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Fire District 3 chief will take Utah job

Jackson County Fire District No. 3 Chief Dan Petersen has accepted a chief's position in Utah and will start there in mid-January.

Petersen's final day at Fire District 3 will be Jan. 15, according to a news release. He will take over as chief of the Unified Fire Authority in Salt Lake County, Utah's largest fire agency, overseeing 28 stations of 550-plus firefighters who protect more than 500,000 people across nine cities and unincorporated areas in the county.

Fire District 3 announced Petersen had been offered the UFA job in late November, though he had not officially accepted at that time. A recruiter reached out to Petersen in September because of his 37 years of experience in firefighting and encouraged him to apply.

"This experience has been surreal," Petersen said in a prepared statement. "I have called Southern Oregon my home for close to 40 years. I am humbled to be starting this new chapter in my life, but it also makes me reflect on the remarkable relationships I have created while working here in Oregon."

Petersen started in 1979 as a volunteer firefighter with Valley Fire Service, before moving up through the ranks to captain. He joined Medford Fire-Rescue in 1988, where he worked until 2010, serving as a battalion chief, emergency medical services chief and deputy chief of administration and training. He was Fire District 3's chief for the past six years.

A recruitment process for Petersen's replacement opened Thursday, with applicant information available on the Fire District 3 website.

Dan Petersen