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Pamplin Media Group – After abrupt resignation, state fire marshal gets new gig



Jim Walker will serve Canby, Woodburn and Aurora fire districts as fire inspector, a newly created position.

COURTESY PHOTO: CANBY FIRE - Jim WalkerCanby, Woodburn and Aurora fire districts have jointly hired former state fire marshal Jim Walker as the fire inspector for all three districts.

The fire inspector is a newly created position funded under an interagency agreement between the three districts, which, in addition to the larger cities, include the cities of Gervais, Barlow and the Aurora Airport, according to a news release.

“The new inspector position will have a positive impact on the life safety for those who live, work, and do business in our communities,” said Woodburn and Hubbard Fire Chief Joe Budge.

In the position, Walker will focus on fire and life safety inspections at commercial businesses and multifamily residential structures in the districts. He also will work with Canby Fire Division Chief Matt English in the development of an engine company inspection program that uses state-provided software for fire inspections.

“This program will get our crews into buildings for life safety inspections, which also provides familiarization of the facilities for emergency operations,” English said. “This will help ensure safer and more efficient fire operations.”

The new position will free up current fire marshals at each district to devote more time to new development plans, the release said, and inspections at facilities such as schools, nursing homes and large industrial complexes.

Under the agreement, Walker will spend 40% of his time in Canby, 40% in Woodburn and 20% in Aurora.

Walker began his fire service career in 1981 as a wildland firefighter. He has served at the local and state levels, including five years with the Oregon Department of Forestry, managing their statewide fire operations.

For the past 11 years, Walker served at the Office of the State Fire Marshal, and since 2014, he was the state fire marshal — the state’s top fire official. He directed the agency’s fire programs including code development and enforcement; fire investigation; fire data, collection and analysis; fire-setter intervention and more.

He has extensive experience in all-hazard incident response and is a qualified Type 1 incident commander with a passion for community risk reduction, training and fire prevention, according to the release.

“Jim Walker brings with him a plethora of experience and the ability to work with people,” said Canby Fire Chief Jim Davis, noting that Walker will be particularly helpful as Canby Fire District is experiencing significant growth.

Walker resigned as state fire marshal in September 2020.

He now looks to move forward in his new position.

“I am excited about the opportunity to build a program that will serve all three districts in a way that will make a real difference in the safety of the communities that we serve,” Walker said at his swearing-in ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Fire departments combine efforts

The new shared staff position is just one example of the increasing partnerships among North Marion and South Clackamas county fire departments to provide services to the public in the most efficient way possible, per the news release.

Fire districts have a longstanding tradition of providing mutual aid in emergencies, but in recent years, joint efforts have expanded.

Several fire districts now share personnel to provide accounting, payroll and human resources services. Districts run a joint recruiting academy to train new volunteers and share a civil service commission that oversees hiring and promotional practices.

This collaboration has not only contributed to efficiency, per the release, but it also has resulted in a larger and more qualified candidate pool from which to select recruits.

In 2020, the boards of directors from Canby, Molalla, Colton, Aurora, Woodburn and Hubbard fire districts commissioned a study to review the ways that the districts were working together and to identify additional opportunities to improve efficiency. The new fire inspector position was one of the results of that review.

Going forward, the departments are dedicated to continuing to meet and collaborate on the delivery of emergency services. Districts currently are considering the development of a joint facility to serve as a training and apparatus maintenance center for many fire districts in the region.

Kristen Wohlers
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UK – Deliveroo riders strike over pay, gig work conditions (Associated Press)




08 April 2021

Riders for the meal delivery work services platform Deliveroo held a strike in London yesterday over pay and working conditions, part of a broader backlash against one of the UK’s biggest gig economy companies, reports the Associated Press. Socially distanced protests were also planned in York, Reading, Sheffield and Wolverhampton to demand fair pay, safety protections and basic workers’ rights. The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain, which represents migrant and gig workers, expected hundreds of riders to take part. Deliveroo said that “this small self-appointed union does not represent the vast majority of riders who tell us they value the total flexibility they enjoy.” Rider surveys found most are happy with the company and flexibility was their priority, the company said in a statement.

The strike coincides with the first day of unconditional share trading for Deliveroo, which went public last week in a debut that saw the company lose nearly 30% of their value. However, a number of institutional investors skipped the IPO, citing concerns about employment conditions for riders and a dual-class shareholder structure that gives founder Will Shu outsize control.

The company saw its business boom over the past year because of Covid-19 restrictions that powered demand for meal deliveries. Riders say they haven’t been sharing in the success because the company has been paying them less. Deliveroo and other gig companies in the UK that rely on flexible workforces are also facing looming regulatory challenges, after the Supreme Court recently ruled Uber drivers should be classed as “workers” and not self-employed, entitling them to benefits such as minimum wage and pensions.

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Winter Games gig tough job for French ice master




Remy Boehler is just one step away from realizing his Olympic dream in China, as the French ice master has been invited to lead the Capital Gymnasium’s ice-making team in preparations for the Beijing 2022 Winter Games.

“Everything is good,” Boehler said before his team set the first ice surface transition underway during the “Experience Beijing” Ice Sports Testing Program running through April 10.

“Everybody has a lot of jobs for making good ice, and I think it’s a good point for preparing the Games,” added the 44-year-old, who said three years ago in PyeongChang 2018, his third Winter Games, that he’s quite willing to serve the next Olympics.

Like every previous Olympic Winter Games, the Beijing 2022 figure skating and short track speed skating competitions will be staged on the same rink in the 53-year-old Capital Gymnasium, which has been newly renovated.

From Boehler’s point of view, however, it’s not the same at all, since figure skaters need “softer” ice to better support jumps while short track speed skaters favor harder ice for increased speed.

To meet the requirement of both sports, Boehler and his team have to adjust the ice temperature from minus 3-4 degrees Celsius for figure skating to minus 6-7 degrees for short track.

“This is the only venue that has to switch between two sports in the middle of a day, which gives us huge stress during these testing events,” said Ding Dong, head of the Capital Gymnasium venue operation team, explaining why they arranged seven transitions in six testing days.

With the most recently updated Beijing 2022 schedule seeing both figure skating and short track events on one competition day, while the rest of the days have the two sports every other day, the challenges to the field of play transition are mounting.

“The transition involves many aspects around the rink, including the conversions of some temporary facilities, like the starting station and the protective pads. The photo positions will differ as well.

“But, ice is above every other thing. It’s also the most difficult part,” echoed Shen Ling, transition manager of the CG venue operation team.

As short track and figure skating won China the most gold medals at the Winter Games, the two sports have a solid fan base in the host country, possibly leading to a more complicated situation for Boehler’s team, seeing that the Capital Gymnasium will be often fully packed at Olympic time.

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New Chart Positions In Gig App Provider Ranking




Unemployment claims are up one week, down the next in the topsy-turvy world after COVID-19. Where does that leave gig workers? In the driver’s seat, as this update to PYMNTS’ Provider Ranking of Gig Economy Apps tells us loud and clear.

Not only are there gigs, but it’s never been easier to pull up those postings on your smartphone and peruse them like a restaurant menu. Makes getting a gig a whole lot simpler. We’ve got a job, so get out the Ranking Machine for the Provider Ranking of Gig Economy Apps.

The Top Five

Our four top-ranked apps seem to have entrenched to some degree (although you never know).

Still at No. 1 is DoorDash, donating a million bucks to driver’s charities in April, followed as usual by Uber Driver at No. 2.

Instacart Shopper needs no assistance from customer service at its No. 3 spot — and for that matter, neither does the Fiverr freelance marketplace app, keeping busy at No. 4.

Now for a changeup to close out this section: Amazon Flex moves up one spot to enter the top 5 at No. 5.

The Top 10

At No. 6, we find the Upwork app down one chart position from last month, with self-explanatory app Freelancer also dropping one position to land at No. 7.

Rideshare legend Lyft likes preferred parking at No. 8, just where we left it last time.

Hare beats tortoise, as it were, as the TaskRabbit app jumps up a spot to No. 9, pushing the mighty Grubhub for Drivers to No. 10 and completing this edition of the Provider Ranking of Gig Economy Apps.

That’s what we call part of a full day’s work.



About The Study: Open banking-powered payment offerings have been available in some markets since 2018, but the pandemic drove many consumers to try these solutions for the first time — and there’s no going back. In the Open Banking Report, PYMNTS examines open banking’s rise as merchants and payment services providers worldwide tap into such options to offer secure, seamless account-to-account payments.

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