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Eric Smythe joins Columbia River Fire and Rescue

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There’s been a new face in the Columbia River Fire and Rescue St. Helens station this month – Eric Smythe joined the district as the Emergency Medical Services and Training Division Chief.

He replaced long-time EMS chief Brian Burright, who retired on July 1, 2013.

The recruitment process was highly competitive, bringing in applications from across the country – from Florida and Massachusetts westward. Chief Jay Tappan noted that district personnel used a “very rigorous process” that assessed candidates over several months.

“Eric competed extremely well and we selected him because he is, without a doubt, the best fit for this very important position for the Fire District,” he said. “We had an excellent slate of candidates for this position and this was not an easy decision, but we really liked Eric’s positive outlook, passion for the job, and team-oriented attitude.”

Smythe worked as station captain with the Uplands Fire Department in Upland,Calif., for the past four years. Before that, he worked with the Mojave Valley Fire District for 17 years, and with the San Bernadino County Fire District for four years.

“I am very pleased to have join CRF&R in this pivotal position and I look forward to the talent and energy he brings to the Fire District,” Tappan said.

Smythe started work with CRF&R on Jan. 6.

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