Marysville Fire District taps new PIO

MARYSVILLE — Kristen Thorstenson may not fight fires with a hose or a hatchet, but she’s working for the Marysville Fire District to help keep its citizens safe through information and communication.

The Marysville Fire District recently hired Thorstenson to serve as its public education specialist and public information officer. This position covers such responsibilities as providing safety education to the community, coordinating community events, disseminating information to the media, and enhancing public awareness of the fire district’s activities and emergency responses. Her overall goal is the same as the fire district’s, to improve public safety and reduce risks in the community.

Thorstenson came to her new role from her background in early childhood education and her subsequent experience as team resource coordinator for the Washington State Safety Restraint Coalition, through which she transitioned into working for Snohomish County Fire District 1.

“You really get to touch a lot of people,” Thorstenson said. “There are a lot of different parts to fire prevention. There are so many levels of education, from adults to kids to everyone in between, and I’ve worked with them all.”

Among Thorstenson’s injury prevention certifications are public fire and life safety educator level 1, nationally certified child passenger safety technician instructor, and juvenile firesetter interventionist levels 1 and 2. She’s currently vice president of Safe Kids Snohomish County and is working toward her fire prevention specialist degree at Bellevue Community College.

In the short term, Thorstenson’s mission is to develop working relationships with the firefighting crews and “learn the Marysville way,” finding out what the biggest issues are in the community in the process. As we head into the winter months, she warned citizens that this time of year has the greatest potential for residential fires, due to use of alternative heat sources such as space heaters.

“Think about how you heat your home,” Thorstenson said. “Make sure you keep any flammables away from sources of heat or ignition, don’t overload your outlets or extension cords, plan at least two ways out of your house for everyone who lives there, and check that you have working smoke alarms in every room where people sleep, whether it’s a bedroom or not.”

With daylight savings time ending Nov. 2, Thorstenson urged everyone to change both their clocks and their smoke alarm batteries.

A Washington native who attended Cascade High School and has lived in Everett for most of her life, Thorstenson is excited about the opportunity to serve the citizens and firefighters of Marysville.

“We are pleased to have Kristen join our fire district family,” said Marysville Fire District Chief Greg Corn. “She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and energy. Her experience will be a great asset to the public we serve and firefighters we work with.”

The Marysville Fire District provides fire and emergency medical services to approximately 61,000 residents of Marysville, Seven Lakes and Quil Ceda Village, and has contracted response to the Smokey Point neighborhood of the city of Arlington, as well as surrounding parts of unincorporated Snohomish County.

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