Operations Chief celebrates 44 years in the fire service


Eric Andrews

MONROE—Assistant Chief of Operations Eric Andrews with the Snohomish County Fire District 7 is retiring after 44 years in the fire service. Andrews will serve his final day on Friday, Jan. 31.

“I know many fire department leaders proclaim how great their members are,” Andrews said. “But I can truly say I know of no agency, and I have seen many, that have more passionate fire service members than we have here are Fire District 7. What an honor to have been a small part in this incredible organization for so many years.”

Andrews began his firefighting career in 1976 as a volunteer with Snohomish County Fire District 26. He was hired by Snohomish County Fire District 7 in July of 1978 as one of only two full-time employees at the time.

Andrews served the citizens of Fire District 7 in many capacities throughout his career. He worked his way through the ranks serving as Firefighter/EMT, Lieutenant, Training Officer, Battalion Chief, and then was promoted to Assistant Chief of Operations. As the Assistant Chief of Operations Andrews was in charge of the district’s day-to-day operations while planning for the future and seeking best practices.

During his career, he helped secure over $3.4 million in various grants. It was due to his hard work and expertise that Fire District 7 was able to improve service to citizens and create safer working environments for firefighters helped by these grants. One of the grants; Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER), allowed Fire District 7 to hire 16 additional firefighters to meet the rising service demand. Fire District 7 was also awarded two Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) grants, a radio communication grant, a personnel protective clothing grant, and public education aids and new fire apparatus saving taxpayers millions of dollars. 

Andrews was also instrumental in the development of multiple programs and teams throughout the county, two of which, were the Cooperative Interagency Training program started in 1998 and the Northwest Incident Management Team (NWIMT) that formed in 1996.  He served as the NWIMT Operations Section Chief during large scale incidents such as the Oso mudslide and major fires in our state.

Andrew also has served as the Northwest Region coordinator for the State Fire Defense Committee for the last 13 years. He will continue to serve as the coordinator after retiring from Fire District 7. Andrews will continue to serve as the Fire Chief of Sky Valley Fire in Gold Bar after his retirement from Fire District 7. 

A retirement flag-lowering ceremony to be held on Jan. 31 at Fire Station 71, 8010 180th St. S.E., Snohomish. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. All are welcome to attend.

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