West Routt begins search for new fire chief
Steamboat Springs — After 39 years of service, West Routt Fire Protection District Chief Bryan Rickman is retiring, and the fire district’s board has began looking for the department’s new leader.
Rickman’s last day is Jan. 31, and Assistant Chief Dal Leck will take over Rickman’s duties until a new chief is hired. Leck said he also plans to apply to be the permanent chief.
If all goes well, the district hopes to make a job offer by mid-March, district board President Ross Fralick said.
The district has hired Lee Cosgrove in Steamboat Springs at a cost of as much as $3,500 to help advertise the position and to review applicants. Fralick said the board felt like it was receiving a discount for Cosgrove’s services.
The position is being advertised locally and regionally.
Fralick said the ideal candidate will have experience with structure fires, car crashes with extractions and emergency medical service. EMS calls are the most common calls West Routt firefighters receive. West Routt also has an active wildfire season.
“We have a definite need for someone that has knowledge of wildfire,” Fralick said.
Additionally, Fralick said board members think it is important that the next chief be familiar with small towns and the harsh Northwest Colorado climate.
The application deadline for the chief position is Friday.
In January, the board will help narrow the applicants. An interview committee will be composed of board members and community members.
Once Rickman retires, Fralick said, the board hopes to bring him back in some capacity to advise the board and help with the transition.
“We’re going to use him as a consultant,” Fralick said. “Can’t think of anyone better to advise us than him.”
Once a new chief is chosen, he or she would be the one who hires the assistant chief, Fralick said.