Ryan Lindsey Pinned By SHFD – Three Generations Of First Responders

Kristy Tallman

At the Fire Department board meeting held this past Tuesday, January 23, Ryan Lindsey of Sweet Home was pinned by his father, Levi Lindsey.

Ryan is known as being a legacy firefighter, a firefighter who is a continuation of family members who previously or currently serve.

“It is an honor I do not take lightly that firefighters from all over Oregon inspiring their children, to start their fire service journey here at Sweet Home Fire District (SHFD),” said Chief Nick Tyler. “We have had many legacy firefighters start here in Sweet Home. I think this speaks highly of the organization and its reputation across the fire service. Sweet Home has a history of training great fire service professionals and many fire service leaders in Oregon have ties to SHFD.”

Last spring Ryan, after his friend became a resident volunteer at Brownsville Fire Department (BFD), also started volunteering at BFD then from there began his Emergency Medical Training (EMT) at Chemeketa Community College. Once his training had been completed Ryan took his position in Sweet Home.

On hand for the occasion were two other firefighters, Ryan’s father and his great-uncle, Ret. Lieutenant Ron Lake of the Albany Fire Department (AFD). Levi said he had always wanted to follow in his uncle’s footsteps from the time they were kids.

Levi recalled of his uncle’s time as a SH firefighter in 1983, “We would show up to the old station in Sweet Home. He would show us around. He would show us all the rigs and I got to get in the box with the medic in it and found the EKG cables and stuff. He would let us hang around. When I was getting ready to graduate high school I knew I wanted to follow in his path eventually.”

Levi did just that and is now a Lieutenant at AFD. He’s served the department for 26 years now. Nick Tyler, Fire Department Chief said, “I have had the opportunity to work with Lt. Lindsey on several conflagration fires across Oregon and in California.”

Levi recalled when he received his badge, stating his wife pinned him but his two children added the bugle pins to his collar corners. Levi received his uncle’s badge when he became a lieutenant and still uses it. He says if Ryan decides to come to Albany, maybe one day he too will wear his great-uncle’s badge.

Of the pinning Levi said, “It was really amazing. It was really cool to see three generations of firefighters all together. It’s very rare and it’s not something everyone gets to do.”

Levi went on to explain fire fighting families are very involved and they pass long time traditions on to their children. He was very proud of his son Ryan for all his hard work and determination.

In Other Business

During the remainder of the board meeting the board members resumed their discussion on the bond they seek to purchase necessary equipment for the department. Currently the board is still working on the technicalities and determining the length of bond they will pursue. They will have a working meeting to discuss these matters further later on. The bond will be brought back for discussion at the next meeting.

The board also discussed the past inclement weather and the feats needed to overcome those days. Many items the board was set to report on were canceled due to the weather and will be rescheduled.

The next meeting is scheduled for February 20, 2024 at 7 pm.