Chief Scott Williams moved to Orcas Island in the summer of 2013 after being offered a position as a fire officer and paramedic. He has been a firefighter and paramedic for over 15 years. Prior to moving to Orcas, Williams worked for fire departments in Montana and Florida, serving urban and rural communities.
Williams has always had a passion for medical-related work. During his paramedicine training, he was introduced to the Fire Service while performing clinical studies on an ambulance run by a fire department. Responding to medical, fire, and rescue related incidents and seeing his preceptors perform all aspects of scene management and patient care made an impact.
“… it made sense… there is efficiency and continuity in responding as a team and having the ability to perform the actions needed to remove someone from a life-threatening situation and provide emergency medical treatment…”
After completing his paramedic and firefighter training, Williams has continuously worked for FIRE/EMS based agencies and hasn’t looked back. “Working for a fire department just fit… I really see the value in an agency that performs both medical and fire.”
During his initial time with OIFR Williams performed both operational and administrative duties and became involved in local community groups which support the medical community on Orcas. During a transitional period in the OIFR Administration, Williams took on the role of Acting Fire Chief and was later hired as Fire Chief.
As for the position of fire chief, Williams is not letting it go to his head. “I want to make sure things go well,” said Williams. “It’s a great opportunity to support the department and be a part of the TEAM. I also enjoy supporting our efforts to serve the community and having a role in making a good future for Orcas Island Fire and Rescue.”
Holly vanSchaick has spent most of her life on one island or another. After growing up on Oahu, Holly and her family relocated to Bainbridge Island in 2006. Holly started her career in Fire/EMS as a volunteer in 2007, and went on to become the first female career firefighter paramedic at Sunnyside Fire Department in Yakima County in 2010.
She comes to OIFR after spending the last 9 years of her career in Skagit County.
Holly has a passion for bringing all responders together as one team, keeping the driving focus on unified public service.
“A thriving combination fire department means nurturing an environment that is healthy for all department members, and encourages members with opportunities to grow and evolve as life and needs change. The public receives the best possible end product in service delivery when such an inclusive environment respects and welcomes the talents and strengths offered by a diverse community of individuals.”