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Story by Kimberly West - The Oregon Herald
Published on Friday December 31, 2010 - 8:44 PM
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SALEM - 44 year old Marion County Fire Chief J. Kevin Hensonis is in the hospital after his vehicle was hit today, New Years Eve, while on the way to a fire.

He was headed to a house fire in the 3500 block of Brooklake Road N.E. when he tried to pass a 2005 GMC truck and was struck when the other driver turned into a business. The fire chief's van rolled a couple times before coming to rest on its side.

The Chief was transported to the hospital with unknown injuries. The sheriff's office said they could not or would not release information on the fire chief's condition without his permission. But word has it that his injuries were serious, but that he is in stable condition at a Salem Hospital.

The driver of the other vehicle, 37-year-old Robert M. Floyd of Keizer, sustained minor injuries and was not hospitalized.

Chief Kevin Henson came to Oregon in 2004 to serve as the Fire Chief for the Turner Fire District (TFD). He brought with him eighteen years of prior experience in emergency services. In addition to well-known lecture & instructional abilities, Chief Henson also maintains accreditation as a Fire Officer as well as certification as a Nationally Registered Paramedic. Chief Henson has also been conferred a bachelor of science degree in business administration.

Working with the TFD staff & volunteers, Chief Henson led a successful local option tax initiative for the replacement of aging fire apparatus during his first year. The TFD now has some of the most modern and technologically advanced equipment in the State. In 2007, he was "loaned" to Marion County Fire District #1 (MCFD1) where he served as a contracted Fire Chief for MCFD1 while continuing his duties as the TFD Fire Chief. Since that time, significant improvements in the relationship between the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local 2557 have been made including a complete rewrite of the collective bargaining agreement, revised civil service rules, policies and procedures and standard operating guidelines.

In April of 2008, Chief Henson formally accepted the position Fire Chief for the Willamette Valley Fire & Rescue Authority. The fire authority was formed through an intergovernmental agreement which represents a functional consolidation of the TFD and MCFD1. Chief Henson is responsible for both the TFD and MCFD1 fire districts and has delegated responsibilities to key chief officers in the areas of administration, operations, fire prevention, training and EMS.