Theresa Purtell, January 1, 2024

With great sadness, the WSCFF reports the death of Theresa Purtell, IAFF Local 27 Retired. Theresa was a valued member of the WSCFF Executive Board, serving as 11th District Representative from 2004-2021. She chaired the WSCFF Benevolent Scholarship Committee for many years and served as an instructor for the annual IAFF 7th District FIRE OPS program. A tireless advocate for workers in Washington, she was recognized for her groundbreaking efforts by both the Martin Luther King Jr. County Labor Council and the Washington State Labor Council AFL-CIO.

WSCFF President Dennis Lawson says, “Theresa was a trailblazer in so many ways – a voice for women from her first days at Bates Fire Training Academy through her retirement after 36 years with Seattle Fire in 2015. She broke down barriers and opened doors.”

Theresa was passionate about advancing the careers of women in the fire service, and was devoted to Camp Blaze, a program developed more than 20 years ago to empower, inspire, and support strong women leaders by providing a biannual, free camp where young women experience what a career in the fire service is like.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. The WSCFF will provide details when they become available.

To honor and remember her, the WSCFF Benevolent Fund has established the Camp Blaze Fund. All donations made to the WSCFF Benevolent Fund will be passed on to Camp Blaze to continue offering this dynamic program and making a difference in the lives of young women.

Donations can be made via this link or with a check. Please make checks to WSCFF Benevolent Fund, note “Camp Blaze Fund” in the memo line, and mail them to:

Camp Blaze Fund
c/o WSCFF Benevolent Fund
1069 Adams Street
Olympia, WA 98501