Brief history of our department

Our Story

NWFR was formed December 7, 2006, from a vote to merge Whatcom County Fire Protection District #3 and Whatcom County Fire Protection District #13.

In January 2007 the fire district officially changed their name to Whatcom County Fire Protection District #21 and operates as North Whatcom Fire and Rescue. NWFR formed a functional consolidation with Whatcom County Fire Protection District #4 on July 1, 2011.

NWFR is a combination fire department, relying on both career and tender support personnel. We provide fire suppression and emergency medical services. All our career firefighters are all medically trained to the level of EMT-Basic. The Fire District operates all hazards, including fire suppression, emergency medical services including BLS transport, rescue, and hazardous materials response at the operations level.

The Fire District operates from 8 stations. Four are full paid EMS /Fire based stations, two of those companies being cross staffed with ladder trucks. We do have great support from our Tender Support Group from the other four stations, these members provided Water tender support on fire incidents. North Whatcom Fire and Rescue is managed by Fire Chief, Jason Van der Veen. Chief Van der Veen reports to the Board of Fire Commissioners who provide legislative authority for the fire district. The district also includes management and administrative staff.


Meet Our Fire Chief

Chief Van der Veen

Jason Van der Veen


Fire Chief Jason Van der Veen was born in Seattle and raised in Bellevue. He relocated to Whatcom County in 1994. Jason, his wife Meagan and their seven children reside in Lynden.

Chief Van der Veen began his fire service career by graduating from the WA State Fire Academy in 1998. He became part of the North Whatcom Fire and Rescue family in February 2007. Through his diligence and hard work, Jason was promoted to the position of lieutenant in 2010 and then to ops chief in 2019.

Chief Van der Veen was raised by parents who set a wonderful example of selfless service to others. He tries to emulate these attributes and pass them on to both his children and coworkers.


Jennie Sand - Executive Assistant: jsand@nwfrs.com

Kelly Freeman - HR: kfreeman@nwfrs.com

Jessica Koehler - Finance Specialist: jkoehler@nwfrs.com

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