Press Release: Elk Creek Fire Chief Bill McLaughlin Moves Towards Retirement

15 Nov 2019 14:12 #1 by ElkCreekFireDepartment
Dear community, please see the press release below (also attached as a pdf). Chief Bill McLaughlin is moving in the direction of retirement. He has been a tireless leader for our department, and every one of us will miss him dearly. We are also very excited and happy for him as he embarks upon this next part of his journey. Chief McLaughlin has brought much success to our fire department, and he has created a launching place for future excellence and growth. All of us at Elk Creek Fire thank him for his years of service, and we look forward to creating the “next level of greatness” at Elk Creek Fire.



15 November 2019

Media Contact:
Bethany Urban, Public Information Officer
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Elk Creek Fire Chief Bill McLaughlin Moves Towards Retirement

The Elk Creek Fire Protection District Board of Directors officially announced the resignation of Elk Creek Fire Chief Bill McLaughlin at the board meeting on Thursday, November 14, 2019. Chief McLaughlin has accepted the position of Fire Chief in Ketchum, Idaho.

“I have been working for some time on plans to retire,” states Chief McLaughlin, “and I have agreed to take a position that allows me to transition into that way of life. It was not an easy decision. I am leaving the best job I have ever had and the best department in Colorado for new challenges and some unknowns. After hard consideration, the opportunity to return to my roots and be closer to family was the right decision for me.”

In his eight years as the Fire Chief at Elk Creek Fire, McLaughlin was the driving force behind many successes and improvements for the department, including the recent successful mill levy. McLaughlin believes the timing is now opportune to step aside and allow others in the department to rise to new heights: “I never wanted to be the guy who hung on past when I was needed and stood in the way of the next generation of progress… this will be an opportunity to have some upward mobility in the department and open the doors to increased cooperation and new ideas. I have faith in all of the staff to take what I have started and turn it into the next level of greatness that is in Elk Creek Fire.”

Deputy Chief Jacob Ware will be stepping in as Acting Fire Chief.


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21 Nov 2019 19:42 #2 by ElkCreekFireDepartment
Thank you to the Canyon Courier for their coverage of Chief McLaughlin accepting a new position as Fire Chief in Ketchum, Idaho. His leadership, knowledge, character, and friendship will be greatly missed.

McLaughlin joined Elk Creek, which serves about 15,000 residents across 98 square miles in Jefferson and Park counties, in 2012, just a few months prior to the Lower North Fork Fire. He officially announced his resignation Thursday during an Elk Creek Fire board meeting. Deputy Chief Jacob Ware will step in as acting chief, according to a press release from Elk Creek.

Ware, a Conifer resident, started with Elk Creek in 2003 as a volunteer. He became a paid firefighter in 2008, ultimately working his way up to deputy chief. Since he was next in the chain of command, the board of directors agreed he should take over.

The timeline and plan for officially replacing McLaughlin are not set in stone. Ware said the board is still in the process of deciding how to move forward.

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