Aspen fire district board acknowledges chief’s resignation
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – The Aspen Fire Protection District hasn’t set a deadline for replacing Fire Chief Darryl Grob, who resigned earlier this month, the president of the board of directors said Tuesday.
The board will likely discuss during a Dec. 7 budget meeting how to proceed with a search, Jack Simmons said. Further discussions could be held at its regularly scheduled meeting Dec. 15.
No interim fire chief has been appointed, but the district’s bylaws state that the two assistant fire chiefs will handle operations in the absence of the chief, Simmons said. Ron Baar and Rick Balentine are the two assistants overseeing operations.
The board has temporarily appointed Fire Marshall Ed Van Walraven to oversee the district’s business affairs, Simmons said.
A source knowledgeable of the preliminary discussions said it is possible the district will split the business and operations duties, essentially hiring a fire chief and a chief financial officer.
The board of directors released an official statement about Grob’s resignation Tuesday – nearly two weeks after it was submitted and the day after it was widely reported in local media.
“Chief Grob is seeking new and rewarding opportunities to continue a life of service in the valley,” the statement says. “The board was unanimous in its support of Chief Grob’s decision and its recognition of Chief Grob’s visionary service to the fire district and the citizens it protects and serves.”
In the statement, Grob said: “It has been an honor and a joy to work with the Aspen Fire District and the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department for these last 31-plus years. I am saddened, but realize that it has come time for me to move on in pursuit of fresh and rewarding opportunities to continue my life of service.”
Grob will consult the fire department through Feb. 28. He became the volunteer fire chief in 1994 and was hired as the first paid chief in 1995.
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Aspen and Pitkin County have the largest black bear population and as such, are hoping for a big portion of a Colorado Parks and Wildlife grant to help educate and enforcement rules around securing trash.