Last month marked the official date for two longtime members of Eastside Fire & Rescue (EF&R) both serving as officers in the Agency. Lieutenant Maureen Dunn and Lieutenant Kerry Canady who have a combined experience of 50 years in fire and emergency medical services have worked in the communities of Carnation, Issaquah, North Bend and Sammamish. Each of these officers has a number of accomplishments over the years and the EF&R Board of Directors recognized these accomplishments on Thursday, January 10th at the regularly scheduled board meeting.
Maureen or “Mo” as everyone calls her, first began her career as a firefighter on July 1, 1987 where she worked for the Issaquah Fire Department. Exactly ten years to the day, Mo was promoted to lieutenant serving the citizens of Issaquah as an officer supervising a fire crew. On January 1, 1999, the consolidation of several fire departments meant that Mo would be working for a larger organization in her leadership role. She worked in Issaquah for several years, but eventually ended up being assigned to Fire Station 81 in the City of Sammamish. As the only female officer for the Agency, Mo felt it was important to get involved in organizations that supported and encouraged women in the fire service. She was involved in the organization, “Women in the Fire Service,” and would often attend the national leadership conference designed to boost interest and educate high school and college aged women about opportunities in the fire service. As a female working in a male dominated profession, Mo also felt it was important to help young women by volunteering her time working with 16-18 year olds at Camp Blaze, a nonprofit organization committed to maximizing women’s involvement in the fire service through education and networking.
Young women learn rappelling, using self-contained breathing apparatus, search and rescue skills, aerial ladder climbing and teamwork. “Helping young women understand their possible opportunities and building skills for their future in this profession is so important to the future of women in the fire service,” says Lieutenant Maureen Dunn.
In 1981, Ken Canady (Kerry’s father) moved his family from Seattle to the community of Carnation where Kerry along with his siblings became volunteer firefighters for King County Fire District 35 in Carnation. With an interest in becoming a career firefighter, Kerry tested for a position at the North Bend Fire Department and was hired on October 1,1987. Four years later Kerry was promoted to lieutenant and in 1994, the North Bend Fire Department began contracting with King County Fire District 10 where Kerry continued his career. Raising his family in Carnation, Kerry became involved in his community helping to guide the local schools in emergency planning. He served as the PTSA Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for two years and has worked with the senior center and other groups in his community over the years. Kerry has primarily served the community of Carnation, but has been assigned to various fire stations including Fire Station 81 in the City of Sammamish where he served for several years. Kerry says he leaves with some apprehension, “I leave with mixed feelings knowing that this has been a my life for the last 25 years, but I also realized it was time to retire and look forward to new ventures. It’s been a rewarding career and I will definitely miss working with the firefighters.”
With the consolidation of several departments in 1999, both Maureen and Kerry found themselves working for Eastside Fire & Rescue where they were able to complete their careers. Their combined knowledge and professionalism has helped the communities served by Eastside Fire & Rescue over the last 13 years. Chief Soptich expressed his appreciation to both and added, “Mo and Kerry have every reason to feel good of their contributions. We are a better Agency because they were and will remain a big part of EF&R.”
--Information from Eastside Fire & Rescue