PULLMAN – Tuesday, May 31, Fire Marshal Chris Wehrung, who has spent the better part of the last 25 years with the Pullman Fire Department—3 years as a reserve, 15 as a firefighter, and nearly 7 as a fire marshal retired.
In 2015, he filled the crater-sized shoes left by his mentor and predecessor, Rich Dragoo, who served 43 years with the City of Pullman.
Well before becoming a fire marshal, Wehrung earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management from WSU, a versatile degree that made him a standout applicant 26 years later.
“[Rich Dragoo] finally retired and I applied,” Wehrung said. “Now I’m really using my degree because I’m speaking to engineers, architects, and business people.”
Wehrung is revered for his unwavering dedication to service and excellence for the City and the Pullman community.
“It’s been an honor to have Chris serve as our fire marshal and we thank him for his 25 plus years of service to the residents of Pullman,” Assistant Chief Ray Lamoureaux said. “Chris has made this city a safer place to both live and work.”
Wehrung became a living encyclopedia for the fire code. He performed investigations, inspections, and plan reviews for projects. He paired his experience as a firefighter with a nonstop education of all things fire safety.
Despite saving many lives fighting fires with some crazy experiences attached, he once helped deliver twins in a snowstorm in the front seat of a Toyota Camry. Chris never considered himself any sort of hero until he became a marshal.
“Because you’re preventing the deaths, the injuries,” Wehrung said. “You’re saving more people, and that’s rung true with me.”
Wehrung’s retirement brings deserved recognition as well as a welcome migration to Phoenix with his wife Nancy of 37 years. They will be joining their 33-year-old son Ben and his family. When he’s not boating, camping, or traveling, civilian Wehrung expects to be living by a new set of codes, those set by his three granddaughters.
“My job when I get down there is I’m gonna be the chauffer, the hair brusher, make sure they’re doing their homework,” Wehrung said.