On Wednesday, September 20th the Woodburn Fire District welcomed two new firefighter paramedics to the fire district career staff.  Firefighter Tom Cally and Firefighter Jared Redmon have filled vacancies left by Lieutenant Mitchell Raines and Firefighter Tyson Gradwahl who recently accepted positions outside of Woodburn.

Although new to their positions, neither Cally nor Redmon are strangers to Woodburn. Cally came to Woodburn in 2021 when he accepted a position as Recruitment & Retention Coordinator where he worked alongside the district’s administrative team to support the recruitment of volunteers and oversee the student program. Cally is a graduate of Pepperdine University and holds a degree in business administration and is certified as a paramedic in the state of Oregon. Cally shared, “The culture of a fire district is very important to me. Woodburn focuses on aggressive training for fire attack, a high level of physical fitness and meeting the needs of the community. The minimum staffing of four on the engine including at least one paramedic allows us to accomplish a lot on scene and focus on saving lives, property, and environment.”

Redmon began his career with the Woodburn Fire District in 2019 as a Student Resident Volunteer, where he was able to work alongside career firefighters while attending Chemeketa Community College. While a student, he was recognized as the Student Firefighter of the Year in 2020 and earned multiple Unit Commendations which includes response to the Labor Day wildfires in 2020, a multiple patient carbon monoxide poisoning in 2021, and a 2022 incident that fatally injured a in St. Paul firefighter. Jared holds degrees in fire science and paramedicine. When asked why Woodburn, Redmon replied, “I have had the benefit of experiencing the fire district and the community as a student. Working for Woodburn allows me to work with good people. Career members work as both engineers that drive and operate the apparatus and firefighters which allow us to become well-rounded firefighters. I also enjoy the diverse population; being bilingual in Spanish allows me to better connect and communicate with the communities that we serve.”

Cally and Redmon have joined Woodburn Fire following an extensive hiring process that began in the spring of 2022.  The top 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.  Cally and Redmon 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.”

Cally and Redmon will undergo an intensive year-long training program with-in depth coverage of the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively perform their duties.  At the end of their firefighter training, they will enter the fire district field training and evaluation program for paramedics where they will perform advanced life support functions under the supervision of seasoned field training officers and mentors.