William_PernettWilliam Pernett

Fire Chief
Chief Pernett comes to us with over 24 years of experience coming up through the ranks of Golder Ranch Fire District. He became interested in fire and EMS right out of high school. He was hired full time in 1990. He has spent time as a Firefighter, Company Officer, Training Officer, Paramedic, HazMat Tem Coordinator and Battalion Chief. Bill’s education includes an AAS degrees in Fire Service, Paramedicine and General Studies. He also has a BS in Public Safety Administration and a  Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis in Leadership. In addition, he served as the Chairman of the Golder Ranch Fire Districts’ Policy Committee and as a member of their Honor Guard. Chief Pernett received the professional designation of “Chief Fire Offer” from the Commissioner on Professional Credentialing on December 13, 2016. Currently he is one of only 1,204 CFOs worldwide.

In his spare time he enjoys mountain biking and spending time with his family in the outdoors.


Joe Noonchester

Assistant Chief
Assistant Chief Noonchester is originally from Arizona and grew up enjoying the heat, and the warm water in the nearby lakes. After graduating from high school, Noonchester relocated to the Denver area where he finished his Bachelor’s degree and started a family. His two children, Kaitlyn and Samuel, are now grown and are scattered around the world. Kaitlyn works as a dental assistant in Seattle and Sam serves in the Air-force, stationed in England.

Noonchester joined the fire service about fifteen years ago in Las Vegas. There, he started as a reserve firefighter/EMT for the Boulder City Fire Department. During the entrance process of becoming a paramedic, he was offered a full-time position in Stanwood, WA. He and his family established a new life in western WA in the fire service.

After several years in Snohomish County, Joe moved to Whatcom County to continue his career. After working with the City of Lynden, he became part of the NWFR family as the training officer. Wanting to advance his education, the department sponsored him to attend the National Fire Academy EFOP.

With some major life changes, Joe is newly re-married to a wonderful woman and enjoys Bellingham as his home.


Henry Hollander

Division Chief
Division Chief Hollander was born in Hilversom, Holland. His family relocated to Lethbridge, Alberta before settling in Santa Barbara, California where he graduated from Santa Barbara High School.  He went on to sudy business administration at Santa Barbara City College. Eventually, Chief Hollander headed north and established a home in Blaine. Chief Hollander was a private business owner for twenty-five years prior to becoming interested volunteering as a firefighter for the City of Blaine. Chief Hollander was hired as a career firefighter in 1999. Since then he has held various positions including Assistant Chief from 1996 until 2011 when he accepted the role of Division Chief of Support Services. Chief Hollander has represented the district commendably, offering his assistance during the Thailand Tsunami, Helious airline crash and hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Chief Hollander has been part of the mergers between the City of Blaine, District 3 and District 13 and the recent consolidation with Fire District 4. He continues to challenge himself and comes up with ways to benefit the district by assisting with the development of a state of the art computer system; designed the VOIP telephone system for five stations; brought AVL to the district; supervises a fully certified EVT repair shop. He also assisted with the purchase of three new engines and a used ladder truck. Chief Hollander enjoys spending time with his wife Cathy, three children and two grandchildren.

Jennie_SandJennie Sand

Administrative Assistant to the Fire Chief
Jennie Sand was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She relocated to the Whatcom County area with her family at the age of 12. With her children grown and no longer in the school system, Jennie began to explore other career options, which ultimately led her to the fire service. After nearly 20 years in education in one capacity or another, Jennie joined North Whatcom Fire and Rescue in June 2009. Jennie is a life long learner, who enjoys taking classes that will broaden her horizons. She is currently enrolled with Everett Community College studying Fire Science.

Benita_WilliamsBenita Williams

Business Manager
Benita Williams was born in Mission City, British Columbia, Canada. Benita began her work career in Canada as a Enforcement Clerk/Officer for the Conservation Officer Service. (Fish and Wildlife); She worked for 15 years in 100 Mile House before transfering to Chilliwack in 1995. Benita relocated to Washington State in 1999 while continuing to work in Canada. She joined North Whatcom Fire and Rescue as the Business Manager in 2004. Benita is an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends much of her free time running and working in the yard.

Kris_ParksKris Parks

Finance Assistant
Kris Parks was born in Coburg (Bavaria) Germany. Being a former “military wife,” Kris has had the opportunity to live in several cities in Germany, as well as Scotland for a short time while attending college. Kris eventually moved to the United States in 1999. Kris studied business administration and then specialized in foreign trade. Currently Kris is enrolled with the Everett Community College studying Fire Science. She is also a registered Washington State Emergency Worker and a member of CERT. Prior to the consolidation, Kris was the Administrative Manager and Board Secretary for District 4. Kris continues as the District 4 Board Secretary and we welcome her into the North Whatcom family as the Finance Assistant.

Kelly_FreemanKelly Freeman

Health & Wellness Coordinator
Kelly Freeman has be a certified personal trainer for ten years and has been training in the fire service since 2006. Her career in the fire service as a trainer began with a contracted position, training a group of firefighters during a local fitness challenge for emergency responders. Over the past six years her position has grown into a full time position as the Health and Wellness Coordinator at North Whatcom Fire and Rescue. As a Health and Wellness Coordinator, Kelly oversees all of the new hire and annual medical physicals requirements of career, part-paid and volunteer staff. On a weekly basis, she sees approximately fifteen different crews for physical training at different station locations. She is the district liaison for Labor and Industries, Coastal Administrative Services, the district occupation physician, as well as any issues regarding physical fitness for the district. Kelly holds the position of Infectious Disease Control Officer and sits on both the safety and grant committee. Over the past six years Kelly has become certified as a cross fit instructor, TACFIT instructor and circular strength training instructor. She has also had the opportunity to attend both the Phoenix Fire Department’s fitness symposium as well as a firefighter specific training at Athlete’s Performance to learn more in depth about the physical rigors of firefighting. She has been asked to teach fire fighter fitness classes a the Whatcom County Recruit Academy, Skagit Valley College Fire Science program and at surrounding fire districts. In the past year, Kelly has been involved in the production and growth of the TACFIT Firefighter First Alarm fitness program with the program designers, Captain Ryan Provencher and Captain Christian Carson

Marcia_DickinsonMarcia Dickinson

Data Entry
Marcia is a native to Washington, born in Vancouver. She has two daughters and seven grandchildren. Marcia has attended college in both Yakima and Bellevue and currenlty resides in Bellingham.

We are excited to have Marcia here with us. She brings a strong background in professional business practices, data entry and a great sense of humor.