Who Am I?
In 1905, the father of the U.S. Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot wrote:
"Where conflicting interests must be reconciled, the question shall always be answered from the standpoint of the greatest good of the greatest number in the long run."
I have always appreciated this view, with a personal goal to do the most good possible with my knowledge, skills, and abilities. Since June of 2016, I have served as the Fire Chief of the Estes Valley Fire Protection District, a combination department of five career and forty volunteers responsible for the 70 square miles immediately east of Rocky Mountain National Park. Our agency serves the 12,000 full time residents of the valley and over 4.5 million annual visitors to the National Park. We protect a municipality, unincorporated county land, National Forest, National Park, and critical federal infrastructure for the Big Thompson Watershed and Bureau of Reclamation.
In 2019, I was selected to Chair the newly combined Volunteer & Combination Section of the Colorado State Fire Chiefs, representing approximately 75% of the agencies who protect our state. In this role, I help to provide training for these agencies that addresses the unique challenges of volunteer and combination departments. I also lobby with state and federal legislators on issues impacting the Colorado Fire Service.
Growing up in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, I grew a passion for national sciences and a desire to make a difference. I was fortunate to be raised by many role models in my own family who: worked towards clean air and water through forest management, fought to desegregate Price Georges County Schools, increase access to health care for rural Marylanders, and improve public education by being educators.
My original plan was not to end up as a fire executive, as I started my path 20 years ago while going to school for geology and economics. I earned my B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in geology before spending six years as a research scientist in a large international energy company. During that time, I volunteered with fire agencies in Pennsylvania, New York, and Texas that represent a broad range in scope and scale. In 2016, I was given the opportunity to change careers and move to Colorado, which has proven to be a great decision both professionally and personally as I now get to raise my two sons in the shadow of a National Park.
My passion for research and science continues through my participation on the most recent Underwriters’ Laboratories Firefighter Safety Research Institute (UL-FSRI) technical panel on the Study of Fire Service Residential Home Size Up and Search & Rescue Operations. Of more than 500 applicants, 18 were selected to steer the program and experimental design and complete analysis of collected data. These projects conducted by UL-FSRI enable firefighters to drive the research topics and provides a mechanism to communicate those key conclusions and learnings to the rest of the fire service community – helping us all better serve the citizens we swore to protect.
I live in the Estes Valley with my wife, Danielle, and two sons, Calder and Beckett.
Danielle earned her M.S. in Geophysics , followed by her M.A.T. in Education. She taught sixth grade science for Houston ISD and served on the Estes Park School Board.
In addition to my professional roles, I coach elementary chess club and support a local co-ed scouting program called Navigators.
We spend as much time outside as we can - exploring around Estes, hiking, skiing, and geocaching. We're currently converting a van into a camper to increase our ability to road trip and be outdoors.
Enjoying the fall colors in Rocky Mountain National Park
Posting post fire in 5 degree weather in Estes Park, CO, 2017
Fighting the Forest Canyon Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, 2018
Reading names at the Fallen Firefighter Memorial, Estes Park, CO, 2017
Welcoming Engine 71 to the fleet after a wash down ceremony, Estes Park, CO, 2017
Joint training between Cy-Fair Station 6 and Shell Industrial, Houston TX, 2015
Cy-Fair Academy class, Houston TX, 2013
Hosting Boy Scouts at Station 6 in Cy-Fair, TX, 2012
Hanging out during live fire training in Cy-Fair, TX, 2013
Teaching new recruit academy in Cayuga Heights, NY, 2007
Cy-Fair Academy class, Houston TX, 2014
All content copyright Fire Wolf, LLC 2022.