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Columbia River Fire and Rescue, Scappoose Fire District host July 28 event with finalists

SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Scappoose Fire District and Columbia River Fire and Rescue are looking for a new joint fire chief to oversee the two districts. A meet and greet with five finalists is slated for this weekend.Five finalists for the joint fire chief position with Columbia River Fire and Rescue and Scappoose Fire District will attend an informal meet-and-greet with community members Sunday, July 28.

The event will provide community members the chance to interact with and ask questions of the top candidates being considered for the fire chief position before a final hiring decision is made.

The two fire districts, CRFR and SFD, operate under the direction of a single fire chief and five division chiefs through an intergovernmental agreement approved in 2016. The IGA has been modifed and renewed yearly since.

The boards of directors for both districts have been preparing to find a new chief this year after Fire Chief Mike Greisen announced his retirement.

Greisen, who has been with SFD for most of his career, served as a volunteer with the district in 1974, worked as a firefighter with St. Helens Fire District, which is now CRFR, and was ultimately hired as a paramedic and fire chief for SFD in 1989, where he has worked since. Greisen became a joint fire chief for SFD and CRFR per the IGA approved in 2016.

While Greisen's contract with the two fire districts ended in June, he agreed to stay on through a work-back contract until a new fire chief is hired.

Members of CRFR and SFD boards of directors hosted a special board meeting to narrow down a pool of nine applicants before selecting the five finalists.

The meet-and-greet Sunday will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. at the CCOM offices, 58611 McNulty Way, St. Helens. The event will be informal and candidates are expected to give a short introduction about themselves, and will be available to talk with visitors and answer questions on an individual basis.

The two boards are slated to host another round of candidate interviews Monday, July 29, before entering into an executive session at 1:30 p.m. to consider employment of the fire chief.

The two fire districts' have been working with consultant George Dunkel with the Special District Association of Oregon to advertise and facilitate the hiring process.

SDAO released short bios of the candidates at the Spotlight's request this week.

James Dickerson

Dickerson has 19 years of experience in the fire service and has been in the United States Coast Guard Reserve for 13 years. He has a bachelor's degree and continues his education with the National Fire Academy. He is currently the operations chief at Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue, where he has served since 2016. Dickerson also worked with the Netarts-Oceanside Rural Fire Protection District from 2009 to 2017, public records show.

Eric Dieffenbach

Dieffenbach has 27 years of experience in the fire service and served in the United States Air Force for four years. He has a bachelor's degree, information from SDAO states He is currently the deputy fire marshal at Bainbridge Island Fire Department in Washington where he has served since 2018.

Dennis Hoke

Hoke has 45 years of experience in the fire service and served in the United States Air Force for seven and a half years. He has a bachelor's degree. He is currently the chief executive officer of the Illinois Valley Fire District, where he has served since 2013.

Timothy Key

Key has 23 years of experience in the fire service and served in the United States Army. He has a bachelor's degree and is working towards his MBA. He recently retired from the Everett Fire Department in Washington as the interim fire chief to further his education.

Patrick Wineman

Wineman has 23 years of experience in the fire service. He has a master's degree. He currently serves as division chief at Forest Grove Fire and Rescue, where he has served since 2012. Wineman is also a part time undergraduate instructor at Eastern Oregon University.

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