By Barry Hoffman
I want to send a special thank you to everyone that has helped me along my 36 years in the fire service.
When I started my long life journey in the fire service, it was in Eagle Point. When I turned 16, January 4, 1973, I become a Volunteer Firefighter for the Eagle Point Volunteer Fire Department. After I graduated in 1975, I introduced myself to Fire Chief William H. Anson of the Central Point Rural Fire Protection District (CPRFPD).
Chief Anson gave me a summer job starting June 6, 1975. Chief Anson told me about a fire service program in Salem at Chemeketa Community College. I received my Associates Degree in 1977. I worked the summers of 1975, 76, and 77 for CPRFPD. September 30, 1977, I was hired full time for Central Point Rural Fire District (now Jackson County, Fire District No. 3) as a Firefighter. Since that date, I have promoted my way up through the ranks and for the past 18 years, I have been the Operations Chief.
Over the past 36 years, it has been a ride of a life time. I have been even the benefit to meet people all over the globe, able to receive certifications, getting honors for my dedication and hard work, and the best of all, being able to make a difference in someone’s life. Looking back, there are calls that I responded to that make me laugh and cry. For any of you that have and will receive service from Fire District No. 3 please know that everyone on that rescue, engine, wildland -unit, ladder truck, special operations unit, support vehicle is a outstanding paid and/or volunteer firefighter that train and prepare to provide a great service.
As I look back and think of my greatest professional accomplishment in the fire service, I can say it was graduating from the Executive Fire Officer Program in Emmitsburg, Maryland, receiving the National Fire Academy Certificate of Executive Fire Officer (EFO) in 2003 and receiving National Certification for Chief Fire Officer (CFO) in 2006 (1 of 503 fire service members in the world) and my second term in 2009 in Dallas, Texas (1 of 603 fire service members in the world).
If you see the Fire District No. 3 Dodge Pickup that has 54 on the side, it will not be me. I’m sure the District skill find someone that will replace me and do more than I could do, It saddens me to say good bye to the fire service, but it gives me great pleasure to say thank you to everyone that has supported me, given me direction, and/or helped me along this great journey in my life.