Tillamook Fire District welcomes Interim Chief

Tillamook Fire has brought on Interim Chief Dale Kamrath, of Seaside, to help facilitate a smooth transition of leadership for the District. Kamrath comes onboard with the District shortly after the official retirement of former Chief Rick Adams, which went into effect on November 1st. Adams had served the Tillamook Fire District for over 40 years and decided to dive into retirement after years of consideration. After Adams’ retirement, Tillamook Fire Marshal Rueben Descloux stepped up to fill in as Acting Fire District Chief while the Fire District’s Board of Directors considered how they would move forward. It was decided during a November Board meeting that the District would offer the role of Interim Chief to Kamrath, who has held a lengthy tenure as Chief with the Seaside Fire Department.

“Obviously, Seaside has some similarities to Tillamook being on the Coast and a draw for tourism, although Seaside is more of a vacation and shopping destination, they both are very similar in that they cater to the tourist wants and needs,” said Kamrath. “In Tillamook it is more tourism and industry related themes. Tillamook as a Fire District has a much greater area diversity than that of Seaside, which is primarily urban related.” Hailing a lifelong career in fire service, Kamrath has also served the areas of Beaver Creek, Lake Oswego, Vancouver, WA, Lane County, Coos Bay, Seaside and Hamlet RFPD. After retirement Kamrath was approached to serve as an Interim Chief in the Central Oregon community of Crescent, where he helped facilitate a smooth change in leadership, similar to here in Tillamook County. “With my prior time, I have worked with combination-departments, having a small paid force that provides the basis for a larger volunteer force,” said Kamrath. According to Tillamook Fire District Board Chair, Debbi Reeves, the hiring of Kamrath couldn’t have come at a better time. “We began seeking an interim Fire Chief and were able to hire Dale Kamrath, a highly experienced fire professional,” said Reeves. “He was recommended to the Tillamook Fire by the Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO), and by many of his peers so the Board of Directors unanimously voted to offer him the position of Interim Fire Chief for the Tillamook Fire District, which he has accepted.” Reeves spoke on the topic of the abrupt change in leadership with the district, as well as some of the issues they are facing in the future. Continuous funding being a primary concern. “Tillamook Fire District has gone through a huge change in the past couple of months with the unexpected retirement of Chief Adams. The Staff and Board of Directors stepped up to the task of running a fire district until an experienced administrator could be found. With weekly meetings and almost daily contact between staff, board, and volunteers the administration duties were completed and the fire district moved forward,” said Reeves. “In the future the Board will have to
look at an entire new plan in order to fund the department adequately to meet the needs of the community. This will be no easy task.” Kamrath has taken the helm willingly and looks forward to working with district personnel, and the community as a whole. “​The Tillamook Fire District is a great organization, it has hit a crossroads,” said Kamrath. “And with the proper guidance from all levels of the department we will move forward and continue to serve Central Tillamook County in the same professional and deserving manner that it has, and is today.”

PHOTO: Interim Tillamook Fire District Chief Dale Kamrath.