East Jefferson Fire Rescue firefighter Reece Chambers received a heart transplant Friday.

East Jefferson Fire Rescue firefighter Reece Chambers received a heart transplant Friday.

Former Kitsap Firefighter receives new heart after years of giving to community

PORT TOWNSEND — When there is an emergency, calling 9-1-1 is what we instinctively do. Within minutes, assistance is on its way to help, whether it is a fire, accident or medical call.

Reece Chambers, 41, a lieutenant with East Jefferson Fire-Rescue (EJFR), is one of those dedicated professionals who often answers the call and renders aid.

On Friday, instead of helping others, he was on the receiving end of care.

East Jefferson Professional Firefighters said Chambers had been No. 1 on the wait list for a new heart and a compatible donor had finally been found after the stress of his work made it evident his heart needed more help.

Chambers spent three months at the fire academy as a company officer in 2017 but the work he did there impacted a previously diagnosed heart condition — cardiomyopathy.

In January, the non-stop work involved exacerbated his health issues and he was put on light duty.

His condition worsened and on July 18, he was admitted to the hospital.

The transplant took place at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.

According to his wife, Trina, the surgery went well.

As of Sunday afternoon, Chambers was taking his first steps through the halls of the hospital.

For the past 16 years, Chambers has responded to house fires, car wrecks, technical rescue calls, water rescues and medical transports at all hours of the day and night.

His colleagues from East Jefferson Professional Firefighters said he is one of those people whose kindness, temperament and overall personality garner praise from all those he has worked alongside throughout the years.

Chambers was hired 14 years ago as a firefighter with Jefferson County Fire District No. 6, which merged to become EJFR District 1.

Prior to joining EJFR, Chambers spent two years as a resident firefighter at North Kitsap Fire & Rescue.

He became an emergency medical technician with intermediate life support credentials (EMT/ILS), and in 2015, was promoted to the position of lieutenant.

“After 16 years of unselfishly giving to the community there has never been a better time to show appreciation for Reece’s dedication to helping others than by giving back to help this young family,” said Lt. Justin Fletcher, family spokesperson.

Chambers’ wife is a high school teacher and they have four children: Jaden, 12, Kaia, 11, Isaiah, 10 and Kingston, 10.

The children travel from their home in Gig Harbor to Seattle several times a week to spend as much time as they can with their dad since he has been at the medical center.

The International Association of Fire Fighters, IAFF Local 2032, worked with Unions America to establish a website where donations can be sent to assist Chambers and his family in the coming months.

The website can be accessed by going to www.LetsHelpReece.com.

Updates on Chambers’ condition will be regularly provided on the site.

Donations may also be sent to the Boeing Employees Credit Union for the Reece Chambers Benevolent Account.

— Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at jmcmacken@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

A close-up look at one of the hate signs. Courtesy photos
Hate symbols against COVID vaccines seen in N. Kitsap

Hate symbols protesting COVID-19 vaccines were displayed on signs this week in… Continue reading

.
Port Orchard spelling bee goal-setter writes her first book

Ilyannie dedicates her published work to ‘Grandpa’

Outdoor burn ban still in effect

Most outdoor burning remains prohibited with a few exceptions

.
4 more COVID-related deaths in Kitsap, 176 total

110 new cases also confirmed in county

Lewis
New Kitsap County clerk appointed

The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners recently appointed David Lewis to serve… Continue reading

Be Bold Be Brave is a workshop that takes a holistic approach to self-defense and teaching women the mental empowerment to believe they are worth defending. (Contributed photo)
BI workshops teach empowerment, self defense

Self-defense classes have been around for decades, and the idea is simple… Continue reading

Dune, Courtesy photos
Long-anticipated films starting to be released

Just like TV shows, the fall entertainment season also brings many new… Continue reading

A look at the new boardwalk that was included in the Finn Hill Road shared-use path project. Courtesy photo
Statue of slain boy part of new Poulsbo park

A statue honoring 3-year-old Eli Creekmore who was beaten to death by… Continue reading

Melissa Hudson with two of her children. Courtesy photo
Funds sought for Sluys’ granddaughter’s cancer treatment

Burzynski Clinic in Texas has helped improve her condition

Most Read