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CB fire district shakes up management structure

Looking for efficiencies with fire and EMS

By Mark Reaman

With the imminent hiring of a new district manager, the Crested Butte Fire Protection District (CBFPD) is doing some reorganization of upper management.

The EMS and fire divisions will essentially be combined and the current EMS chief, Rob Weisbaum, will take over both divisions as the district operations chief. Current fire chief Ric Ems is moving to the head fire marshal position. He will be responsible for those duties as well as inspections of existing and new properties.

Because of the timing, CBFPD board chairman Paul Hird said the management shifts make sense. “As we hire a new district manager, the board decided to make some changes to be more efficient,” he explained. “So Rob will cover all operations for both the EMS and the fire crews. Rob is comfortable in that role and we are comfortable he can handle both divisions. Ric will handle all the fire marshaling responsibilities and inspections. Those duties are growing quickly as Crested Butte appears to be in another boom. That is a huge task. The new district manager will oversee everyone, including Rob and Ric and the rest of the staff.”

Hird said details of the job descriptions are still being worked out, but the transition and management shifts will be effective immediately.

“We are letting the district manager candidates know about the shift when we interview them. In the long run it should make things smoother as we hire more people with the goal to have everyone cross-trained with both fire and EMS. This should make the district more efficient and streamlined,” said Hird. “As we hire more paid staff, we are trying to get people with both EMS and fire skills, so this is a perfect opportunity to get everyone on the same page. The board felt this was a good utilization of manpower and a way to be more efficient with the same number of people.”

The board interviewed two district manager candidates earlier this week, with a third scheduled to be interviewed Thursday. One applicant withdrew from the process. Hird said the hope is to come to a consensus on a candidate and make an offer this week to get someone in the top job by early summer.

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