King City residents are going to miss Barry Quinn, Captain of King City Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Station 35, when he transfers to Midway Station 19 on July 1.
Quinn started at the King City station, which also serves Summerfield and south Tigard, on Sept. 1, 2015, as a newly promoted captain. He rose through the TVF&R ranks after joining the fire district in 2001 and also served 23 years with the Oregon Air National Guard Fire Department.
According to Quinn, as of July 1, there will be a lot of retirements and promotions within TVF&R, including four new battalion chiefs and many new lieutenants and 28 new recruits joining the district. At the fire district’s 28 stations, there will be nine new captains, and Quinn will be one of the senior captains within TVF&R. The King City station will have a new captain, a new lieutenant, two to four new firefighters and two probationary medics.
“This is my 27th year as a firefighter,” Quinn said. “King City is a good training station. We have had 50-plus people come through this station in different positions under my watch. I have spent time mentoring them, and some come back here to work after their probation.
“There have been a lot of changes at this station. Our medic program has changed four times and has gone from being staffed 10 hours a day to 24/7, all to meet the needs of the citizens. And we usually have two water tenders stationed here, but they are currently assigned at a Wildland Firefighting training site.”
Also under Quinn’s watch, the station underwent a major renovation several years ago, increasing the size of the crew’s quarters that were originally built to sleep five when the on-duty personnel expanded to six, including women, who now have their own quarters. Also, the workout room was moved from the second level to the first floor, and the kitchen was remodeled.
But the most exciting news for the King City station crews is that with the passage of TVF&R’s most recent bond measure, Station 35 is finally at the top of the construction list for a total rebuild.
“We will have the ability to provide quarters for all genders, as inclusivity is a huge part of our core values,” Quinn said. “Stations are built to last 20 to 30 years, and this one is well past that. We just had an inspection and passed with the highest rating. This is the oldest station – along with Sherwood – and the cleanest. The crews really work hard. They are here to meet the needs of the community. I’m proud of them. I feel really good about what’s happened here.”
Quinn proudly showed off Station 35’s “new to them” engine, acquired last July, which was customized with different hardware to meet the crews’ requests and needs. In addition, this engine is a little shorter than the previous one, making it easier to traverse the narrow and winding streets in King City and Summerfield. “Engines are used on the frontlines for 10 years before going to reserve status,” Quinn explained.
And he demonstrated the station’s “Seventh Firefighter,” an automated chest-compression machine called LUCAS, which cost $25,000 and is one of only three in use in the district. “It frees up a paramedic to do other essential functions,” Quinn said.
According to Quinn, over the years TVF&R has made a lot of changes to improve the health and safety of its firefighters. Their turnouts and outerwear are sent out once a year for professional inspections for wear and tear. In addition, accommodations have been made for firefighters, who get exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and contaminants on the job, to be able to shed their gear, rinse off and change clothes onsite rather than wearing them all the way back to the fire station.
And there may be another fire station in King City’s future. Quinn said that TVF&R is looking at purchasing a site for a new fire station in Kingston Terrace, which would also serve Tigard’s River Terrace development, as King City develops the area within its urban growth boundary.
“My new station is a slower station, which appeals to me,” Quinn said. “One of my career goals was to become a Captain, so I have gotten to accomplish everything I wanted to do.”
Quinn also had some news to share on the personal front. The proud dad of three daughters in their teens and early 20s said he was divorced several years ago. He is now remarried to his wife Tana, and they have a 5-month-old daughter named Charleigh with plans for one more baby.
“I plan to retire in three or four years,” Quinn said. “I’ve had to miss a lot of my daughters’ events because of my schedule, and I’m looking forward to being able to spend more time with these kids. Life has been really good. It has been an honor to serve the citizens of King City and surrounding communities.”