Started work in May

by: STEPHANIE RODERICK - New CRR Fire Chief Richard Hoffmann, right, along with CRR Fire District Board President Bob Bengston barbecue at the fire hall on Sunday during  a live fire training.After the sudden resignation of Crooked River Ranch Fire Chief Tim McLaren on Jan. 6, the CRR Fire District Board of Directors went out in search of a new chief.

They found his replacement in Richard Hoffmann, who began his new position as fire chief on May 1.

A retired division chief from Tualatin Valley Rescue, Hoffmann came to the Ranch with 29 years of fire service experience.

When asked why he chose CRR, Hoffmann said he used to vacation in Central Oregon, ended up in Terrebonne and began staying at the RV park on the Ranch.

“I loved it so much I decided to move out here,” he said.

To complete the hiring process, the Fire District Board of Directors had to go through a “rigorous set of meetings with staff and board to find what we felt we needed,” said Dennis Kirk, director for the fire board.

With at least three other applicants, it was narrowed down to two finalists. The five-person board voted unanimously for Hoffmann, noting that “he was well suited because of his background,” Kirk said.

As a finalist, Hoffman was asked a set of 26 questions. The board was looking for the candidate that was “focused, direct and knowledgeable,” and didn't supply “manufactured answers,” Kirk added.

Kirk went on to say that the board was very “impressed with his responses and the way he responded. He had internally what we needed.”

The board was also looking for the best candidate to “work well with the community, paid and volunteer staff, someone that was a motivational type that could build team work and support the development of the staff in their careers,” Kirk said.

When asked what his job as chief would entail, Hoffmann responded that he would make sure the relationships on the Ranch continue to grow, use his skill set to look at what CRR is today and where they may need to go in the next three to five years, and help the Ranch "prosper and grow,” he said.

The Crooked River Ranch Fire Department currently has a paid staff that consists of three captains, an administrative captain and the chief, as well as 15 volunteer members.

“The board is delighted to be able to have him,” Kirk said. With good feedback so far from the community, Kirk added that “he is a wonderful chief and well liked by the staff.”

“I'm stepping in at an opportune time, with professional personnel and a strong board,” Hoffmann said.

Hoffmann has a one-year renewable contract with the CRR Fire Department.

The previous fire chief, McLaren, could not be located for comment on his resignation.

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