Well-fed firefighters | AspenTimes.com

Well-fed firefighters

During the week of Feb. 23 through March 2 the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department and the community of Aspen played host to four firefighters from the city of New York: Lt. Kenneth Christiansen (decorated for valor), Lt. Andy Olsen, Lt. Gary Rishell, and firefighter Steve Fenley (decorated with FDNY’s highest award for personal valor in 2000).A few months ago, these esteemed visitors (all avid skiers back East) had contacted my office for advice about a “dream” ski vacation they had in mind, to pursue a little decompression from the rigors of their ongoing experiences in New York. I think we exceeded their expectations by several orders of magnitude.On their behalf, and on behalf of the Aspen Fire Protection District, our thanks to:Pam Cunningham and the staff at Aspen Alps for their accommodations, humor and sincere desire to help.John Norton and the Aspen Skiing Co. for free six-day tickets (John, they skied every day and couldn’t say enough about the mountains and the snow).Leslie Shacklette and Bill Tomcich of Stay Aspen-Snowmass for free airfare.Tom Anderson and Pomeroy Sports for free equipment demos and expert advice.”John” and City Market for stocking their refrigerators (these were big boys and needed their nutrition).Brian O’Neil and the Elks for complimentary access.Peggy Trott and the Aspen Club Lodge for complimentary access.Blair Elliott and the Steak Pit for opening their eyes to Western beef.Jack Simmons and the Holland House for breakfasts.Kevin O’Donnell and Matsuhisa-Aspen for their complimentary goodbye dinner (and significant bar tab, quite wonderful).All their new friends around town who welcomed them so enthusiastically.Bill, Jack, Wabs, Willard, Mike, Mark, Jan, Blair, and the rest of the AVFD who took our new friends to heart and made their stay here extraordinary.Anyone I missed.We can all take pride in knowing that we have made new friends, and helped.Darryl GrobAspen Fire Chief

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