Snowmass hires deputy fire chief |

Snowmass hires deputy fire chief

Jill Beathard
Snowmass Sun
Kevin Issel
Courtesy photo |

The Snowmass Wildcat Fire Protection District has hired a new deputy chief.

Kevin Issel comes to the district after 27 years in fire service in Lake Forest, Ill., where he retired at third deputy chief. Issel will fill a deputy chief position created in 2014 that Basalt native Rob Willits recently left.

Like so many other new residents, Issel said he and his family, all longtime Colorado visitors, were attracted to the recreation the valley has to offer. It’s the polar opposite of suburban Chicago, Issel said.

“It’s completely a pendulum swing for me,” Issel said.

His wife and daughter, a high school freshman, will join him in Colorado once they finish tying up some loose ends in Illinois.

“It’s really neat to experience such a different culture out here,” Issel said. “People have been so welcoming.”

Willits left the post on June 18 to teach paramedic and fire science courses at Aims Community College in the Fort Collins area, said Fire Marshal John Mele.

Issel started Oct. 26.

“It’s a great group of people to work with, great organization, the fire chief’s awesome,” Issel said.

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