SFD's CARES Team Bids Farewell to Seven Remarkable Student Volunteers

Students Collectively volunteered more than 900 hours assisting Spokane's Most At-Risk Populations

AC Brian Schaeffer 509-625-7002

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 10:43 a.m.

The Spokane Fire Department congratulates seven graduating CARES Team student volunteers that made a positive impact in the Spokane community by collectively volunteering more 900 hours during their internship (hours are in addition to practicum hours).

This Saturday, the Spokane Fire Department’s CARES Team will proudly bid farewell to seven dedicated CARES volunteers who will be graduating from Eastern Washington University.

“This is a remarkable group of individuals that we will miss deeply, but are very excited to see where their next adventure takes them and the positive difference they will continue to make,” advises Jamie Wiggins, Spokane Fire Department’s Social Response Manager. “They have collectively volunteered well over 900 hours to our community, were an instrumental part of CARES, contributed in outreach efforts during the windstorm (when many of them did not have power themselves), actively helped in the Neighborhood Clean-up Program, volunteered in Bloomsday and aided in many other programs/events outside of their normal day-to-day work.”

The graduating CARES volunteers are:

  • Megan Dicken, Master of Social Work
  • Erin Flahive, Master of Social Work
  • Callie Hanson, Bachelor of Social Work
  • Jeff King, Master of Social Work
  • Emilee Lohman, Bachelor of Social Work
  • Kayla Nelson, Master of Social Work
  • Virginia Parker, Master of Social Work

The CARES Team is a program within the Spokane Fire Department that interacts with individuals who have received a prior response from the fire department and are in need of social or other support services. Generally the individual that needs help is assisted by CARES members through their social service practice and is connected with existing partnerships and resources in the community.

CARES was founded in 2008 by the Spokane Fire Department in conjunction with Eastern Washington University. The team is composed of Eastern Washington University students who are majoring in the Social Work advanced degree programs. These students are selected through a rigorous process and meet their academic practicum requirements by serving the CARES Team as student interns.

The CARES program and its interns are overseen by Jamie Wiggins, MSW. In addition, Wiggins leads the Spokane Fire Department’s internal efforts to maintain a constant focus throughout the organization with ensuring an ethical framework that acts for the benefit of society at large while protecting our most vulnerable community. Wiggins was recently honored as a Hometown Hero by the Spokane Empire Professional Football Team.

For more information about the CARES Program is helping our community visit my.spokanecity.org/fire/operations/cares.