Message from the Chief
Our Fire District has a history of providing service from three fire stations in the communities of Phoenix, Talent, and unincorporated Ashland. Last year, our firefighters responded to over 2800 calls for service, including fires, rescues, and cardiac emergencies. In addition, they assisted in wildland incidents and other mutual aid calls, helping our neighbors in Washington, California, and coastal Oregon.
Jackson County Fire District No.5, Ashland Fire & Rescue, Medford Fire & Rescue, and Medford Rural Fire District No. 2, participate in a regional cooperative arrangement between our agencies. This is a resource-sharing agreement that provides (2) two 24 hour battalion chiefs and staffed fire resources that respond to each of our respective jurisdictions. We enjoy a similar arrangement with our lead forest agencies Oregon Department of Forestry and CAL Fire in the wildland-urban interface and the Siskiyou Summit, along the state line. It is our belief that these relationships will be a harbinger of continued public partnerships that result in an efficient fire protection model that serves the District and the Greater Rogue Valley, well into the future.
Our relationship with Rogue Community College, the Rogue Interagency Training Association and its parent organization Rogue Valley Fire Chiefs Association has provided extensive specialized training opportunities, joint purchasing, equipment replacement, and other mutually beneficial endeavors. This example of public cooperation and assistance continues to be a shared benefit to all.
The Fire District continues to apply for grant funding that allows us to develop and train personnel, make energy-efficient improvements, and purchase equipment and apparatus to help us better serve the community. In addition, Jackson County public safety agencies have linked their communication systems through a “joint agency” central dispatch center called ECSO (Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon). These efforts not only improve our interoperability and the capability of our emergency radios but locate and dispatch the closest resources to a call for service.
Our CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) currently working under the City of Ashland’s innovative program, is led by dedicated community members. Over 100 citizens have received training in first aid, disaster preparedness, and fire safety. Our Volunteers and the companion Student Firefighter program remain the backbone of the organization. They provide needed assistance at fires and stand by ready to assist and support emergency operations and community events. Finally, the Firehouse 5 Foundation and their crisis team assist our neighbors and visitors when they experience the devastating effects of a fire or traffic collision by providing care and shelter throughout the painful recovery process.
As we progress, the Fire District including career and volunteer firefighters and elected officials are intent on bringing a fresh perspective and enterprising methods to meet the challenges facing the Fire District. We will strive to work with our community partners to provide the highest level of safety to the neighborhoods we proudly serve.