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Vail Town Manager Stan Zemler has announced the hiring of an interim fire chief to lead the department during the search for a new chief. Steve Pischke, formerly with the Mountain View Fire Department in Longmont, will join the department on Nov. 3, where he’ll spend his first week transitioning with current Chief Mark Miller who has resigned effective Nov. 7 to head the Loveland Fire and Rescue Authority.
Pischke, who retired last year after serving 12 years as Mountain View’s deputy chief, will remain in Vail for approximately three months while the town completes the selection process. Applications from prospective fire chief candidates are due Oct. 28.
Zemler says Pischke is well respected in the fire services profession and is stepping in to assist the town upon the recommendation of Chief Miller. “Given Chief Pischke’s experience and leadership style, I’m confident the department will be in excellent hands during this transition,” said Zemler.
In addition to his tenure with the Mountain View Fire Department, Chief Pischke has more than 25 years of experience in fire prevention, firefighting/rescue services and executive level management. He has also served in leadership positions on national and state incident management response teams and was recognized by the International Association of Fire Chiefs for his efforts during the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005.
Pischke says he’s looking forward to his time in Vail. “I’m honored to have been chosen to assist the Town of Vail and the Fire Department in leading a team of professional fire personnel during this transitional period,” he said. “Chief Miller has done an outstanding job in developing a fire department that the town can be extremely proud of. My goal for the next few months is to continue with what Chief Miller has set in motion.”