Volunteerism has played a vital role in the history of King County Fire District 40 and community volunteers continue to be instrumental today, providing much needed assistance to the department through their Fire Corps program. Called the Amateur Radio Support Group (ARSG), this 25-member Fire Corps program supplies supplemental and back-up communications in instances when traditional methods fail. One member who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to enhance ARSG is Sharon Kosai, who serves as the program’s Training Coordinator.
 
"Sharon is a very dedicated member of our Fire Corps ARSG. She has a bubbly personality that keeps people motivated and engaged," said Mindi Mattson, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Coordinator for District 40 and contact for the department’s ARSG Fire Corps program. CERT and Fire Corps are partner programs under the Department of Homeland Security’s Citizen Corps initiative.
 
Known for her enthusiasm and innovative ambition, Kosai has taken ARSG to new levels by creating curriculum to educate District 40 firefighters about the services provided by ARSG and the capabilities of the radios. Kosai joined ARSG two years ago and has continually given her best to the department. "Even as a new volunteer, she didn’t hesitate to jump right in and ask for additional responsibility," said Mattson.
 
In order to better prepare ARSG members for their Fire Corps activities, Kosai has completed numerous advanced communication certification classes, which enable her to tailor training for members. Fellow volunteers look up to Kosai for her warm and welcoming personality and passion for the program. As Mattson said, "I cannot say enough nice things about Sharon Kosai and all the hours she puts in as a volunteer."
 
In addition to ARSG, Kosai has participated in every CERT drill held by the department for the past three years, from being a victim, to applying trauma makeup, assisting with radio communications, and much more. She recently helped launch District 40’s first joint drill exercise incorporating both CERT and Fire Corps volunteers, which integrated amateur radio operators with CERT during an emergency disaster simulation.
 
Kosai is also involved in many other activities. She has been instrumental in getting all ARSG members 100 percent NIMS compliant and has facilitated an ambitious training schedule that has considerably improved the skills of all ARSG members. In addition, she helps with the department’s holiday outreach program to collect food, clothing, and toys to distribute to local families in need. Kosai’s volunteer spirit shows in all her activities with ARGS. "She is a great example of a committed individual giving her time and talents to make our community better and safer," said Mattson.
 
District 40 operates two stations, serving a population of 43,000 over 12.5 square miles. The department registered with Fire Corps in January 2005, and through dedication, support, and hard work from citizens such as Sharon Kosai, District 40 continues its commitment to quality service, a tradition that began with the fire department’s inception 57 years ago.
 
For more information about the ARSG Fire Corps program, please contact Mindi Mattson at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
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