Western Oregon University Alumni Achieves Remarkable Success as Polk County Fire Chief

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University is proud to highlight the exceptional journey of alumnus Ben Stange ‘03, who has made significant strides in his career as the Polk County Fire Chief for District No.1.

After graduating from Western with a major in Spanish, Ben Stange found his calling in the field of firefighting. During his time as a student, Stange volunteered with the Polk County Fire Department and discovered his passion for the work. This experience led him to pursue a career as a firefighter after graduation.

“The most rewarding part of the job is saving people’s lives. I attribute my success in my job to the community and support I’ve received. Beginning my career while studying at Western and fully immersed in this close-knit community has been instrumental in my achievements,” reflects Stange.

Polk County Fire District covers approximately 200 square miles of Polk and Marion counties, with a mission to extinguish fires and provide medical care to individuals in need.

In addition to his major in Spanish, Stange minored in communication, a decision that has proven immensely valuable in his line of work. Effective communication is a cornerstone of his day-to-day responsibilities. Stange emphasizes the importance of being a community partner and how communication plays a huge role in their success.

For more information on Ben Stange’s journey and his experience as a Western Oregon University alum, visit Ben Stange ‘05 Success Story.


About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, founded in 1856 in Monmouth, is the state’s oldest public university. Serving about 4,000 students, WOU is a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution with about 70% of the student population being from Oregon. A significant portion of attendees are members of under-represented groups, veterans, or non-traditional students. WOU is Oregon’s campus of choice for those seeking a transformative education in a supportive, student-centered learning community where classes are taught by faculty. Together we succeed.

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