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UCFD #1 Hot Seat: Dylan Spence

May contain: fireman, person, helmet, clothing, coat, and jacket

We are excited introduce a new series titled, the UCFD1 Hot Seat. Each month we will provide a brief snapshot sharing a story of a highly committed and dedicated staff member.

It is with great pleasure UCFD1 introduces to you, Dylan Spence. Spence, an Oregon native, started his career in the Oregon Fire Service in 2008. Spence was hired as a Firefighter/Paramedic with Umatilla County Fire District #1 in June of 2014. 2021 marks his thirteenth year anniversary. Interestingly enough, most firefighters find themselves getting into the service to fulfill a childhood dream or by following family traditions, but not Spence. “I don’t have any family in the fire service, at all. Just a couple years ago, I found out that one of my grandfathers had been a volunteer at his local fire department many years ago. I was unaware of this prior to starting my journey into the fire service,” Spence explained.

The bond established and fostered within a firehouse is unlike anywhere else. The esprit de corps is a connection that can only be understood by those answering the call for service day in, day out for 48 hours straight. “This is a family not chosen, you don’t get to pick the team. There is an instantaneous bond created knowing what you have already seen or knowing what you will see,” said Spence. “Regardless of where the journey takes you, you’re in this together. I’ve always loved the term jack of all trades, because that is our job. Although we don’t know everything, we utilize the strengths of every team member to solve a problem,” he added. 

On the inside of Spence’s fire helmet you will find a photograph of his wife and kids. Without the community supporting our District, firefighters like Dylan Spence wouldn’t be there to answer the call to service. “We’re pretty proud of what we do, but at the end of the day, it’s their tax dollars that allows me to do this for a living. The community is very supporting of us and they should understand that we are appreciative of them as well. They feed my kids. It’s their fire truck and this is their fire station. We take a lot of pride in the fact that we are responsible for it and we take care of it. In training, we push ourselves to the breaking point which affords the ability to perform to the best of our abilities. We never know when the call will come in, but we have to be prepared because today could be the day that something really bad happens, and these are the guys that I trust will get me home to my family.”

It is our goal to bring the community closer with our District by telling the stories of the men and women who represent Umatilla County Fire District #1. It’s better to meet them, before you need them.