City of Ashland, Oregon / Fire / Fire Chief

Chief Karns
Interim Chief David Shepherd

Thank you for visiting the Ashland Fire & Rescue website.

As the Interim Fire Chief, I have the honor of leading an extraordinary team of men and women who serve the public with integrity, compassion and professionalism. These dedicated individuals must continually perform at the best of their abilities, often, under less than favorable conditions. The service they provide to the community is unique and invaluable. While each brings their own set of distinguishing qualities, it is only through collaboration and teamwork that we are able to accomplish our mission of saving lives, reducing property damage and protecting the environment.

The role of fire departments has changed dramatically over the last 30 years. While AF&R tries to maintain some of our traditions, the department has made great strides in keeping up with the needs of the community. AF&R offers one of the most comprehensive suite of services of any fire department in the State of Oregon. Not only do we provide typical emergency medical and fire suppression responses, our department is actively involved in fire prevention, emergency preparedness and watershed management. We teach fall prevention courses to our seniors and fire safety awareness to our K-4th grade classes. Our firefighters are trained in steep terrain, confined space and trench rescue disciplines. We help install child safety seats and teach CPR classes. We transport the sick and injured to local hospitals. We assist our neighborhoods in preparing for wildfire and our CERT group continues to set the standard in Southern Oregon.

“Today we help someone in their time of need” is the department motto. We each have our own comfort level when it comes to deciding whether to call 911 or not. What qualifies as an emergency is different for each person. To some, a badly cut finger means driving themselves to the emergency department for sutures. To others, a nose bleed warrants a call to 911. As public servants we are here to serve you in your time of need.

Never hesitate to call us if you need help.

Take care,

David Shepherd

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