It appears that the fire protection company Red Safety is feeling the heat, again, from fire chiefs for its sales practices.
“For me it’s disheartening,” said Maple Valley Fire Chief Aaron Tyerman.
Tyerman says one of the company’s employees misrepresented themselves as being part of the fire department at a community event.
Red Safety was invited to a potential customer’s home.
“He let the company into his home and realized after about ten minutes that this isn’t the Maple Valley Fire Department,” said Tyerman. “Then the high-pressure sales tactics started and that’s when he got really uncomfortable.”
Tyerman said after the salesman left, the community member then called the police.
“He said I just really feel violated by the whole thing, that’s really disconcerting to me,” said Tyerman.
This is not new. I first told you about Red Safety’s sales practices in May.
I reported that Fire Chiefs from East Pierce County to Shoreline have voiced their concerns to the company.
Captian Kyle Ohashi from the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority told me about troubling complaints from residents in his district.
“They had a salesperson come to the door. They turned down that sales person but were concerned for their neighbors also being solicited. So when they went outside they found one of the sales people on their property with a drill in their hand clearly trespassing, uninvited,” said Ohashi.
One of the owners of Red Safety is a real firefighter named Jared Olin with Renton Regional Fire Authority.
Last year, Olin apologized to East Pierce Fire and Rescue Chief Bud Backer for “the mis-representation of your fire department that was caused by a member of Red Safety.”
Tyerman said he had previously spoken with Olin along with other chiefs about the company’s actions.
“To have somebody who is confronted with an issue, who tells you to their face, yeah, i’m going to change my business practices, I want things to be better,” said Tyerman. “And then nothing changes.”
In a response to the Maple Valley incident, Olin said “…we make clear to our salespeople that they should not represent themselves as fire code enforcers or that they represent any fire department. Any report of misrepresentation will be dealt with immediately, which was the case with the Maple Valley complaint.”
Tyerman says he had no problem with Red Safety trying to make a buck, it’s how it’s done that fans the flames of concern.
“The trust and respect with the community is all we have, if we lose that and that gets violated that’s very impactful to us and other community members” said Tyerman.
Jared Olin declined my request for an on-camera interview.
If anyone comes to your door and says they are a firefighter, they will have a badge, I.D. and a well-marked vehicle.