Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue
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News Releases
Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue Board Approves Contract for New Fire Chief - 10/29/20

At their meeting on October 28, 2020, the Board of Commissioners for Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue approved an employment contract with Scott Neves to serve as Fire Chief effective April 1, 2021.

Current Fire Chief Dave LaFave previously announced his retirement effective April 1, 2021.  Chief LaFave started his career with Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue as a volunteer in 1983, was hired as a firefighter in 1986, and was appointed Fire Chief in 2001.

Scott Neves is currently the Police Chief for the City of Castle Rock.  Scott previously served Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue as a volunteer for 25 years, starting in 1985 and rising through the volunteer ranks to the level of Battalion Chief and Group Supervisor.   Scott was elected to the Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue Board of Commissioners in 2011 and served on the board until he recently resigned to be eligible for consideration for the fire chief position.

Although he has enjoyed his career first as a police officer, and then as Police Chief for the City of Castle Rock, Scott is looking forward to the challenge of leading Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue.  After the board approved hiring him, Scott stated “I am honored and humbled by the great opportunity that the Board of Commissioners has given me to lead the team of the outstanding men and women of Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue.  I am excited about the future.”

Retiring Fire Chief Dave LaFave commented on the hiring of Scott that “I expect a smooth and fairly seamless transition.  Scott knows the issues of the District, the personnel and the service area well from both his role as a Commissioner and his years of service as a volunteer.  His experience as a Police Chief offers insight for the role as Chief of the Fire District.  The duties of Chief for both types of first response agencies are similar enough for a person to assimilate from one to the other.  I expect him to do a good job.”

Board Chairman Jeff Cameron commented “The Board is very pleased that Scott expressed interest in our fire chief position.  Scott served on the front line of response along side many of our personnel, and he knows the business side of the District from his years of service as a fire commissioner.  Scott’s philosophy supports the District’s long history of cost containment for our taxpayers, and our high level of customer service to our citizens.”

Due to the pending retirement of second member of the command staff and to provide a smooth transition period between fire chiefs, Scott will be appointed to a Deputy Chief position effective February 1, 2021, to work along with Chief LaFave and other command staff.  Then on April 1, 2021, Scott will be appointed to the Fire Chief position.

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Firefighters to take advantage of condemned buildings for training. - 10/15/20

Kelso, WA – Firefighters from Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue will be utilizing four condemned buildings in the 200 and 300 blocks of SW 4th Avenue and 5th Avenue and on Catlin St. through the end of October for training.  Firefighters and officers will practice a variety of skills including emergency scene management, search and rescue techniques, roof ventilation techniques, and down firefighter rescue scenarios, among others. 

 

Jason Sanders, Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue Operations Chief, comments on the opportunity, “Having these buildings to train on is valuable.  It allows our firefighters and officers to train in unknown environments creating more realistic experiences.  There has been a lot of work put into this training and we’re excited to implement it.  We thank the City of Kelso for allowing us to safely train on these buildings before they are torn down.” 

 

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Early morning vacant house fire under investigation (Photo) - 10/11/20

Kelso, WA – Firefighters from Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue and City of Longview Fire Department responded to a structure fire early Sunday morning just before 2 am behind Yan’s Chinese restaurant on Long Ave.  Firefighters reported heavy smoke and some flames coming from the vacant structure on their arrival and began attacking the fire from multiple sides.  Firefighters had trouble accessing parts of the add-on roof where hot spots lingered.  The fire was knocked down just after 3:30 and fully extinguished at 6:20.  Four fire engines, two Chief Officers responded to the incident.  Cowlitz County Public Utilities District and Kelso Police also responded.  The fire is under investigation.  The structure is considered a total loss, according to fire officials.  No injuries were reported.

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