Woodburn Fire District Chief Paul Iverson is retiring this summer after serving as chief for seven years. Iverson first began at the district in 2004 as fire marshal and was promoted to chief in 2010.
"It was a number of factors," Iverson said of what went into his decision to retire. "I enjoy what I do. I really have the greatest job in the world. But I lost the overall passion for it. I want the district to have a chief with that level of passion for it."
Iverson started as a firefighter for the Monitor Rural Fire Protection District, where he began as a volunteer in the 1980s. He rose through the ranks and was chief of that district for 10 years. He's continued as a volunteer firefighter for the Monitor district while working for the Woodburn Fire District, and will still serve as a volunteer for Monitor following his retirement.
The Woodburn Fire District will begin conducting a search for its replacement chief in the coming months. The fire district will hire the Prothman Company, the same firm used by the City of Woodburn to hire Jim Ferraris as police chief in 2015, to conduct the search.
Since Iverson will stay on through the hiring process of the new chief, there won't be an interim chief, Iverson said.
Iverson said he will still live in Woodburn and be active in the community post-retirement. He'll continue participating in Woodburn Rotary, the Woodburn Area Chamber of Commerce and Woodburn Proud.
And, Iverson is planning to be more active in Iverson Family Farms, especially with event and wine promotion. The farm was founded by his parents and is currently run by several of his siblings.
"I can't not be busy," Iverson said.
Iverson said he's been honored to serve the Woodburn community as fire chief.
"It's been a privilege being the fire chief," Iverson said. "It's a great organization and a fantastic community."