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McGowan to retire as district chief

Led District No. 6 for 35 years

HARRINGTON - The longtime chief of Fire District No. 6 informed his district he'll be retiring soon. Scott McGowan is stepping away from his role after 35 years as District chief.

McGowan has been a fireman with the District for 39 years, almost simultaneous to his 40 years with the city as maintenance superintendent.

"I started just after the ash cleanup (from Mt. St. Helens," McGowan said.

He said he's retiring due to health issues and "not doing what I should be doing."

Brandon Larmer will be the acting District chief in McGowan's absence. But the longtime chief plans to stick around, helping the city with sewer and water sampling and volunteering to drive the ambulance.

Being a trained EMT is important to McGowan. After witnessing a fatal car crash, he knew he wanted to take an EMT class to be prepared to help save lives.

"It's a sinking feeling, knowing you can't do anything," McGowan said.

And the District needed that training he received. He, Larmer and Dusty Oestreich have been the only EMT's in the Harrington area for 15 years, McGowan said.

"We could use a few more firemen," he said.

McGowan moved to Harrington from Elk in 1981 in search of employment. He talked to Bunny Haugan and Paul Gilliland with the city, who offered him a job he held for 40 years.

As a volunteer firefighter in a district consisting mostly of wheat and scabland, McGowan was witness to many fires and surprising incidents.

"We've fought several fires over 20,000 acres," McGowan said. "And there was a plane crash maybe 10 years ago on Coffeepot Road."

He and his wife, Lynn, of 30 years, raised five now-adult children and plan to stay in the city. And McGowan will remain in touch with the District he's enjoyed giving his time to as a firetruck and ambulance driver.

"I was wanting to give to the community, and I enjoyed it," McGowan said. "I'll miss the comradery."

Author Bio

Drew Lawson, Editor

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Drew Lawson is the editor of the Davenport Times. He is a graduate of Eastern Washington University.


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