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David Smith takes over as deputy fire marshal


Veteran firefighter comes to Lake Oswego from Vancouver, Wash.

by: CLIFF NEWELL - David Smith will bring a long family tradition to the Lake Oswego Fire Department. He is the fourth member of his family to be a firefighter.David Smith has spent practically his entire life in the firefighting service.

That is just one reason why Smith is expected to fit in extremely well as the new deputy fire marshal for Lake Oswego. He has a solid stamp of approval from his predecessor, Gert Zoutendijk, who is now fire marshal for the city.

“I’m really excited about having David on our team,” Zoutendijk said. “He’s qualified, experienced and his attitude is very positive.”

Smith came out on top of the list of 23 applicants for the position, and he is very happy about joining such an excellent fire department, he said.

“I’m looking forward to the different things I can do here that I couldn’t do in Vancouver,” Smith said. “Working in Lake Oswego is a great opportunity. I’ve known Gert for years, and the opportunity to work real closely with him is something that I am looking forward to.”

Smith is bringing a unique background and qualifications to Lake Oswego. He is a fourth-generation firefighter and has been around the fire service since he was a boy.

“I’ve never known what it’s not like to be in a fire station,” Smith said.

He did manage to break away from the fireman’s life with two years as a resource engineer for the mega 3M company. He went on to work in a fire testing lab in Kelso, Wash. For the past 12 years, he was deputy fire marshal in Vancouver, Wash.

Besides his long experience as a deputy fire marshal, Smith has earned degrees in civil engineering and fire protection engineering. Plus, he has tested many products for their degree of fire resistance.

“I’ll bring more scientific perspective and experience from the research world,” Smith said. “So much is going on.”

Smith is working with Zoutendijk on establishing his areas of responsibility. It is certain his duties will include inspections of commercial properties and existing buildings, making sure new buildings comply with requirements for fire alarms and sprinklers and assisting with investigations and public education.