Steamboat Springs The West Routt Fire Protection District has named interim chief Dal Leck as its new permanent chief.
Leck was one of 30 people who applied for the job vacated by Bryan Rickman, who retired Jan. 31.
Leck has been with the Hayden fire department for 21 years, and for the past six years he was the assistant chief.
“It’s a pretty smooth transition right now,” Leck said on Tuesday, which was his first day as chief. “I’m really excited.”
The West Routt fire board interviewed Leck and Capt. Dustin Williams for the job Monday night.
“We have pretty high expectations, and two firefighters on our department met those qualifications,” fire board chairman Ross Fralick said.
The committee of community members interviewed the candidates March 19. A third man from Washington was to be interviewed, too, but he backed out after accepting another job.
Fralick said Leck was offered a salary of $75,000 plus benefits.
Fralick said he could not be more thrilled about the fire board naming a new chief, and the fire district was in good shape for the future.
Fralick said Leck stood out from other applicants because of his years of experience, a calm attitude and technical training. Fralick said the fire board liked how Leck wants to reach out to the community in an effort to educate them about the department and find new recruits to volunteer.
Leck said the recruitment and retention of volunteers would be one of his priorities as chief. He also needs to hire a new assistant chief.
“It’s probably going to be my first big task,” Leck said.
He plans to advertise that position to firefighters who currently are at the department.
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