David Durfee Jr. is the new deputy chief of operations at Grant County Fire District 3.
Durfee hails from Quincy but comes to this position from the Moses Lake Fire Department.
The duties involve staffing, training programs, recruitment, retention as well as a constant cooperation with the fire district’s commissioners ensuring that the district’s long- and short-term goals are accomplished, Durfee said.
“This is more of an administrative role, but I have in my description (being) able to respond on calls,” he said. “There will be times where I do respond on calls.”
Durfee said it’s been a longtime goal of his to reach an administrative position as a firefighter, a profession to which he has devoted 22 years of his life.
He is currently pursuing a degree in Fire Administration at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Oregon. Classes are primarily online.
His first day as deputy chief of operations was Nov. 27, and the transition into the new job has gone well.
“I’m lucky because I’m coming back to the place where I’m from,” he said. “It’s like a homecoming.”
It will take about two months of “observation and review” until he feels like he’s completely on top of things, Durfee said. Only one other employee from his last stint at the GCFD 3 seven years ago, still remains employed by the district. And Chief Tony Leibelt was his immediate supervisor back then so Durfee says he knows Leibelt’s style of leadership well.
“I’m used to his style and I don’t have to learn that, because I was already under that at one time,’ he said, before quipping, “I am having flashbacks, though.”
Asked what kind of changes the community could anticipate after a couple of years of him on the job, Durfee said that the community could expect a smooth relationship between the district and other organizations in the area.
“It’s going to be good, it’s going to be interesting, but I feel like I’ve been put in this place for that purpose so I’m going to run with this and go from there,” he said.