Beth Damas Kaspar

Beth Damas Kaspar

Orland Fire District fills trustee vacancy

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The Orland Fire Protection District Board of Trustees voted at a special meeting April 28 to accept the resignation of longtime Trustee Jim Hickey and appoint in his place Dr. Beth Damas Kaspar.

Hickey, who has been on the board since 2009, resigned for personal reasons. Kaspar will serve as a trustee until the next election.

The four remaining board members, President John Brudnak, Christopher Evoy, Craig Schmidt and Jayne Schirmacher, voted unanimously to approve Kaspar’s appointment.

“We believe Beth will fulfill our commitment to ensure that the taxpayers of the Orland Fire Protection District continue to receive the best and most professional emergency response services from our first responders,” said Brudnak.

“Our commitment has never wavered to ensure that our firefighters not only e have the best equipment and training to do their jobs but receive the compensation and benefits suited to their phenomenal performances. We need individuals who understand that the priority is to ensure the Fire District continues to provide the most professional services to our residents.”

Brudnak said that during his term on the board, the Fire District has moved away from politics to focus almost exclusively on providing emergency services to residents.

“We have a fully funded pension. 100 percent funded. That means there is no tax debt obligation that will be placed on the taxpayers, as unfortunately is the case with many other governments. The Orland Fire Protection District has the highest Cardiac Arrest Save Rate in the region and possibly the nation, 71 percent, compared to only 10-15 percent elsewhere. That is exactly why we are all here, to save lives and to ensure we have the absolute best firefighters and paramedics and emergency first responders,” Brudnak said.

“With great leadership and training, and support from a board that understands that the focus is on emergency services, not politics, the Fire District has an ISO 1 rating, the highest you can receive. That means lower insurance premiums for our residents. The higher the ISO rating the lower the insurance premiums. The lower the ISO rating, the higher the insurance companies charge residents in fire department jurisdictions.”

Brudnak expressed the board’s best wishes to Hickey who has dedicated many years to making the fire district the best in the nation.

Kaspar will be seated at the next Fire District meeting in May when the district administers the oath of office to the newly elected trustees, Tina Zekich and Angela Greenfield.

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