Rogue River fire chief is placed on paid leave

Rogue River Fire District Board President Mark Reagles did not say what contributed to the decision

Rogue River Fire District Chief Ben Ramsey has been placed on paid leave, and a decision about his future with the agency could be made in the near future, a district official said.

The district's board of directors placed Ramsey on leave last week, according to Rogue River Fire District Board President Mark Reagles. Reagles did not comment on what contributed to the decision.

Reagles said no interim chief has been named. Instead, department captains are handling the day-to-day operations.

Reagles said the board will make a decision about Ramsey's position within the department, but could not say when.

"People can't be on paid administrative leave forever," Reagles said. "At some point, something will happen and a decision will be made."

The board was scheduled to meet this morning in a special executive session that could include a decision on Ramsey's future with the agency.

However, Reagles would not say for certain what would be considered in the meeting.

Under contract with Jackson County, the district is the sole provider of emergency ground ambulance service in Rogue River and Evans Valley. The agency covers about 200 square miles.

Ramsey came under fire last year from union officials who blamed him for the budget woes that have plagued the agency.

Union officials contacted Tuesday said the decision to place Ramsey on leave did not originate from a union complaint.

A call to Ramsey's home seeking comment was not returned.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or

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