Woodburn Fire Welcomes Two Experienced Firefighter Paramedics

On Wednesday, July 21st the Woodburn Fire District welcomed two new career firefighter paramedics to the fire district.  Firefighter James Lang and Firefighter Jerrod Schuch have filled vacancies left by Lieutenant Darin Unrein and Firefighter Scott Mateson who retired earlier this spring.

Both Lang and Schuch are seasoned fire service veterans with previous experience as career firefighter paramedics with Marion County Fire District #1 which borders the Woodburn Fire District to the south in the Brooks area. The new members will start their employment by undergoing a full year of comprehensive training in fire, rescue and emergency medical service skills. “Even though they come to us with extensive firefighting experience, the training is required to ensure that they are well versed in the procedures, tactics and equipment used by Woodburn firefighters”, Commented Chief Budge.  “The extensive training by current Woodburn firefighters will ensure the ability to work seamlessly as a trusted member of the crew they are assigned.”

In addition to extensive firefighting credentials, Lang and Schuch are certified and experienced paramedics.  The Woodburn Fire District began providing advanced life support service in 2019 following voter approval of a 5-year local option levy.  Advanced life support by paramedics brings many life-saving capabilities within minutes to those that experience a medical emergency.  The hiring of members already certified as paramedics saves the district the cost of providing 14 additional months of paramedic training and helps make good on the fire district’s commitment to area voters to have at least one paramedic on-duty at all times.

Lang and his wife Madeline live in Lebanon with their three young daughters. Lang said he, “is looking forward to the team atmosphere at Woodburn Fire and he is excited to work for a family and community centered fire district”

Schuch and his wife Amelia live in Silverton and are awaiting the arrival of the first child in August. Schuch commented that he “feels like the Woodburn Fire District is the valley’s best kept secret and from his experience, Woodburn Fire members are very effective and he is excited to be working for a fire district known for their customer service, sense of community, and professionalism.”

Lang and Schuch have joined Woodburn Fire following an extensive hiring process that began earlier this spring with an announcement that attracted 72 applicants.  The top 30 applicants from an initial written test were invited to an assessment center that evaluated candidates’ education and experience and their firefighting and emergency medical skills.  Following the assessment center, the candidates were placed in ranked order on a hiring eligibility list.  Lang and Schuch came out high on the list and were invited to further interviews and comprehensive background checks.  “I am excited to have these two members join the fire district’” commented Chief Budge.  “I think they have the right experience, values, and skills to become an important part of ensuring the life safety of the communities we serve.”