From the Chief's Desk
Welcome to the South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department. STVFD has 2 full time employees and an average of 40 volunteers who are the back bone of our department. These dedicated individuals give their time to provide an essential service to the community.
STVFD provides fire protection, advanced life support EMS, technical rescue, public fire education, and is involved in many community services. As the chief of this magnificent group of people, it gives me pride to know that they are committed to professional, compassionate, and timely service to our community.
I took the helm of the department in August of 2012, not knowing a thing about the make-up of the organization. I learned quickly that these folks are all about family and giving of themselves. When I say "we" I truly mean all of us are a part of moving this organization forward. Just two months after my arrival, we built a training facility in the district from old connex boxes, with department members donating their welding and carpentry skills. STVFD now has a fully functioning training center to train in, helping us to remain proficient in our skills. The training facility has burn rooms, a ventilation prop, a smoke maze, and room for expansion. STVFD plans to continue expanding our training props to provide an even higher level of service.
I've spent over 38 years in fire service, 25 of which were in fire service in a fully paid professional department. When I look at STVFD, I see a group of people who are just as professional as the paid staff that I worked beside for 25 years. Our volunteers believe that being a volunteer is not an excuse to be mediocre.
STVFD has recently logged over 4,900 hours of training. The department has sponsored a Firefighter 1 and 2 class, along with sending 6 EMT's to EMT 2 training. This year is starting just as busy with an EMT 3 class and a EMT Basic class. These classes are above and beyond our regular training schedule.
I look forward to your feedback of the site and how we can make it easier for your use.
Steve Rydeen, Fire Chief