Letter from the Fire Chief
As we say goodbye to 2015 and welcome in 2016, Canby Fire District #62 has a number of major projects ahead.
A brief look at the past year had voters approving a replacement of our special operating levy by 71% which included an increase of $0.11 cents per thousand to provide two additional daytime paramedics. I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the continued support from our Canby Community.
Also in 2015 the Board of Directors for the Canby Fire District officially adopted the Canby Fire District Strategic Plan. This plan outlines specific goals for the direction of the Fire District’s future. Last November staff provided a report to the Fire Board regarding progress that has been made towards our Strategic Plan goals and objectives. The Strategic Plan can be found on the Fire District’s web page for your review.
I am pleased to announce that just recently the Fire District experienced a number of promotions through a highly competitive testing process. Battalion Chief Todd Gary was promoted to Division Chief of Community Risk Reduction, Captain Matt Dale was promoted to Division Chief of EMS &Training, Battalion Chief Wayne Austen was promoted to Division Chief of Volunteer Administration, Captain Pat Fuge was promoted to Battalion Chief of Volunteer Operations, Firefighter/Paramedic Matt English was promoted to Shift Captain, Firefighter/Paramedic Robert Pulford was promoted to Shift Captain, and Austin Holmes, Marcus McLean, Paul Phillips, and Duane Stoner were all promoted to the position of Volunteer Fire Ground Leader. What a great job to all our newly promoted personnel!
In looking ahead, the Canby Urban Renewal Agency (URA) has provided financial support to the Canby Fire District for a number of projects. These projects include one new fire engine in 2016, one new ambulance which is scheduled for order in 2017, equipment for the new fire engine, an outdoor storage shed, and some necessary remodeling at the main fire station. The Fire Board and staff appreciate the positive working relationship with the Canby URA.
We currently find ourselves deeply involved in the 2016/2017 budget process. The Fire District has identified a number of challenges facing us this coming year. The PERS retirement system is projected to increase significantly over the next two years, health care costs continue to rise which is causing the Fire District to explore alternatives to our existing health care plan. The Informational Technology System at the Fire District is extremely antiquated and in danger of a catastrophic failure. Mandatory replacement of that system is imminent. The Self Contained Breathing Apparatus’ (SCBA’s) are out of date and will have to also be replaced. We have submitted a FEMA Grant in hopes of being able to fund the SCBA replacement project.
In May of this year voters will be asked by Clackamas County to approve a Public Radio Bond Measure. This Bond Measure will replace the failing Public Safety Radio System. If approved, this measure will dramatically improve radio coverage for Police and Fire; specifically in the Canby area. Currently, there are buildings in Canby where firefighters and police cannot communicate due to inadequate radio coverage. Half of the cost for the new radios is included within the Public Radio Bond Measure, along with new alerting pagers. This Bond is a two-county partnership along with Washington County in hopes of being able to keep the costs down, improve coverage, and build in a redundant back-up radio system.
Canby Fire District has recently implemented a major plan to teach CPR to as many people as we can over the next two years. We offer Hands-only CPR Classes, as well as a Certified CPR First Aid Class.
Please let us know if you are interested in learning CPR by calling or emailing us.
I have been asked numerous times over the past year, “Is the fireworks display going to happen again this coming July?” The answer is a resounding, “yes”, as long as the Canby Fire District Volunteer Association receives the necessary donations to make it happen. Their goal is $13,000 dollars for this year’s show. We have received $4,000 dollars, to date. Western Fireworks promises another great show and have dedicated $5,000 dollars of their own funding, towards this year’s show.
Please consider donating to the Canby Fire District Volunteer Firefighter Association’s Fireworks Fund at the main Canby Fire Station Office, located at 221 S. Pine Street in Canby.