In The News

Department | In The News

2020 In the News
Kootenai County Fire and Rescue
Date: May 8, 2020 - For Immediate Release


Kootenai County Fire & Rescue President Pam Houser has announced that the Board of Fire Commissioners has chosen Christopher Way as the Districts new Fire Chief. Way will assume his role on May 18, 2020.


Christopher Way has been an emergency service professional for 28 years.  He has served in Fire and EMS roles in urban, sub-urban and rural settings. Currently, Chris is the Chief of the Kootenai County EMS System in Idaho, a fire-based EMS system responding to almost 20,000 requests for service annually.  In addition to his full-time role as Chief he is involved at the local, regional, state and national level in advocacy and leadership for emergency services.  Chris also has experience in disaster and incident management at the state and national level. He has a bachelor’s degree in Management and Human Relations and maintains all of his Fire and EMS licenses/certifications.  Chris and his wife Jennifer live in Hayden, Idaho with their two daughters.


The selection comes at the conclusion of an extensive recruitment process, conducted by Kootenai County Fire & Rescue. Way will replace former Fire Chief Warren Merritt who retired in December, 2019.



Pam Houser

President of the Board of Fire Commissioners



2019 In The News

Kootenai County Fire and Rescue
Receives $1.1 Million Federal Grant for Public Safety   


Post Falls, ID Kootenai County Fire and Rescue has been awarded the Staffing and Adequate Fire and Emergency Services Response (SAFER) grant, which will fund a portion of newly hired firefighters salaries and benefits for three years. KCFR has requested additional funding for the six additional firefighter positions through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) specifically to provide needed staffing to fill minimum firefighter positions on four primary fire response apparatus. At a Special Meeting on September 24, 2019 the Board of Fire Commissioners unanimously approved accepting the grant, a requirement under the program.


“We are thrilled to receive this award to strengthen our response to the community we are proud to serve and enhance the safety of our firefighters who deal with a myriad of emergencies on a daily basis; a top priority for our District.” Said Fire Chief Warren Merritt, “We are also thankful to our local elected officials and Federal representatives for showing their much needed support for our community that help sustain the availability of this grant funding.”


By combining SAFER awarded funds with dollars from our annual budget approved by the Board of Fire Commissioners, it will allow KCFR to add a third firefighter to our engines and ladder company. The additional staffing is a component designed to keep KCFR safe and efficient while responding to emergency situations in our community.


“We are so grateful to our congressional delegations for their crucial support of this vital grant,” said Paul Wagner President of the KCFR Fire Commission. Public and responder safety is a top priority; with their support and this grant we will be able to offer improved services to our community.


KCFR will access the SAFER award funds beginning in 2020 and receive additional award funds in 2021 and 2022.

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