Fire district leader Tom Fay retiring; successor sought

BEND, Ore. - The Deschutes County Rural Fire Protection District #2’s longtime executive director, Tom Fay, is retiring at the end of April.


In the past 25 years, Fay "has developed an efficient facilities maintenance program, has instituted some strong energy conservation measures, capably managed a complex budget and has overseen the building of four fire stations," Bend Fire Battalion Chief Dave Howe said in Thursday's announcement.


"Most significantly, Fay was instrumental in developing the current contract for fire protection with the City of Bend. The contract, a model of interagency cooperation, provides the district taxpayers with the same level of emergency services as Bend residents and elevates the district as an equal partner in protection with the city," Howe added.


The fire department spokesman said "Fay, along with City of Bend Fire Chief Larry Langston, has raised the bar for government collaboration to a new level, and the results are a cost-effective and efficient fire and life safety response capability across the entire district covered by the Bend Fire Department."


The DCRFPD#2 encompasses the area directly outside of the city boundaries and stretches from Deschutes River Woods to the northwest side of Tumalo. Six BFD ambulances and engines cover the 132-square-mile district, which contracts with the City of Bend for fire and emergency medical services and participates equally in funding these services.


In fact, the district owns the fire stations in Bend and Tumalo, which it leases to the BFD, while the city owns the equipment, hires personnel and administers the department. The district is funded through property taxes and an operating levy, and Fay is the sole employee. He reports to an elected volunteer Board of Directors. 


Fay’s last day on the job will be April 27, and the District Board has posted the job opening for a new District Executive Director on the DCRFPD#2 website, The application period closes at 4 p.m. on Monday, February 5.


"To say that his boots will be hard to fill is an understatement," Howe concluded.

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