General Election: Crowson, Goodwillie Face Off in Fire District 5 Race

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A second-generation firefighter, Mike Goodwillie is seeking to unseat Fire District 5 chairman Thomas Crowson in the race for Position No. 3 on the commission for Lewis County Fire District 5, Napavine.

Crowson worked as a firefighter and EMT from 1975 to 1992. In 1977, he became fire marshal at National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, where he worked for the U.S. Navy. He started his own fire equipment company in 1990, servicing extinguishers and suppression systems. He also has experience estimating damage for insurance after fires.

He was first elected to the Fire District 5 commission in 2016 and he currently serves as the commission’s chair.

“Currently, Lewis County Fire District 5 is experiencing this growth, as are other districts. As current chairman of our board, we have two mandates: First, to protect lives and property.  Second, to make certain our  tax revenues are wisely spent,” said Crowson in a written statement.

He previously served on the Lewis County Water Conservancy Board and he serves on the boards for the Lewis County Board of Equalization and Lewis County Public Facilities District.

These positions have given him insight into the “tremendous growth” Lewis County is experiencing.

“This growth must be managed. Emergency services need planning for future needs,” he said.

Crowson and his wife have lived in Lewis County for the last 10 years and consider themselves “refugees” from Thurston County.

“We view Lewis County as an ‘island of sanity,’ midway between Seattle and Portland. We both feel it is very important to be involved in our local community,” he said. “Working together to keep Lewis County sane is why we are involved.”

He is asking voters to help him continue his “hands on” management of the local fire district.

 

Goodwillie has been in the fire service for 13 years, having started in a volunteer position that led to a career as a firefighter and EMT.

“In that time, I have seen the positives and negatives of department management. A fire department needs to work for the benefit of the citizens who pay taxes. It also needs to put safety and training in the forefront of department goals to protect the lives of firefighters and citizens,” he said.

When asked why he chose to run for a position on the Fire District 5 commission, he said:

“I chose to run when I kept seeing tax dollars being wasted and a lack of training and safety endangering firefighters. I saw firefighter lives put into jeopardy when they didn’t have to be. Firefighters know the inherent risks and the administration owes those individuals the best training and policy protocols to make sure everyone goes home.”

When asked what he thinks are the primary issues facing District 5, he said, “the main issues are a lack of funding and training at District 5. District 5 runs on a tight budget and has had bad results with levies in the past. I feel it is because the current administration lacks the ability to ‘sell it’ to the community. Yard signs and mailers aren't going to pass a levy. We need to have clear goals when we ask the public for their hard earned money. More people and better equipment are essential. When I would speak to people who worked for District 5, the biggest issue mentioned is the lack of training and I have seen this in person. Lack of training can kill firefighters.”

He added, “I love my city and I want my hometown fire department to be the best it can be. I want to supply the firefighters with the best tools and training while managing the budget effectively.”

 

 

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