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MCFD1 tabs Henson replacement

T. Riley
T. Riley

A long-time employee of Marion County Fire District #1 has been selected as its new chief.

The MCFD1 Fire Board announced Terry Riley as the new chief of the district at its meeting last week. Riley had served as interim chief since the departure of J. Kevin Henson last October.

Riley’s appointment was effective immediately.

Riley’s firefighting career began with Oregon Department of Forestry in 1989 and he has served in an officer capacity since 1991. He has served as a battalion chief at Applegate Fire District in Jacksonville, and as a division chief for Aumsville Fire District. His career with MCFD1 began in 2008 as the training captain after serving at DPSST for eight years; two years as the fire program manager and six years as a regional fire training coordinator.

“Board members have met with all three groups of personnel – career, volunteer, and management staff – and the feedback was overwhelming that Chief Riley was the person supported for this position,” said Tom Marks, a director on the MCFD Fire board.

Board President Bernie Otjen stated that he was “pleased that we could promote our next fire chief from within the organization. Chief Riley has proven himself as a leader during the last several months. I look forward to Chief Riley guiding MCFD1 into the future.”

An official swearing in ceremony for Riley will be held on Jan. 30, at 3 p.m., at MCFD Station 1.

Coupled with the news of a new chief, MCFD officials announced the retirement of Fire Board Director Orville Downer.

Downer joined the Board of Directors in 1995 after 32 years of service as an active volunteer, serving as deputy chief of the North Battalion. He was honored in 2000 with the Hall of Fame Award for his outstanding service to the district, and just last year was awarded for a lifetime achievement of 50 years of dedication to MCFD1.

The fire board is seeking a temporary replacement for Downer. Interested parties must submit letters of interest which include the interested party’s full name, address of residence, length of time residing in district, and statement of interest for serving on district board. Applicants must also be a registered voter in district. Letters of interest must be received by 10 a.m. on Feb. 18. Letters of interest should be addressed to Board President Bernie Otjen, 300 Cordon Rd NE, Salem, OR 97317, or via email to [email protected]

The position will be a temporary appointment until the May elections when the appointee may choose to seek the office as an elected official.