Community

Stillaguamish Valley School students show appreciation

From left,  Arlington firefighters Steven Daggett and Alan Christou grab lunch while Stillaguamish Valley School student Chelsea Van Der Meersche puts more food on the table on May 20. - Adam Rudnick
From left, Arlington firefighters Steven Daggett and Alan Christou grab lunch while Stillaguamish Valley School student Chelsea Van Der Meersche puts more food on the table on May 20.
— image credit: Adam Rudnick

ARLINGTON — A group of Stillaguamish Valley School students recently took time out of their schedules to show their appreciation to local firefighters.

For the second time in as many months, students from the school’s government class and Respect team prepared lunch for Arlington employees in the City Council Chambers.

About 20 firefighters/emergency medical technicians and paramedics chowed down on sandwiches, chips and baked goods that were brought in the by Stillaguamish students on Thursday, May 20.

The lunch took place during National EMS week, which the Arlington Fire Department took part in on May 16-22.

“The kids were the ones that asked to do it,” said Will Nelson, Stillaguamish Valley School teacher. “They felt like it was important to say thank you and this was their way of doing that.”

The students brought in about eight loaves of bread, eight pounds of cheese, 10 pounds of meat and approximately 80 bags of chips to feed the firefighters and department personnel.

“It’s not often that we get to pamper them,” said Doug Schmidt, medical services offer for the department. “We’ll try to hold them here for 20 minutes or so to eat.”

Fire Chief Jim Rankin said that the lunch helps reinforce the community connection between the department and the citizens it serves.

“It helps with those one-on-one connections,” Rankin said. “They’re recognizing the role our department makes in the community.”

After the lunch, Kelly Penny, Cascade Valley Hospital’s community relations director, handed out coffee glasses and thank you letters signed by community members to individual firefighters and medics.

“This week is about raising awareness,” said Barb Tolbert, chair of Citizens for Emergency Medical Services — a committee soliciting support for a permanent EMS levy this fall. “These cards really say thank you.”

Arlington residents will be voting in the Nov. 2 general election whether the city should impose a permanent levy that would charge property owners 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

Those owners currently pay about 39 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation for the current EMS levy, which expires Dec. 31.

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