Valley Community Presbyterian Church presented its Firefighter of the Year Award on Saturday to Apparatus Operator and Paramedic Tim Buchanan of Station 65 in West Slope.
The annual award honors a firefighter who excels in providing community service. Buchanan joined Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue in 1998, following active duty service with the U.S. Air Force and nine years with the Lake Oswego Fire Department.
For the past seven years, he has worked at the West Slope station, where he can often be spotted behind the wheel of Engine 65 responding to emergency calls.
During his distinguished career with TVF&R, Buchanan has established a reputation for expert firefighting skills, superior medical knowledge, and customer service that exceeds expectations. He is also highly skilled in technical rescue operations and has been called upon to share his knowledge with partner agencies.
Beyond his regular responsibilities with the District, Buchanan has found other ways to give of himself. He has organized an event called the Reith Jackson Memorial Salmon Derby in honor of a fellow TVF&R firefighter who died of cancer. This event draws hundreds of participants each May and raises money for a college scholarship.
As a member of TVF&R’s Honor Guard for the past 15 years, Buchanan has also been instrumental in ensuring that the memories of his fallen brothers and sisters are honored and celebrated. Through his service as an Honor Guard member, he serves both the Fire District and community’s needs during ceremonial occasions and funerals.
This past July, Oregon lost former Gov. Vic Atiyeh, who was a resident in Station 65’s service area. Buchanan served the Atiyeh family as a medical responder and also had the privilege to pay his respects as a member of the Honor Guard and pallbearer at Gov. Atiyeh’s funeral.
Buchanan is also committed to educating youth in the community through his work with the Stop Kids Impaired Driving program that TVF&R works on collaboratively with its emergency response partners. For the past 16 years, his role in the SKID program has been to stage the cars that are used in a realistic impaired-driving reenactment for local high school students.
When asked why participating in the SKID program was important to him, Buchanan said it was a way he could positively influence young people to consider the consequences of impaired driving before they get behind the wheel. In his career, he has responded to multiple tragic accidents that were the result of distracted or impaired driving.
For these reasons and more, Buchanan was honored with the Valley Community Presbyterian Church Service to the Community Firefighter of the Year Award during a March 7 awards breakfast held at the church.