Canby's new fire chief has long-standing ties to the community

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - James Davis, who has lived in Canby for 18 years, has been selected to be the new fire chief for Canby Fire District 62.Canby resident James Davis, a division chief with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, has been selected as the new chief for Canby Fire District 62.

His selection was announced at the regular Wednesday meeting of the fire district board of directors. He will succeed Ted R. Kunze, who retires July 1 after 16 years as the Canby chief.

Davis said he is looking forward to working with the district board and the men and women of Canby Fire District 62.

“To me, they’re a great group of individuals and are very knowledgeable in the job they do,” Davis said. “I feel we have a great nucleus, paid and volunteer, to provide quality service to Canby area citizens.”

“We think he’s going to bring great leadership and organizational skills to help address any future challenges the district might face,” said board president Aaron Branum.

The board originally received 24 applications for the position, which pays $120,000 to $135,000 a year. Board members had pared the list to four finalists but had to start over after reviewing its process of selecting criteria for the search.

“Everybody was unified once the process got rolling again,” Branum said. “It was very collaborative and worked well.

“The board as a whole was relieved and happy to be moving on,” he said. “We’re looking forward to a bright future for Canby Fire District.”

Davis will assume command of the Canby district July 1. Division Chief Tom O’Connor will serve as acting chief from June 26 until Davis comes aboard.

Davis has lived in Canby since 1996 and is a volunteer captain for the Canby district. He has more than 30 years experience as a chief fire officer, the last 15 with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.

Since 2010, he has served as the TVF&R division chief for central operations training and safety. Before that, he was its safety chief and operations battalion chief.

Earlier in his career, he was chief of the Oregon City Fire Department for three years, chief for the Woodinville Fire & Life District for 14 years and assistant chief-fire marshal for the city of Coeur D’Alene Fire Department in Idaho.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from City University in Bellevue, Wash., and has completed the executive fire officer program at the National Fire Academy.

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