Fallen Hillsboro firefighter to be honored in Salem
The Oregon Legislature kicks off its short session in Salem next week, and one of the first bills state lawmakers will consider is a bill honoring a fallen Hillsboro firefighter.
Ryan Grimaldi, 31, died late last year in a hunting accident. On Feb. 5, lawmakers will consider House Concurrent Resolution 210, which recognizes Grimaldi for his years of service to his community.
"Ryan Grimaldi was a large man with a huge smile who has been described by those who knew him as full of life, selfless and caring," the resolution reads, in part. "… In the words of Operation Chief Scott Magers, Ryan Grimaldi was 'an outstanding firefighter and member of the Hillsboro Fire Department family' who 'served the department and the community well.'"
Grimaldi died Nov. 3, 2017, after a tree fell on him while on a hunting trip with a co-worker in Morrow County. After his death, Hillsboro firefighters escorted Grimaldi's body back to Portland, and were met by roadside salutes from several fire agencies, including Lake Oswego, where Grimaldi's fiancée works as a firefighter.
The resolution was prepared by Rep. Sheri Malstrom, a Beaverton Democrat and friend of Grimaldi's.
"He was one of my son's best buddies growing up," Malstrom told the Tribune this week. "They played hockey together, and he was a good friend for many years."
Grimaldi grew up in Gresham, and worked as a firefighter in Clackamas and Banks before joining the Hillsboro Fire Department in 2012.
Grimaldi worked in Hillsboro for six years as a firefighter and paramedic. Last year, he was promoted to driver of Engine 5 at the department's fire station near the Hillsboro Airport. A volunteer with the Hillsboro Firefighters Random Acts charity organization Grimaldi served as the face of the agency's Toy & Joy program, which collects toys for needy children each holiday season.
Grimaldi was named Hillsboro Firefighter of the Year in 2015 and was one of several Hillsboro firefighters who lent a hand after the Eagle Creek wildfire threatened homes in the Columbia River Gorge last year. He also battled wildfires in Warm Springs and California.
Malstrom said she wants the rest of the state to know the good works Grimaldi did for his community.
"His death so tragic," she said. "He was at this pinnacle in his life. He did these great things, and he was just a great kid. I wanted to do something and make his contributions known to a broader audience."
The Legislature's short 35-day session begins Monday, Feb. 5.