Jackson County Fire District 3 paid tribute to Don Hickman on June 30, which was his last official day as Deputy Fire Marshal. Hickman is retiring as a full-time employee after 26 years, but he will continue to do part-time work for the district.
Hickman started his career with the district as a paramedic, noted Captain Dennis Jordan, who began his career as a volunteer with the Eagle Point Volunteer Fire Department a number of years ago.
Described by Fire Chief Dan Petersen as one who “finds out,” Fire Marshal Hugh Holden described Hickman as the “go to” guy. Holden noted how Hickman knows people in the fire business throughout the state. Self improvement continued to the day he retired, noted Holden as Hickman was in Salem on June 29 signing up for management information officer and he recently received three new certifications.
Hickman does well in front of a camera, understands the needs of the media, and for those reasons he will continue on a part-time as needed basis as a public information officer for the district, according to Chief Petersen.
Other tributes were paid by Lois Wilson, who just retired from the board of directors, Lorin Myers, district chaplain; Rob English, representing the firefighters union; Stacey Maxwell, chief finance manager; his mother-in-law; and his wife, Marguerite Hickman.
Marguerite and Don share more than a marriage; they have similar positions. Marguerite is a deputy fire marshal with the Ashland Fire Department. She recalled her days as a volunteer, meeting Don, their mutual interest in flying and how genuinely caring he is about her parents. She also mentioned that it wasn’t until the Oak Knoll fire last summer that the two of them found themselves working together.
Don Hickman was able to enjoy a large family reunion in Arizona over July 4th, something he has never been able to do since that is one of the potentially busiest days for any fire department and one that keeps all hands on duty or readily available.
Once back in the valley, PIO (public information officer) Hickman will continue to present Fire District 3 information to the media and to the general public.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent