Hailing from four generations of peace officers, Gregg Timm said he knew he wanted to commit his life to helping others.
Timm was recently appointed chief of the Roseburg Fire Department to succeed Mike Lane, who retired at the end of June.
He has been with the department 26 years and was promoted from assistant chief.
Timm said as a young firefighter, he didn’t picture himself managing a department.
“But when the challenge arose, I took it wholeheartedly and will apply myself to do the best I can,” said Timm, 49.
“I’m excited about this job. I’m blessed with great support from my family, City Hall and the other department heads,” he said.
Timm, who’s originally from Oregon City, said it was his lifelong dream to be a firefighter.
“My family came from a strong line of law enforcement. I broke that trend,” he said.
“I’ve always had a commitment to community service. Helping people has always been in my family’s blood and in my heart. So the calling of service is what I chose,” he said.
When Timm finished high school, he decided to take a year off from school against his family’s wishes, he said.
The following year he was ready to pursue a career as a firefighter.
In 1984, he started at Clackamas Community College, where he obtained an associate degree in fire science. He also interned with several fire departments, including Clackamas County Fire District 54.
After graduation, Timm applied to fire departments around the state.
He was hired by the Roseburg Fire Department shortly before marrying his wife, Stephanie, in 1988, he said.
“Roseburg offered me the job first, so I made that commitment,” Timm said. “Once here, I, of course, fell in love with the career and community.”
Timm started out as a firefighter and slowly moved up the ranks — engineer, lieutenant, battalion chief and then assistant chief, when Lane was appointed fire chief.
The new assistant chief, Steve Brewer, said Timm is “the kind of senior guy everybody looked up to.”
“He’s a doer. He doesn’t just sit and point and tell people what to do,” he said. “One thing I respect the most is that he lives and breathes the department. We are pretty lucky to have that.”
Brewer said the recent shift in roles will be an adjustment but that he’s excited for everyone to grow together.
“We have to figure out how we are going to do our job and assist each other,” he said.
Now in his new role, Timm said he is looking forward to developing a community fire academy.
“We do a lot of community outreach in different ways. This is just another way to bring people in and let them see what we do,” he said.
The department is also looking to bring back a smoke detector program and hopes to recruit people from the academy to help, Brewer said.
Timm said although he is still getting his footing, he’s excited for what the future holds.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to grow the great people below me and continue to bring enhanced support to the community,” he said.
• Reporter Jessica Prokop can be reached at 541-957-4209 and firstname.lastname@example.org.