Following yesterday’s six-hour confined space rescue operation involving 29 fire engines and countless support personnel, Everett Fire Chief, Dave DeMarco released a statement on the department’s Facebook Page this morning explaining the city’s response. For those who are unaware of yesterday’s events, here is a quick summary.

Around 9 am yesterday morning, 29 firetrucks in total responded to a 3-alarm technical rescue at the northbound I-5 off-ramp at Pacific Avenue in Everett. The Department of Transportation (DOT) alerted 9-1-1 that morning when a manmade tunnel that officials believed to be a makeshift camp located off the side of the offramp seemed to collapse possibly stranding one or more individuals. After initial reports of a possible collapse, authorities announced the tunnel was intact but covered at the entrance.. After 6 hours of searching, rescue workers reached the end of the tunnel and came to the conclusion that no one was inside.

Everett Fire Chief DeMarco followed up this morning on Facebook by saying,

Good morning,

In the background of the confined space rescue operation yesterday there have been many who question the obviously enormous investment in the effort to excavate the tunnel and ensure no lives were at risk. It presents an important opportunity to share the mission of the Everett Fire Department and the underlying purpose and values of the local, regional, national and international fire service.

At Everett Fire, our mission is: “We’re here for you.”

The promise we’ve made to our community, the promise of the entire fire service is that we will use the precious resources you entrust to us to deliver the expertise and equipment necessary to save a life. Our mission, and that promise, extends to all lives no matter where or how you live, no matter who you are or what you believe.

The massive effort yesterday was us fulfilling our mission. I wish to extend sincere thanks to all our regional partners who worked tirelessly for hours to ensure this incredibly dangerous and complex operation was resolved safely and with no injuries or loss of life.”


Many on social media were going back and forth on the amount of financial cost the event would cause the tax payers, which could explain the announcement by Chief DeMarco.

Daniel Albert is an Award-Winning journalist majoring in Integrated Strategic Communications at Washington State University.