On Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 at 3 p.m. at the St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church on Old Portland Road in Scappoose, the event room was packed full of family, friends, firefighters, paramedics and members of the community. A room full of love and admiration for a man who has dedicated nearly four decades of his life to the Scappoose Rural Fire Protection District.
It was in 1974 when Chief Greisen first signed up to volunteer at the Scappoose Rural Fire Protection District, and I would venture to say he never dreamed that 45 years later he would still be as involved, if not more, than the day he walked in the door.
In 1974 after becoming a volunteer, Greisen signed up for an Oregon EMT class which was a new program at the time and became certified in February of 1975. While doing this, he was in a partnership with the Greisen’s Department Store which his family purchased in 1974, and it closed ten years later. During this time, he was hired at St. Helens Rural Fire District in August 1981 and continued volunteering for Scappoose Fire District.
In late 1982/early 1983, he became a paramedic. It was realized during this time what hard work and dedication looked like and Greisen became the first paid Chief for Scappoose Rural Fire Protection District. He continued to help grow the district and created an incredible fire family inside the organization.
In 2016, Chief Greisen stepped into a big role as the joint Chief for a new Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Scappoose Rural Fire Protection District and Columbia River Fire & Rescue. He went from serving one district with twelve paid employees and thirty volunteers to another, adding an additional district with 45 employees and 50 volunteers and joined forces, which is not always an easy feat. However, he graciously agreed to take on this challenge and worked tirelessly to form a cohesive venture between two fire districts.
In 2019 when he announced his retirement was nearing, he continued his hard work, his drive and his passion for the fire service. One thing is for sure, when you see him on a scene, it would never be obvious he was the Chief commanding a scene, as he gets in and works just as hard as everyone else. His compassion, his work ethic and his genuine community state of mind is the driving force behind his entire being. Chief Greisen will be greatly missed by his staff, and his community. However, he is excited to tackle his honey-do list that started in 1982, spend time with his wife, four children and four grandchildren, do some camping and other small trips and of course, farming. He also mentioned he will still be out in the community volunteering.
Thank you for your 45 years of dedicated service, Chief.