Vail fire chief to leave for position on Front Range
VAIL — Vail Fire Chief Mark Miller has accepted an offer to be the new fire chief with Loveland Fire and Rescue Authority in Loveland. His last day in Vail will be Nov. 7
Miller has been fire chief in Vail since 2008 and has served to bolster the department’s facilities and professionalism during the past seven years. His accomplishments include facilitating construction of the West Vail fire station No. 3, renovation of the Main Vail fire station No. 2, staff and equipment upgrades, plus an emphasis on wildfire mitigation, including creation of the Vail Wildfire Risk Assessment map.
Town Manager Stan Zemler says Miller’s contributions to Vail will be long-lasting.
“Chief Miller’s head and heart leadership approach has had a profound impact on the department that is now well equipped to carry on in his absence,” Zemler said. “Mark wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Miller was chosen to lead the Loveland Fire and Rescue Authority from a field of 68 candidates after a national search. Prior to coming to Vail, Miller spent nearly three years as chief in Hartford, Vermont. He started his fire service career in Loveland in 1979, working his way through the ranks to the position of fire chief.
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“Not in my wildest dreams, did I ever expect to go back to lead an organization that I left nearly 10 years ago,” Miller said.
But when the current Loveland chief announced his retirement, Miller received several calls encouraging him to apply. The change also allows Miller to be closer to his wife, who works at the Colorado State University Animal Cancer Center in Fort Collins. The Loveland department serves a population of approximately 94,000 and Miller will lead a department of nearly 100 members and six fire stations.
“Vail Fire and Emergency Services is an incredible group of firefighters, some of the hardest working, most committed guys in the business, and I will sorely miss them,” Miller said. “I have been humbled and honored to work with these individuals.”
Zemler says the town will conduct a national search for Miller’s replacement. Vail Fire and Emergency Services has an annual budget of approximately $3.8 million and a staff of 44.5 employees, including the seasonal wildland crew.