Fire chief announces upcoming retirement

Fire Chief Randy Larson

By Josh Pike | Staff Writer

At the March 14 Pagosa Fire Protection District (PFPD) Board of Directors meeting, Fire Chief Randy Larson announced his upcoming retirement.

At the meeting, Larson submitted his letter of resignation indicating that he will retire effective Sept. 1.

Larson noted that his goal is to work with staff and the board to help facilitate an orderly transition.

“It has been a great eight years,” Larson said. “It was kind of unexpected that I even came over here. … It kind of just fell in my lap and I’m really glad it did. I know I ruffled a few feathers when I first got here with some of my ideas, but any new fire chief, if they’re worth their salt, should ruffle a few feathers here and there. 

“But … I think it worked out. With the help of [Deputy Chief Karn Macht] and with [former Executive Administrative Assistant Shirley Brinkmann] and now [Business Manager Tomi Bliss], I think we’ve really built a pretty good program that’s ready to move forward, and I expect that it will move forward.

“Got a great group of firefighters over here. I’ve worked with a lot of firefighters over … the 42 years by the time I leave here, and I’d put these guys up against anybody and everybody that’s out there. This is one hell of a firefighting team we got here.”

In his resignation letter, Larson comments, “I have been extremely fortunate to spend the last 8+ years leading this great group of Firefighters. However, I am at the point in my career and my personal life that it is time to step down and let the next generation of Fire Service Leaders take the helm. It is my belief that the Pagosa Fire Protection District is in a good place and that continued forward progress will be made with the personnel we have in place. This is a great group of people and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with each and every one.”

The board unanimously voted to accept Larson’s resignation and briefly discussed next steps, with further discussion of the process of hiring a new fire chief to occur at the board’s April 11 meeting.