Diane Bower was made the permanent fire chief during last week’s Pagosa Springs Fire Protection District (PFPD) board of directors meeting.
The idea was discussed in an executive session, after which the motion to make Bower permanent fire chief was passed unanimously by the board.
“She’s been doing a great job as interim fire chief. It was the board’s decision to offer her the job,” said PFPD board chair LeRoy Lattin in an interview with SUN staff.
“She has done a great job as the interim fire chief,” agreed board director John Weiss. “She’s been with the fire district for years.”
Bower has been working as the interim fire chief since Chief Ron Thompson resigned on July 29. However, she has worked for the PFPD in some capacity since the early ’80s.
Bower first worked part time for Pagosa Lakes Public Safety in May 1982. Afterwards, she went on full-time staff with Pagosa Fire Protection District in January 1988. Her favorite aspect of her work with the fire district has been working with the employees and volunteers.
Due to her many years with the fire district, Bower feels adequately prepared to face the challenges of fire chief.
“It’s a challenge that I’m looking forward to,” Bower said. “My focus is to get some of our volunteers back and recruit new volunteers.”
To those thinking about volunteering with the PFPD, Bower says that it is a chance to serve the community and it may even lead to a good career.
Thus far, Bower’s salary has not changed from what she received as interim fire chief.
“We will be negotiating the salary,” Lattin confirmed.
There will be a budget committee meeting before the next board meeting, where the salary issue will be discussed before the 2012 budget is finalized.