Jeff’s career began in southwest Oregon where he was a firefighter and paramedic in the Roseburg and Cottage Grove areas. In 1991 Jeff was hired by the Hermiston Fire Department, then to become Hermiston Fire & Emergency Services in 1998 and eventually Umatilla County Fire District # 1. Jeff was an immediate asset to the department bringing years of paramedic experience to the community.
Jeff was promoted to Lieutenant in 2000, Captain in 2003 and Battalion Chief in 2008. No matter what rank Jeff held he was always making the department better, through training and mentoring of new firefighters and officers. Jeff also held th e position of District Health and Safety Officer since 2003. These duties were critical to keeping our folks safe while in the station and on the fire ground. Jeff was also the District’s primary grant writer, at this position he was able to acquire grants both large and small but when totaled up reached approximately $750,000.00. His most recent grant was for a new cardiac monitor/defibrillator.
Jeff was a major influence in helping plan and shape the future direction of the District and its personnel. He was passionate about his “fire family” and the fire service traditions that went with it. We have a saying in the fire house of “family first” and Jeff lives this to the fullest with his wife Annette, daughter and son-in-law Alisha and Charlie Johnson and granddaughter.
Umatilla County Fire District # 1 will surely miss Jeff and his integrity, honor and dedication to the job! Everyone at Umatilla County Fire District # 1 wishes him well with his retirement.