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Sutherlin Fire Department hires new assistant fire chief

The city of Sutherlin Fire Department hired a new assistant fire chief last week to replace the former assistant fire chief who left the position after only a few months. Lon Dragt, 45, comes most recently from the Goshen Rural Fire Protection District where he served as a captain. Dragt started in the fire service in 1998 with the Santa Clara Rural Fire District where he served 10 years before going into the private sector. He attended Lane Community College and Pioneer Pacific before later returning to fire service in 2013 with the Goshen Fire Department, eventually attaining the rank of captain. Dragt said he hopes to bring his experiences, knowledge and an open mind to the position. "You've got to be able to come in with an open mind and work with everyone to make sure we're moving forward and in a positive direction," he said. Dragt said the Goshen Fire Department had gone through a period of turmoil before he arrived at the department, but he hopes he can bring what he learned and apply it to the Sutherlin department. "We had a very small department in terms of man power so my task was to help build recruitment and get a few more people on board so we could better serve the community,&qu