Ken Weld promoted, Zach Lincoln hired by SHFAD

Sean C. Morgan

With the retirement of Battalion Chief Doug Emmert, Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance District has promoted paramedic Ken Weld to battalion chief and hired paid intern Zach Lincoln as a paramedic.

The fire department’s paid firefighter-paramedics are a fire chief, three battalion chiefs and six paid paramedics.

Both Weld and Lincoln have been named the Fire and Ambulance District’s Firefighter of the Year.

Weld, 40, has been with the department since volunteering 1998. The department hired him as a paramedic in 2001. He worked for Albany Fire Department from 1991 to 2001.

Weld grew up in Sweet Home, and graduated from Sweet Home High School in 1990.

His former brother-in-law, who is now fire chief in Albany, pointed Weld to a resident volunteer position in Albany after graduation.

“The opportunity opened up,” Weld said. “I hadn’t even really considered the fire service, actually. What keeps me here and doing this job is just helping people.

“I just really like helping people, being involved and giving back to the community where I grew up.”

Weld enjoys the camaraderie at the Sweet Home department, he said, and he enjoys the small-town atmosphere in Sweet Home.

“My wife and I wanted to raise our kids here,” Weld said.

Weld is married to Angela Weld. They have three children, J.T., 15; Mikkala, 13; and Tucker, 8.

Lincoln, 23, started in Sweet Home, where his father lives, 4 1/2 years ago as a part-time intern medic.

Looking for change, he moved to Sweet Home from Vermont, where he already had experience in the field.

“I started as a volunteer in Vermont just as a way to help the community at age 16,” Lincoln said. He started as a volunteer at SHFAD, and after two or three months, the department picked him up as an intern.

He earned his certification at Chemeketa Community College.

“I hate the cliché,” Lincoln said. “But I really just like helping people. It’s quoted as the best job in the world, and I believe it. It’s not the same thing every single day.”

He also enjoys “the brotherhood” of firefighters, he said. “I’m looking forward to this great opportunity to be able to work with some awesome people and continue to learn and better myself.”

Lincoln is planning to settle in Sweet Home, he said.

“It’s actually quite a bit bigger than the town I grew up in.”

Zach Lincoln, left, and Ken Weld, on the ladder truck in the fire station, have new positions at the Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance District.