The Board of Directors of Shady Cove Fire District #4 have taken steps to replace retiring chief Bob Miller, by hiring a consultant to act as interim chief until the position is filled. Roy Palmer will fill the position for a period of approximately six months, but will be doing more than acting as chief.
The Directors have taken this opportunity to assess their department and see if there is room for possible improvement. Palmer will not actually be an employee of the District, but is a consultant with over 40 years of experience in a variety of departments around the state. His experience began in Roseburg at a rural fire district where he rapidly progressed through the ranks. Once he had reached a higher rank there, he realized he would have to go elsewhere, so he applied for a position in Polk County and later retired as chief in the Monmouth Independence Fire Department. Since that time, he has been working as a consultant through ESCi (Emergency Services Consulting, inc.) and Special Districts of Oregon.
Over the past 12 years, Palmer has worked in this capacity and specializes in helping smaller departments modernize and comply with all new state and federal laws. A portion of those duties might also include helping to secure replacement equipment so that everything meshes with neighboring departments.
Palmer wanted to keep active in the fire service following his retirement from full-time duty, so he has been acting as interim chief in departments around Oregon. He tries to limit his work to about six month stints, because “if they are longer, I feel like I’m back working full time.”
The chief praised the Board for their efforts to make certain the department is the best it can be by bringing in someone to take a fresh look at the entire operation. That may involve everything from equipment, utilization of manpower, budget and any number of other things that help to streamline the district and the entirety of its operations. Having served in several capacities throughout his career, Palmer has unique perspective of having looked at operations from several different angles and has a grasp of what it takes to make everything work.
Palmer is actually from Roseburg, though a portion of his working life he spent in the Willamette Valley. Since his retirement from active duty, he has returned home and works from his base there. His plans are to spend a few days per week in Shady Cove and as time progresses, eventually spend two days there. He likes to spend his free time golfing and is active in two fire districts as a board member.