Specialty Teams

Fire Department Chaplain Program

In the event of a sudden death, seriously injured firefighter or line of duty death, a fire chaplain provides both counseling to firefighters and other department members. The fire chaplain is also available to respond and assist our citizens when an emotional and/or traumatic event has occurred.

Ron McMurray

Chaplain Ron McMurray

It is an honor to work with emergency services personnel. These dedicated men and women of the Pullman Fire Department have made it their purpose to respond to crisis situations. Whether it is a medical call, a fire or hazardous material call, these heroes answer the call and rush to the rescue. When they arrive on scene they help the injured, perform rescue operations, put out fires, and protect the public from further harm. It is the most dangerous job in the world. It takes highly skilled, motivated, and courageous individuals to do this job.

Chaplain’s Pledge
As a chaplain I have taken a pledge. “I believe that God has the answer to mankind’s problems of pain and suffering. I am ready to discuss these issues with anyone and show them the power and love of God offered through Jesus Christ. At the same time I must be open to people of all faiths and help them use their faith resources in their time of crisis. I recognize that a personal crisis is often a turning point in someone’s life. It can become a time of faith renewal and re-commitment. I want to be there to help them when this time comes.”


A chaplain must be available to help victims of tragedy in a follow up capacity. Chaplains are on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. I have been trained in Crisis Counseling, Stress Management and Critical Incident Debriefings. A chaplain is trained to bring comfort and consolation to persons involved in critical incidents, natural catastrophes, and/or incidents dealing with death. 

Pastoral Background
I have been an ordained minister for forty-four years and presently the pastor of Grace Bible Church in Pullman. I've also served as an Emergency Services Chaplain for twetny-one years. With this background I am able to provide spiritual guidance and counseling to those who ask for it. A chaplain works with people facing a family crisis, on the job crisis, or during any critical incident. The chaplain does not replace a person’s pastor or spiritual leader. If the person has a spiritual leader or is in need of a professional counselor then a referral will be made.

Community Service Activities
Member of International Conference of Police and Fire Chaplains, Whitman County Emergency Management, Volunteer Hospital Chaplain, Whitman County Sheriff’s Office and Jail Chaplain.

Honor Guard


The Pullman Fire Department Honor Guard was founded in 2006 to establish and exhibit the honor and professionalism of our organization by representing the department at formal events and ceremonies. 

The Honor Guard can provide a formal presentation of ceremonial colors, casket flag folding and pallbearer services for uniform personnel. It is with great honor that we take an active role assisting the families of our fallen brothers and sisters through participation in funeral and memorial services. 

The Honor Guard is most frequently used to represent our fire department in flag presentations at WSU athletic events, parades, graduation ceremonies and community events such as the Lentil Festival. Members of the Honor Guard have proudly served as ambassadors of the department in a positive display of professionalism and patriotism. It is the desire and commitment of our members that they achieve a high-level of excellence at each performance. The image they present is reflected back from our audiences and is one of pride, respect, and service to our community.

Our Honor Guard Team is comprised of 13 highly disciplined personnel from the Pullman Fire, Colfax Fire and Pullman Police Departments. If you would like to request Honor Guard services, please contact Honor Guard Commander Mark Johnson at (509) 338-3275. We make every effort to accommodate any request from the community.

Honor Guard Members 

Pullman Fire Department

Patrick Fitzgerald, Firefighter/Paramedic
John Gollnick, Firefighter/EMT
Jerid Hilderbrand, Firefighter/Paramedic
Andrew Howell, Fire Captain
Mark Johnson, Fire Captain
Dan Keeton, Firefighter/EMT
Reed McPherson, Firefighter/EMT
Blake Richards, Fire Captain
Erik Taylor, Firefighter/EMT
Chris Volk, Fire Lieutenant
James Young, Firefighter/Paramedic

Colfax Fire Department
Michael Chapman, Fire Chief

Pullman Police Department
Scott Patrick, School Resource Officer

WSU Event Standby

WSU Event Standby

The Pullman Fire Department is a fully functioning fire and emergency medical service department. Outside of 911 calls for fire and medical emergencies, our EMS providers serve the campus community by staffing a wide variety of events on campus. Examples of these events include NCAA sports, social gatherings and concert events. EMS coverage may vary in numbers from the required minimum of two EMT personnel at a smaller event to upwards of thirty EMT/Paramedic personnel at a large sporting event. 

Our EMT’s are certified in Basic Life Support, have immediate access to the local EMS system, and are equipped with quick response First Aid and CPR medical gear at all times. 

While we hope that your visit or stay in Pullman and Washington State University is safe, enjoyable and uneventful, we know that from time-to-time emergencies do occur. Our department stands ready to respond and assist you in handling fire, emergency medical, and emergency preparedness needs. We are dedicated to providing a safe campus environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors. 


Technical Rescue Team


After conducting a risk assessment for our community, the Pullman Fire Department saw a need to develop a Technical Rescue Team. Since then the Technical Rescue Team has grown and adapted to meet the needs for specialized rescue services for Pullman residents, WSU students and visitors.

The Technical Rescue Team is highly trained and specialized in extraordinary emergency response and dangerous high risk/low frequency type rescue situations such as trench rescue, structural collapses, elevator entrapment, rope rescue, confined-space entrapments, and high-angle rescues.

Our technical rescue personnel have year round capabilities and are equipped to respond to these types of events using heavy rescue equipment such as power saws, hydraulic tools, pneumatic shoring devices, and electric winches. These tools, allow us to effectively conduct advanced operations covering significant sized commercial occupancies throughout the city and on campus where full or partial collapse of structures may have occurred.

The Team consists of 14 Pullman Fire members and are of various ranks within the department. Members participate in monthly training sessions in order to keep certifications current. Our members have received many hours of technical rescue training in varying degrees and have become proficient responding to numerous emergencies in isolated locations. The Team is recognized as one of the best in the region for their training, skills and abilities.

Technical Rescue Team Members

Chuck Caessens, Firefighter/EMT
Patrick Fitzgerald, Firefighter/Paramedic
Paul Heebink, Firefighter/EMT
Andrew Howell, Fire Captain
Mark Johnson,  Fire Captain
Dan Keeton, Firefighter/EMT
Reed McPherson, Firefighter/EMT
Brian Parrish,  Fire Lieutenant
Blake Richards, Fire Captain
Ryan Scharnhorst, Assistant Fire Chief/ Operations Officer
Mark Sugden, Firefighter/Paramedic
Chelsey Tadema,  Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic
Erik Taylor, Firefighter/EMT
Chris Volk, Fire Lieutenant


Hazardous Materials Response Team

(Haz Mat Team)

The Pullman Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team is a member of the State of Idaho Regional Response Team 2 based in Lewiston. Team 2 is a regional asset providing Hazardous Material Response to the City of Pullman and the surrounding Quad Counties area. The Haz Mat Team is charged with the responsibility of responding to hazardous material incidents and take corrective actions to stop or mitigate the release of hazardous material, while safeguarding the welfare of citizens, emergency response personnel, property and the environment. A majority of the incident responses involve the release of or potential release of hazardous material that presents a chemical, biological, radiological, and explosive or health hazard to the community such as highway transportation and Chlorine emergencies.

The Team attends monthly regional training as well as specialty classes throughout the year to include Hazardous Material identification, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Nuclear and Biological training. All Team members are certified and trained to the level of Hazardous Material Specialist Technician. This level of training allows the Team to perform offensive actions to stop a release and contain the spill. They are trained to identify agents, assist in the collection of samples, and supervise mass decontamination operations.

To further the department’s readiness for possible incidents, all Pullman Fire Department firefighting personnel are trained to the Hazardous Material Operations level and receive continuing education in mass decontamination operations. This general training for Firefighters, coupled with the specialized Hazardous Material Response Team provides for fast response and assistance to critical situations. The Haz Mat Team is available for response 24 hours a day.

Hazardous Material Response
Team Members

Chuck Caessens, Firefighter/EMT 
 Jon Erickson, Firefighter/Paramedic
Roy Godina, Firefighter/EMT 
 Andrew Howell, Fire Captain
Mark Johnson, Fire Captain
Reed McPherson, Firefighter/EMT
Adam Thalhofer, Firefighter/Paramedic
James Young, Firefighter/Paramedic

Wildland Response Teams


Pullman Fire Department is responsible for mitigating hazards of many varieties and wildland fire is one of those well-known hazards to those living in the Pacific Northwest.

As the seasons become dryer for longer periods of time along with a growing population in Pullman and the surrounding rural areas of the Palouse, fires that once threatened only natural areas are now becoming increasingly and dangerously closer to our homes, businesses, farmland and livestock. The burden of protecting many of these homes and natural areas now rests on the shoulders of the SE Washington Interagency Incident Management Team.

The Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team is an All-Hazard Type Incident Management Team comprised of personnel from local, county, state, and federal partnering agencies within our Type 3 Organization. There are three separate rotating Type 3 Teams in the SE Region that supports and manages all hazard incidents in impacted communities. There are a total of 10 teams covering the four Regions of Washington State.

The Southeast Region is expansive, covering central and southeastern Washington. The Team provides services to the following Counties: Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Walla Walla, Whitman, and Yakima counties. Currently there are approximately 100 highly trained and credentialed Command and General staff professionals that can come together from numerous agencies and deploy with the appropriate equipment and personnel to provide coverage to these areas.

Incident Management Teams (IMTs) are designed to assist local emergency services and support unusually large, complex, or long-term emergency incidents. The IMT identifies hazards and risks and makes time-critical decisions at the appropriate level using the expertise of skilled fire managers and resource specialists.

Comprised of single resources, our Team members operate in many different capacities to provide assistance at large incidents. Some of those skills include: incident communications, planning, safety measures for the incident, GIS and mapping, finance tracking, logistical (food, sanitation, housing, transportation, facilities, base camp setup, etc.) and/or resource acquisition, conduit for public information and the Operations Division that can be further configured in to part of a Strike Team or a Hand Crew as needed for the assignment. The Team combined responds to Federal, State, County and Local wildfires as well as, all-hazard incidents during peak fire season when government agencies and rural fire departments with limited resources are overburdened with fire response.

Team members consist of several qualified and credentialed wildland firefighters as well as Incident Management personnel. All Team members are required to complete the core wildland firefighting training through the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) to ensure quality and seamless interagency operations.

The primary mission of wildland firefighters is to utilize wildland firefighting techniques and tactics to control and/or extinguish large brush, wildland and urban interface fires.

Pullman Fire Department currently operates and responds to incidents with one Type 6 brush truck and one Type 1 urban-interface engine. When requested, the department has also supplied an ALS 4x4 ambulance to these fire incidents. In the past three years department members have logged over 6,300 hours on wildland fire incidents. During these hours on a fire incident, fire department personnel are committed to maintaining the same level of service to the citizens of Pullman. If needed, deployed personnel will be recalled to maintain staffing and apparatus in the city.

As the need for skilled resources of all-hazard incidents increases, the Pullman Fire Department will continue a proactive approach in providing those specific resources and services to benefit all those involved.