MERLIN, Ore. — Several months after the collapse of Inland Fire Company in Josephine County, a new company is in place to provide fire protection for residents in the North Valley area.
When Inland Fire folded last fall, Dan Trader and Wade Comyford decided to take over and take it a step further by adding the security patrol he says now that the word is out, local residents are responding. This company is also adding a new service seldom seen in connection with fire protection, and it’s in response to the Josephine County’s struggling public safety service.
“A really nice part is that when you have a house, people are out of town and those smoke detectors go off, it instantly comes here and we dispatch out a fire department instantly. So, there’s no delays or anything,” explained Dan Trader with County Fire & Security. “So, when you have a home that’s not only protected by Country Fire and Security, when we provide fire or medical, it all comes here out of our Merlin station.”
County Fire and Security is ready to roll and provide an alternative fire protection service to that already in place in the North Valley area of Josephine County, but they’re also providing alarm and Security services, hoping to fill in some of the gaps left by cutbacks in sheriff’s patrols.
“We’ve had a great response,” said Wade Comyford. “I would say probably 85% of the customer base that we had is coming back and the 15% that we’ve lost is intending to come back.”
Comyford also said they also have property in the south end of the valley where they hope to eventually expand, but first the goal is to get this station well established. For years there’s been 2 or 3 private fire companies serving rural Josephine County, but this is the first time there’s been a fire department that also provides security, to homes and businesses. So, for County Fire, this is a step in a new direction.
County Fire and Security is located on Peach Street in Merlin, and employs several of the former Inland Fire company’s firefighters. For more information, they can be contacted at 541-479-6636.