4) What are the most important challenges/projects facing the Fire District in the next few years?
A. Always one of the biggest issues facing fire districts is funding. Master planning and strategic planning are very important as tools for predicting future needs. Future staffing needs, expensive equipment and fire apparatus funding is very important in the planning process.
5) What can and should the Fire District do to reduce its carbon footprint and prepare for climate change?
A. Work with the community and the city of Bainbridge Island in developing programs that maximize the utilization of resources without creating more environmental issues. Working within the department's mission statement is important and to that limit, work with others to preserve and enhance the environment on the island.
More at Web Site: http://www.peterson4comish.com
Robert S. Peterson