Board of Fire Commissioners

Tim Fuller, Chair

Tim Fuller is retired from a 40-year career in public service, working for the Cities of Saint Paul, Minnesota and Redmond, Washington. Tim joined the Saint Paul Fire Department (SPFD) in 1971. He rose from firefighter and paramedic through various chief officer positions, including SPFD’s first Chief of Emergency Medical Services, and was president of one of SPFD’s unions. In 1991 Tim was appointed Fire Chief and led the department for twelve years. As Chief, he hired SPFD’s first women firefighters and also established a labor/management team to guide the development of SPFD’s first-ever five-year strategic plan.

In 2005, Tim was appointed Fire Chief for the City of Redmond Fire Department (RFD), leading the department until 2011. During this time, Tim also served as interim Chief of Police, while the City conducted its search to fill the position permanently. Tim returned to Redmond in 2012 to serve for approximately a year as the Director of Public Works.

He has served on the boards of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Fire Protection Association and currently serves as Vice President of the board of OPAL Community Land Trust.

Tim and his wife Martha have been homeowners on Orcas Island since 2006 and became fulltime Orcas Island residents in 2014.

Rick Christmas

Rick Christmas joined the Fire Commission in the winter of 2018.

Rick has been a resident of Orcas Island dating back to 1998. He is a member of Board of Directors for OPALCO , the San Juan County electric and broadband utility.

He is President at Christmas Consulting, which provides all aspects of operational training and development including staffing, strategic planning, and process improvement for corporate, institutional and governmental organizations.

He has served as Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President at True Blue, which is a leading international provider of specialized workforce solutions.

Rick was also a founding member and CIO /Executive Vice President of Gentiva Health Services, the largest provider of home health care and related services in the United States.

As a Fire Commissioner, Rick wants to offer his experience and insights to serve OIFR and the public of Orcas Island to the best of his abilities.

Patrick Shepler

Patrick Shepler was elected Fire Commissioner for a term beginning, January 2022. 

Patrick began his career in 1978 as a volunteer firefighter for South Pasadena, Florida. He worked full-time as an EMT in St. Petersburg, Florida until becoming a Paramedic in 1980.  Patrick worked as a Firefighter Paramedic for the city of Clearwater Fire Rescue from 1980 to 2003.  His last seven years he served as the Shift Rescue Lieutenant (an EMS shift commander and clinical supervisor).

During his career with Clearwater, Patrick continued his education earning a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Leadership and two Associates degrees: Fire Administration and Emergency Medical Services. 

Patrick has served as adjunct faculty for St. Petersburg college, Southeast Public Safety Institute, and served as a Medical Control Officer for the Pinellas County Office of the Medical Director.  

When Patrick was offered a fulltime Firefighter/Paramedic position in 2005, he immediately bought a home on Orcas and moved to the island; along with 17 “care for life” shelter dogs.

Patrick has extensive labor management experience. He has served on previous boards and committees, including the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, SJC EMS & Trauma Council, North Region EMS & Trauma Council, and the Eastsound Water Users Association.  He participated in the first beta testing for Community Paramedic certification, and later served as a subject matter expert for the International Board of Specialty Certifications (IBSC).

Patrick retired from OIFR as a Battalion Chief Paramedic, November 2020.  Patrick is excited to continue to contribute to our community.

Jim Helminski

Jim Helminski joined the Fire Commission in April 2017. Prior to moving Orcas Island, Jim’s professional career was in operational emergency services and emergency services organizational management.

In July 2015, Jim retired as a Deputy Assistant Director of the U.S. Secret Service, providing executive oversight of human resources planning and policy development for the agency’s offices nationwide. Prior, Jim managed U.S. Secret Service operations in the Pacific Northwest as Special Agent in Charge of the Seattle field office. During his 27 year career with the Secret Service, Jim also served as Deputy Assistant Director of Criminal Investigations, and various operational and protective services supervisor on the protective details for Presidents Clinton and Bush and Deputy Special Agent in Charge for Vice President Biden.

Prior to his federal public service, Jim progressed through state and local government ranks as a police officer, detective, and founding captain of a mounted police unit.

Jim and his wife Teresa Patrick have owned a home on Orcas Island since 2006, and are pleased to now be permanent and contributing members of the community.

Janet Marlow

Janet Marlow joined the Fire Commission in July 2019 and brings over 20 years of organization-management experience with her.

Prior to moving to Orcas Island, Janet spent the bulk of her career with Tenaris, a global steel manufacturer primarily serving the energy industry. With an MBA in Operations & Logistics, she spent the first half of her career in Supply Chain roles, designing inventory-management programs and procedures. She then transitioned into Human Resources, managing employee training and development, with the aim of ensuring compliance to policy and procedure while fostering happy, productive, inclusive environments.

Now living on Orcas along with her husband Will Marlow, Janet works as the Administrative Services Coordinator for Orcas Island Public Library, coordinating budget, employee, and other administrative matters.  Through this role, she’s gained an appreciation for the rules of open government management as well as the responsibilities a junior taxing district has to the population it serves.

Janet is honored to have the opportunity to support the talented and dedicated team of OIFR.

Monthly Board Meeting

The BOFC regular meeting is held monthly at the Fire Hall and is open to the public. It's usually on the third Monday of each month, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., but occasionally changes, especially if it falls on a holiday. Check our calendar for date and time.

Board Documents

Minutes and other board documents can be accessed anytime from our online repository or at BOFC meetings upon request.

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