New UO fire marshal started career in Barcelona
ROSEBURG, Ore. - After 24 years of service to Douglas County, Fire Marshal Josep Pedrola has announced his retirement effective June 15.
He starts work as the fire marshal for the University of Oregon in Eugene the next day.
"My official first day is June 16 which is also commencement ceremonies day," he said. "So yeah, we're going to be a little bit busy."
Pedrola and his wife moved to the United States in 1989 after a 13-year fire service career in Barcelona, Spain.
He joined Douglas County Fire District No. 2 a year later, working his way up through the ranks.
"I was fortunate to start as a volunteer firefighter with the fire district," he said. "I had to start basically from zero again in my career and be able to take it to where it is today, being the Fire Marshal for all these years."
His passion for firefighting runs in the family
"I was born in Europe, and my family is a firefighting family. I'm the third generation," he said. "My dad was a firefighter, my grandpa was the driver and engineer."
He looks forward to the next phase of his career at the University of Oregon, where he said he will have a great staff working with him to help cover the growing campus.
"Eighty buildings, about 63 acres and about 27,000 population on campus any given day," he said. "So it's a small city."