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News Release
Scappoose Paramedics terminated by Fire Chief over bargaining dispute. (Photo) - 01/09/20

Media Note: TV and Phone Interviews, Photos Available for Local News Coverage

Scappoose, OR – The Tualatin Valley Firefighters Union represents the firefighters and paramedics of the Scappoose Rural Fire District.  The Union and the Fire Chief have been working to resolve an issue regarding the start time of a paramedic unit in Scappoose.  Unhappy with the legal requirement to meet and discuss this issue, the Fire Chief Dennis Hoke presented the Union with termination notifications for the two employees during a bargaining session.  Noting that he had been reviewing the paramedic program, he came to the conclusion to terminate the program without notice to the Union or affected employees. 

Scott Bethke, Secretary/Treasurer for the Tualatin Valley Firefighters Union said, “this comes as a complete blindside to the Union.  We pride ourselves on cooperation, collaboration, and a common goal to best serve the citizens and the community.  This will without a doubt reduce the number of highly trained paramedics in the Scappoose Community.  The Fire Chief is terminating the employees and this program, simply because he doesn’t want to work jointly with the union.  This is especially concerning because this program was negotiated and implemented through a joint agreement by both parties in July of 2019.”

The Fire Chief reportedly has a plan to replace these terminated employees with firefighters on the fire engine, but they will not be trained to the paramedic level.  This plan has not been provided to the union and the Scappoose Rural Fire Board has no knowledge of this plan.  “We fully support the additional firefighters on the engine, but not at the expense of highly trained paramedics being removed from the ambulance, especially when 80% of the call responses are medical,” notes Bethke. 

Firefighters will be attending the Scappoose Rural Fire District Meeting on 01/09/2020 to protest this action by the Fire Chief.  The meeting is at 7pm at the Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District, 58611 McNulty Way, St. Helens, OR 97051.

Tualatin Valley Firefighters Union:

The Tualatin Valley Firefighters Union represents over 700 professional firefighters throughout the Portland Metro Area.

Photo Attached is Scott Bethke Meeting with Terminated Paramedics and Scappoose Firefighter Shop Steward


Attached Media Files: Paramedics
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