FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2023
COMMISSIONERS HONOR WAYNE STINSON
(Douglas County, Ore.) Douglas County Board of Commissioners Tom Kress, Chris Boice, and Tim Freeman honored Douglas County Emergency Manager Wayne Stinson for 50 years of service to Douglas County in a special, surprise presentation today, Wednesday, August 30, 2023, at the Weekly Business Meeting held at the Douglas County Courthouse. Wayne is set to retire this Friday, September 1, 2023, from his position as the Douglas County Emergency Manager. Click here to view the presentation on the Douglas County Facebook page.
Commissioner Freeman kicked off the presentation by summarizing Wayne's astounding half century career at the county. Wayne has been Douglas County’s Emergency Manager for the last 28 years but has been volunteering or working for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) in varying degrees and positions for an impressive 50+ years. Wayne started as a volunteer in 1973, under then Sheriff John Truett as a part of DCSO’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Explorer Post #510. In 1976, he was hired by Sheriff G.D. Jacobs as a part-time DCSO Cadet, while continuing to volunteer with SAR, and by 1978 was hired full-time as the DCSO Supply and Maintenance Assistant. During his time as a Supply Assistant, his duties included traveling all over Douglas County and inventorying the World War II (WWII) fallout shelters.
“Wayne has done some amazing work here, and we wanted to take a few minutes to honor him for his dedicated service to Douglas County. Emergency management has a very important role in preparing for, responding to and providing post disaster and emergency support. We have been very fortunate in Douglas County to have had a robust emergency management program with someone of Wayne’s caliber and tenure at the helm. He leaves behind a legacy that will be not soon be forgotten,” stated Commissioner Tim Freeman.
Wayne continued to advance through the DCSO ranks with promotions to Assistant Search and Rescue (SAR) Coordinator (1980), SAR Coordinator (1983) and Emergency Manager and SAR Coordinator (1995). As the SAR Coordinator, he managed the administrative functions of the SAR Program including volunteer recruitment and management, training, and on-site rescue event coordination. With the growth in responsibilities for both Emergency Management and SAR Coordination, the decision was made to separate the two into their own divisions in 2017. During his tenure with Douglas County, Wayne has worked under 9 Douglas County Sheriff’s, including: Truett, Jacobs, Jensen, Neal, Pardon, Main, Brown, Burge, and fourteen years under our current Sheriff, John Hanlin. Additionally, he has also worked for 19 Douglas County Commissioners, including: Flegel, Michaels, Doerner, Truett, Vian, Makinson, Long, Robertson, Wadsworth, J. Morgan, Winters, Kittelman, Laurance, S. Morgan, Leif, Goodwin and our three current Commissioners: Freeman, Boice, and Kress. Wayne served two terms as Chairman of the Oregon Search and Rescue Advisory Council, which provides expertise to Sheriff Offices in Oregon, the State of Oregon and other public and private organizations involved in search and rescue. He also served on an early FEMA work group assisting in the development of FEMA’s national model for Urban Search and Rescue Teams. Wayne became a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) in 1995, which is a national level certification, and is one of the few CEM's in Oregon. He has earned and achieved many appointments and honors over the years including, being named Oregon Emergency Manager of the Year in 1996, 2006 and again in 2016 by the Oregon Department of Emergency Management (OEM).
Locally, he was recognized by the Roseburg Optimist Club as “Deputy of the Year” at the 40th Annual Respect for Law Banquet in February 2016. An award he was surprised, honored, and humbled to receive, because even though he is a sworn officer with DCSO, he isn’t a certified police officer. However, receiving this award speaks to the respect he has earned from his fellow law enforcement deputies that count on his professional expertise and work as an integral part of their mission of serving our citizens. Wayne has also been instrumental in writing and procuring numerous grants for Douglas County and local agencies over the years, including National Homeland Security grants and being the chief coordinator with FEMA, OEM and other Federal and State agencies for the entire county before, during and after emergencies. Wayne has dedicated his life to helping others. He has held titles as a certified Emergency Medical Technician, a Scuba Diving Instructor, a Certified Search and Rescue Diver and as a Trainer for Search and Rescue Volunteers.
The presentation also included a video highlight reel that captured some of the best and hardest moments of his career, as well as a motion before the Board of Commissioners. Commissioner Freeman made a motion before the Board of Commissioners asking that they vote to officially name the new Douglas County Emergency Management Center in Wayne Stinson's honor. The board voted unanimously to pass the order. Following the board order the Commissioners presented Wayne with a special banner to commemorate naming the Douglas County Emergency Management Center after him. A banner stating the “future home of the Wayne Stinson Emergency Management Center” will also be placed at the new Douglas County Emergency Management Center located on Diamond Lake Blvd in Roseburg. An official sign with the designation will be hung when the building renovations are completed.
“This was not what I was expecting when I was called over to meet with the Commissioners. This is a surprise, and I definitely was not expecting anything of this magnitude,” remarked Wayne. When asked what he thought about retirement, Wayne stated, “It has been good run. I am not going to miss so much the work, I am going to miss the people. It’s the relationships that I have made not only here in Douglas County, but around the state that are the most important part of it. It just goes into the same preparedness message…when we build a plan, it’s not the plan that’s important, it’s the process and the people. Thank you for going above and beyond.”
Congratulations Wayne on a job well done!
Media Contact: Tamara Howell, Douglas County Emergency Communications & Community Engagement Specialist, Douglas County Public Affairs Office | Office: (541) 957-4896 | Cell: (541) 670-2804 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos: ©K.Trenkle Douglas County.