Vashon Island Fire and Rescue
Vashon Island Fire and Rescue

2017 Incidents
Fire EMS
Jan 29 117
Feb 44 80
Mar 26 92
Apr 22 99
May 25 103
Jun 22 96
Jul 39 91
Aug 32 96
Sep 37 95
Oct -- --
Nov
Dec
Total 276 869

Past Incidents
Fire EMS
2016 286 1331
2015 391 1232
2014 371 1117
2013 284 1144
2012 355 1130

Web Counters
Website Visitors
Since
January 1, 2011
635,695
Visitors Today
Oct 23, 2017
158

 
 
Former Chief Wil Spencer's Passing
Email Print PDF RSS Facebook Google+ Twitter

By Administration Susan Wolf
August 25, 2017

On August 17, 2017, Vashon lost one of its favorite sons – Wil Spencer. Although leaving us at an advanced age and having been ill, former Chief Spencer left a legacy with Vashon Island Fire & Rescue’s (VIFR) during its early years. Wil volunteered as a firefighter while still in high school. After graduating Vashon High School, college and spending a brief stint in the military, he again volunteered with King County Fire Protection District 13 as VIFR was then known in 1958. He rose to the rank of Captain and after only ten years was elected by his fellow members as Fire Chief by the then all-volunteer fire district. He served in that capacity two years.

One of Chief Spencer’s first accomplishments was implementing a new alert system using Plectrons. The devices generated a tone to those volunteers who had one (similar to a pager), followed by information about the call, the address and the apparatus needed. This replaced the loud sirens mounted on each fire station, which alerted the entire neighborhood.

Wil went on to become a career fire chief at three other departments, a Whatcom County Fire Marshal eventually worked as a state fire marshal. He also worked in wildfire Incident Command during the summer season. Most of those years and during retirement, he continued living on Vashon.

Wayne Senter, now Executive Director of the Washington Fire Chief, was hired in 1979 by Chief Spencer who was then leading Auburn Fire Department. He remembers Wil as a good man who looked after his people. Chief Spencer also had a great sense of humor. “I remember one time he played a joke on me while I was fetching morning donuts, as all rookies were expected to do. There was a tone out for a fire and our city crew of six responded. When I came back to the station, he was in his staff car and said with a stern face, ‘You missed the fire call.’ Then he peeled out of the parking lot leaving me to think that I had broken the cardinal rule. . . I threw the donuts down, heard on the radio where the fire was – just across the street – put on my bunkers and ran to the fire. When I got there it was a nothing fire and they were all standing in a circle laughing it up . . .”

Former VIFR Fire Chief Hank Lipe stated he was sorry to hear of Chief Spencer's passing. He remembered, “Wil had a tremendous passion for the fire service throughout his life. When we would get together for breakfast along with retired Chief Craig Harmeling, all he talked about was the fire service. . . He truly loved (it) and was always interested in VIFR happenings. He would give me a call when he became too ill to meet anymore just to check in with me to see how things were going. We would talk and I would try to get him caught up on things both locally and professionally.”

VIFR stands on the shoulders and successes of its early members who made foundational building blocks. We acknowledge with gratitude Chief Spencer’s enduring contributions.

Hyperlinks: Obituary from Vashon Beachcomber
Service Details For September 2
 
 

Comment Comment 0 Comment(s)


Website Designed and Hosted By: Content Proudly Maintained By: Contact Info:
Firehouse Solutions
www.FirehouseSolutions.com
Vashon Island Fire & Rescue
10020 SW Bank Road
P.O. Box 1150
Vashon, WA 98070

Emergency Dial 911
Non-Emergency: 206-463-2405
Fax: 206-463-2954
E-mail: administration@vifr.org
Copyright © 2017 Firehouse Solutions (A Service of Technology Reflections, Inc.)