Fire District 3 has concluded its search for a new assistant fire chief.
Although the search included a number of national applicants, ultimately they chose a veteran of their own force right out of their backyard with the selection of Hockinson resident Barbara Widlund.
Scott Sorenson previously held the role until taking over as fire chief following Steve Wrightson’s retirement last November.
Widlund is a hometown girl through and through.
She grew up in La Center and graduated from La Center High School in 1985; she lived in Battle Ground for a time, and now lives in Hockinson.
She began her career with Fire District 3 in 2000 as a volunteer. She was hired full time a year later.
“It’s nice to serve and live in the same community,” she said, adding that being selected for the position is “very exciting.”
Widlund is enrolled in the Managing Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and already has an associate’s degree in fire protection technology from Portland Community College.
Positions that Widlund has served, according to Fire District 3, include:
• Firefighter/EMT-IV Technician
• Apparatus Operator
• Scene Officer
• Station Officer
• Shift Training Captain
• Prefire Program Manager
• SCBA Program Manager
• Acting Battalion Chief