Since the formation of Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue in 1989, there have only been three fire chiefs. On July 1, Chief Deric Weiss became the fourth.
In a traditional “Transfer of Command Ceremony,” the responsibilities of providing service to 11 cities and four counties — as well as providing guidance to 650 career and volunteer personnel — passed from Chief Mike Duyck to Chief Weiss.
Chief Duyck retired at the end of June after more than 30 years in the fire service. Following a rigorous internal selection process, the Board of Directors tapped Weiss, who previously served as assistant chief, to take the helm of the district.
Chief Weiss spent the beginning of 2019 working closely with Chief Duyck to ensure a smooth leadership transition.
“This is an exciting time,” said Chief Weiss. “Having a change in command is a rare occurrence for our department. We’ve benefitted from having leaders who dedicated many years to this organization and the fire service. I have some big shoes to fill, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve.”
Weiss volunteered and served as an intern before being hired by TVF&R as a firefighter in 1994. Since then, he served on the Hazardous Materials Team for several years and promoted through the ranks of apparatus operator, lieutenant, captain, battalion chief, division chief, and assistant chief.
He’s been involved with several local and statewide fire service initiatives including emergency communications, dispatch, hazardous materials response, government affairs, and interoperability.
Strengthening relationships with community partners and exploring opportunities to work with other organizations to create safer communities are priorities for the new chief.
In preparation for his new role, Chief Weiss evaluated what the District can do differently to enhance the services TVF&R provides, starting with a reorganization of work groups and operations.
“I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead and getting to work,” Chief Weiss said. “I plan to have a renewed focus on our people, and I will carry on Chief Duyck’s commitment to innovation.”