Mike Morgan, Chief of Colorado River Fire Rescue, has been selected as the next Director of the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control. He will replace the current director, Paul Cooke, who announced his retirement on February 1, 2016.
Chief Morgan’s first fire service position was as a volunteer with the Rifle Colorado Fire Department in 1986. Five years later he became their first full-time employee. Today he is the chief of Colorado River Fire Rescue which was formed in 2014 when the Burning Mountains Fire Protection District and Rifle Fire Protection District merged.
The department’s web site lists 37 full time firefighters, 22 part time, and 15 volunteers in addition to an administrative staff.
Chief Morgan has been very active in the Colorado State Fire Chiefs (CSFC) association. When he was president of the group in 2013 they issued a nine-page position paper with recommendations for the Interim Committee on Wildfire Matters. At the time the state was reorganizing their fire organization. The CSFC’s top four recommendations were:
- Insure the stability and reliability of the current Colorado state-wide emergency radio system.
- Continue to invest in the development, expansion & implementation of the State resource mobilization plan.
- Expand the current local, regional and State command, control, and coordination capabilities.
- Provide sufficient funding to the Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) to fulfill its stated missions.
Chief Morgan believes the Division of Fire Prevention and Control is the focal point for Colorado’s fire prevention and suppression efforts, and should find new and innovative ways to serve its customers. When asked what his desire is for his new position, he said, “to represent all of Colorado’s fire service, large and small, and to unify our voice to protect the residents, visitors, and responders of our great state”.
If the videos Colorado River Fire Rescue has posted online are any indication, Chief Morgan runs a department that is not afraid of having a lighthearted social media presence.
In some of the videos, firefighters mouth the words to well-known songs, including Adele’s Hello. In another the Chief pins a badge on a firefighter after he supposedly rescues a cat in a tree.
Chief Morgan will assume his new responsibilities following a formal Transfer of Command Ceremony on April 22, 2016.