PULLMAN - A local Washington State Representative is blasting the state department of labor and industries for fining the City of Pullman for the fire department’s rescue of people during April’s flood. Republican Joe Schmick of Colfax is outraged that L&I has fined the city for safety violations involving firefighters use of a front-end loader.
Firefighters and city maintenance staff used the heavy equipment to forge Missouri Flat Creek which flowed down North Grand Avenue during the flash flood on April 9. Crews rescued 22 people who were trapped inside businesses along North Grand. One of those rescued was having a diabetic emergency.
"This is just plain government overreach," said Schmick. "It is absolutely ludacris. They are doing their job, and now we are going to penalize them for it."
Schmick continued, "I want the fines returned. Secondly, I think that they outta be offering a letter of apology. I mean it's awful hard in emergencies that you can anticipate everything that could possibly ever happen, and yet the Pullman Fire Department acted responsibly, they were smart, and they went and got those people out safely."
Schmick says he will continue to pursue the issue with L&I and that he was told that L&I Director Joel Sacks will get back to him about his concerns. The City of Pullman has paid the $2,700 dollars in fines.