Family, friends and supporters of outgoing Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Chief Mike Duyck got a chance to say goodbye Thursday morning during a retirement open house at Tigard Station No. 51 on Burnham Street.
Duyck has served as chief of the expansive district, which covers almost 400 square miles, since 2010 and has been with the fire district since 1995.
On Monday, Assistant Chief Deric Weiss will take over the fire district during a "Transfer of Command Ceremony" set for 3 p.m. at Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin.
"(I will) miss being part of an outstanding team that serves the community and makes a difference in outcomes every day," Duyck said shortly before local leaders and firefighters bid him farewell in the bay of the fire station where he once worked.
During his tenure, Duyck was responsible for introducing the district to PulsePoint, a location-based smartphone app that alerts citizens trained in CPR to anybody who is suspected of going into cardiac event. In addition, the app directs users to the nearest automated external defibrillator, more commonly referred to as an AED.
"It's making a difference," Duyck said off the app.
And while the PulsePoint app has helped save lives, a program he's also championed could likely make an even difference long-term – getting the Oregon Legislature to pass a law requiring all high school seniors to be trained in hands-only CPR before they graduate.
"Every year there's 50,000 more responders," he said of those CPR-trained students, noting that such training exponentially increases the survival rate of people who have gone into cardiac arrest.
During Thursday's presentation, incoming-Chief Weiss presented Duyck with his helmet, one of the few items firefighters are allowed to keep once they leave their employment, as well as giving him the district's first challenge coin, a specially minted coin featuring a bullseye. Meanwhile, Clark Balfour, vice president of the TVF&R Board, presented Duyck with a "golden ax" plaque.
Oregon Rep. Margaret Doherty (D-Tigard) praised Duyck for the thousands and thousands of lives he helped save by pushing for both PulsePoint and hands-only CPR before giving him a framed Oregon Legislature resolution praising his accomplishments.
Duyck, who lives with his wife Ann and two daughters in the South Cooper Mountain portion of Beaverton, will continue to serve as president of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (a section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs) through 2020.
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