Community mourns loss of fire rescue leader

Leader News Staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 1/28/22

 

 

Former East Jefferson Fire Rescue commissioner Dave Johnson passed away peacefully with his family by his side at his home in Chimacum Monday, Jan. 24. During his tenacious battle …

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Community mourns loss of fire rescue leader

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Former East Jefferson Fire Rescue commissioner Dave Johnson passed away peacefully with his family by his side at his home in Chimacum Monday, Jan. 24. During his tenacious battle against cancer, he continued to serve the community and the fire service. As the board chair for East Jefferson Fire Rescue he led the organization to numerous innovations and accomplishments. Some of his achievements include merging with the Port Townsend Fire Department and enhancing the district’s ability to manage significant emergencies by creating the medical service officer and battalion chief positions. Johnson was immensely proud of what EJFR had become and looked forward to future realizations.

Johnson was born in Yakima, Washington in 1949. He attended Yakima Valley Community College and the University of Washington, graduating with a degree in wildfire science. He retired from the U.S. Forest Service in 2007 as the head of fire and aviation for the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Throughout his 39-year career he responded to many national emergencies as an incident commander of Washington State Team 4. These incidents included: Hurricane Katrina, Avian flu in California, the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster, Mount Saint Helens eruptions, and countless wildfires.

He also spent time in Washington D.C. where he wrote some of the original legislation for the AmeriCorps program, and traveled to India to develop disaster response plans with the Indian Government.

While with the Umpqua National Forest, Johnson became an Emergency Medical Technician and EMT Instructor. When he moved to Port Hadlock in 1984, he volunteered for the Chimacum Fire District, becoming the first EMT instructor in Jefferson County.

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