It is hard to imagine Central Kitsap Medic One Foundation without Dick West at the helm as our chairman, directing the agenda and conversation with ease and a warm smile.  Dick was astute and able to carefully help others see the best course of action in order to accomplish the most with the resources we had.  At times, when there were debates, all ideas were welcomed and skillfully redirected by Dick, when necessary, leaving all of us able to fully participate, and contemplate all sides to a discussion in order to make sound decisions.  Each of us has a story about how he helped us individually as though he were a father helping his son or daughter reach their best potential.  It is often said that a true leader brings people, some of us just ordinary, to act in an extraordinary way.  For several of us, our service on other community boards was bolstered by the unwavering support Dick confidently gave to us.  Dick could look at the talent each of us has and gently nudge us in a direction that allowed us to grow into that talent and take on the roll we were called to fill.  We went from a foundation that was trying to accomplish much to one that has impacted the quality of help and care Kitsap County residents receive from Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue.   Kathy Oliver, a board member of the foundation stated, “He was truly a man who dedicated his entire life to the fire service with great passion.”

With a precision honed by years of service as a first responder, a former Fire Chief and as a Fire Commissioner, he conveyed the capabilities and needs of Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue to the board of directors for CK Medic One Foundation.  As a result, we direct our talents to bring in resources and funds to purchase needed equipment and training materials.  As individuals, from one serving on the board, to someone having received care, gratefully giving to Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue through our Foundation, he enabled us to lend aid to another, even though we aren’t that firefighter carrying someone out of a burning building or that EMT or Paramedic opening an airway and starting an IV.  Just as Dick was able to help shape Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue into the professional service it is today, he helped to develop Central Kitsap Medic One Foundation into an efficient and caring group of individuals who could do greater things together.  As Marcie Wakefield, a current member of the Foundation stated, “he noticed I always commented on the web page and was so supportive of CKFR!” He kept in touch with her and eventually she joined the board of directors, it was that easy for Dick to find dedicated and interested people to work on the board of directors.

Dick West’s leadership has deeply shaped the service and communication of Central Kitsap Medic One Foundation through diligent fostering of an essential relationship between the Foundation and Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue.  He was able to care for the Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue family, Central Kitsap Medic One Foundation and the public in immeasurable ways.  Kathy Earl, another current board member of CK Medic One Foundation stated that she recalls how welcoming and thoughtful Dick was in commending a firefighter who was receiving a well-earned award, but also recognized the sacrifice and support he/she received from family, especially that of the spouse.  Dick’s passing will be profoundly felt for a long time to come.  His legacy of leadership, service and mentorship will live on and continue to impact our Kitsap community.  Kathy Oliver puts it well in stating “Grief is the price we pay for love and I know there are many who loved him dearly and are grieving the loss of such a great man.  I will miss his crooked smile and dry sense of humor.”   We will miss Dick’s boisterous jocularity and passion for serving and of course are grateful individuals for having known Dick West and were blessed by the little time we spent with him.

Please click here to download the obituary.

On April 7 2020, by a unanimous vote, CK Medic One Foundation supported a $10,000 donation to CKFR for purchasing PPE protection for all first responders, EMT’s, Paramedics, and Firefighters. The foundation recently received a very generous donation from a former firefighter’s estate. This donation has provided us the opportunity to help our own department – just in time.  Sometimes it’s the simple things, like a protective mask that can make a difference between life and death. We, the Board members of the Foundation, are honored and humbled to be of support.

A big KUDO’S to board members Amanda Lancheros and Virginia Kasper. Both are going above and beyond to support the needs of communities fighting against COVID19 virus.

Amanda, a local ER nurse is currently fighting on the front lines in NYC at one of the busiest Trauma Centers in the country. Amanda indicated, the center is receiving three times more patients daily than beds available. Many nurses/ healthcare providers from out of area are stepping up to support the exhausted local staffs. Our thoughts, prayers and best wishes go out to our friend Amanda and all who are out the fighting together on the front lines. In case you didn’t see this already, here is an article in the Kitsap Sun about our own Amanda Lancheros’ ongoing adventures in New York.

Virginia is putting her skill set to work locally and working directly with CKFR Chief Oliver and Deputy Chief Sorenson to supply the ever-popular fabric masks for the first responders, these will be in addition to the donation purchases, and will be reusable.

These are very challenging times and the foundation would like to send out our wishes to all, stay safe, healthy and at a distance physically but not emotionally. Support your local first responders and essential personal. All of the people who are out there each day, trying to keep things going is our new normal.

The foundation always accepts donations and is currently participating in the Kitsap Great Give Campaign. Early donations for the Kitsap Great Give are being accepted now or mark your calendar to donate on April 21, 2020 which is a 24 hour day of giving. Funds contributed to the foundation are increased by pool donations from sponsors, so maximize your donations and visit www.kitsapgreatgive.org and support Central Kitsap Medic One Foundation. As a community we are stronger together. Central Kitsap Medic One Foundation