FINAL CANDIDATES FOR FRONT RANGE FIRE RESCUE FIRE CHIEF ANNOUNCED!
After reviewing 36 applications, from around the country, the Board has announced the finalists for the position. The public is invited to listen to the candidates speak at 4:00 pm on May 14, 2019, at Grace Community Church, 2033 W South 1st St, Johnstown, CO. There will be an open meet and greet after the presentation for the public to meet the Fire Chief Candidates.
The candidates will then take part in panel interviews on May 15, 2019. Each candidate will participate in 3-panel interviews. The person ultimately selected will take charge of 45 sworn firefighters, 3 civilian staff, and an annual operating budget of almost $5 million. Listed in alphabetic order, the six people who have been named as final candidates for the post of Chief of the Front Range Fire Rescue Department are;
Craig Aberbach has been the Fire Chief for the City of Hailey, Idaho, since 2013, and beginning in 2015, he is also the Assistant Fire Chief for a neighboring fire district, Wood River Fire & Rescue, through a joint powers agreement. Mr. Aberbach was with the Cape Coral Fire Rescue & Emergency Management Service in Florida from 1986-2008, serving in positions from Firefighter through Division Chief. He has a master’s degree in Management from Hodges University, a bachelor’s degree in Management from International College, and an associate degree in Fire Science from Miami Dade Community College.
Carol Brown has been with Boulder Fire-Rescue in Colorado since 1991 when she started there as a Firefighter. She progressed through the ranks to Lieutenant, Fire Training Captain, Battalion Chief, Division Chief of Training and she has been Operations Battalion Chief since 2017. Ms. Brown has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Recreation from Metropolitan State College and she is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.
Jeffrey Howell is currently a Safety Advocate with Assurance Agency in Illinois, which creates and implements safety procedures and emergency operations plans. Prior to that, he was with the Lake Forest Fire Department in Illinois from 1990-2016, having served as Fire Chief from 2007-2016, when he retired. Mr. Howell has a master’s degree in Fire & Emergency Management from Oklahoma State University and a bachelor’s degree in Fire Service Management from Southern Illinois University.
Ryan Roberts has been with the Red, White & Blue Fire Protection District in Colorado since 2001 when he began there as a Firefighter/EMT, promoting through the ranks to his current position of Battalion Chief, which he has held since 2013. Mr. Roberts has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Walden University, a bachelor’s degree in Fire Service Administration from Western Oregon University, an associate degree in Fire Science Technology from Pikes Peak Community College, and he is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.
David Schmitt was most recently Fire Chief for the City of Bremerton, Washington, Fire Department. Prior to that, he was with the City of Burbank, California, Fire Department from 1986 to 2017, serving in positions including Firefighter/EMT, Engineer, Captain, Battalion Chief, Division Chief and Assistant Fire Chief. Mr. Schmitt has a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire & Emergency Management from Kaplan University and an Associate of Science degree in Fire Technology from Los Angeles Valley College.
J. Michael West has been with South Metro Fire Rescue in Colorado since 1990 when he started there as a Firefighter. He received multiple promotions, including Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief/Training Chief and he is currently District Chief/Shift Commander. Mr. West has a master’s degree in Strategic Communications & Leadership from Seton Hall University, a bachelor’s degree in Management from the University of Colorado, and an associate degree in Fire Sciences from Colorado Mountain College.
Reporting directly to the Board of Directors, the Fire Chief budgets, plans, coordinates, and implements all District programs, activities, and policies established by the Board of Directors. The Fire Chief is also responsible for coordinating the operations of the District with other local, regional, and state fire protection agencies and with other governmental agencies and may function as a Command Officer at emergency scenes.