Monday, October 18, 2021
Oct. 18, 2021

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Working in Clark County: Alicia Perry, fire code officer

By , Columbian News Assistant
Published:
4 Photos
Alicia Perry admires her father and she is following in his footsteps.
Alicia Perry admires her father and she is following in his footsteps. He is a fire chief and she has earned her fire prevention and fire investigation certifications. Photo Gallery

Working in Clark County, a brief profile of interesting Clark County business owners or a worker in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: mary.ricks@columbian.com; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

Alicia Perry admires her father and she is following in his footsteps. He is a fire chief and she has earned her fire prevention and fire investigation certifications.

“When I go into a business to do an inspection, I know what I am looking for and what is safe. I want to educate the owners,” Perry said. “I believe the job is all about education.”

Name: Alicia Perry.

Job/employer: Vancouver Fire Department, Fire Marshal’s Office.

Age: 34.

Education/professional background: I was raised in San Diego. I attended fire technical programs at three community colleges in California. I have my fire prevention and fire investigation certificates from the California State Fire Marshal and my International Code Council Fire Inspector 1 certification. I will be going to Seattle in March to take the test for my Inspector 2 certification.

How did you get into this line of work: My father, Doug Perry, is a fire marshal and deputy chief for San Diego Fire Rescue Department and I have always wanted to be like him. I saw him helping his community and making a difference in fire prevention. I was ready for a change and felt Vancouver had a lot to offer. I heard of an opening and applied and got the job. That was about two years ago.

Working in Clark County, a brief profile of interesting Clark County business owners or a worker in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: mary.ricks@columbian.com; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

What I do: My territory is downtown Vancouver. I inspect small retail businesses and offices to make the community a safer place. I identify any fire or life safety hazards in the business, explain what I find and how owners can make changes. Many times the hazard is a fire extinguisher being expired, too many extension cords or blocked exits . If there was a violation, I go back in 30 days for another inspection. That is also a good time to answer any additional questions they might have.

Most rewarding part of job: I like being able to get out and get to know the community. I work one-on-one with the public and business owners. I like being able to make a difference about their concerns and educate them at the same time.

Most challenging part of job: I would say the job is challenging and rewarding at the same time. When owners hear me say inspection, they seem to think they have done something wrong. I try to make it more of an educational experience and remind them I am there for their safety. When there is a fire in a small business, quite often the owners find they can’t reopen because it will cost too much.

Personal/business philosophy: My philosophy for my job is education. I know what I am looking for and what is safe and I want to educate them.

Residence: Washougal.

Best feature of my Vancouver community: I love Vancouver’s downtown, all the old buildings, small businesses and being about to walk around.

Favorite restaurant/pub/coffee shop/store: Brickhouse Bar & Grill, Rosemary Cafe and Compass Coffee.

Hobbies: Hot rods and vintage cars.

Favorite travel destination: Palm Springs, Calif.


Most interesting play/movie/arts event:
I loved the One Motorcycle Show in Portland last year.

One thing you want to do this year: I want to get my bachelor’s degree in fire administration.

Something you want to do within five years: I would like to buy a house and become a deputy fire marshal in the Vancouver Fire Department.

One word to describe yourself: Persistent.


Person you’d most like to meet:
I would have loved to have met Edith Head. I would like to meet George Barris, an American designer and builder of many famous Hollywood custom cars.

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