FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Colchester, Vermont – January 28, 2020
Town of Colchester Announces Selection of First Town-Wide Fire Chief
The Town of Colchester has appointed Stephen Bourgeois as the Chief of its town-wide fire department. The Colchester Fire Department will bring together the three organizations that currently provide fire protection services in Colchester: Colchester Center Volunteer Fire Company, Malletts Bay Fire Department, and Saint Michael’s College Fire and Rescue.
Steve comes to the Town of Colchester with 40 years of volunteer and career fire service experience. He began his career at the Malletts Bay Fire Department as a volunteer from 1980 until 1987. He was employed for 24 years at the City of Burlington Fire Department where he rose to the position of Deputy Chief. Steve returned to the Malletts Bay Fire Department in 2011, and has served as Chief since 2015.
The Town conducted a qualifications-based selection process that included applicants who responded to statewide advertisements. The evaluation team included Williston Fire Chief Ken Morton, Colchester Emergency Management Coordinator Seth Lasker, Colchester Police Chief Douglas Allen, Human Resource Director Sherry Labarge, and Town Manager Aaron Frank.
Town Manager Aaron Frank stated: “’Steve knows Colchester and has lead professional fire departments staffed with both volunteer and career staff. Steve is the right person to unite our three departments, improve fire response and continue to grow, train, and honor our volunteers from all three departments: Colchester Center, Malletts Bay, and Saint Michaels Fire.”
Chief Morton explained that “Steve has brought a high level of planning, training, and supervising expertise to every part of his career – both in the career and volunteer fire service. Further, Steve understands customer relations, the need to work collaboratively in merging the three organizations, and above all else, operating in a safe and compliant manner”.
Chief Allen said, “Steve and I have served together both as volunteers and in our careers in public safety for many years. His dedication to the Colchester community and his unique experience make him an excellent choice as Fire Chief for the Town of Colchester.”
Emergency Management Coordinator Lasker said, “It is rare to come across an individual as dedicated to the fire service as Steve is. In his 40 years of service he has performed nearly every job within the fire service. He has a tremendous amount of experience and skill; I have every confidence that he will be an excellent Fire Chief for the Town of Colchester.”
Steve stated, “It is an honor and a privilege to be selected as the first Chief of the town-wide department. I’m looking forward to working with the members of the three great organizations that have served the Town for many years: the Colchester Center Fire Department, the Malletts Bay Fire Department, and the Saint Michaels Fire Department, in the transition to one town-wide fire department on July 1, 2020.
Steve Bourgeois will begin work as a Town department head on January 31, 2020. He will be working for the next five months with the chiefs, command staff, and firefighters of the three volunteer departments to ensure a smooth transition. Fire protection services will be transferred to the town-wide department on July 1, 2020, at which time Chief Bourgeois will assume the role of the first Fire Chief of the town-wide Colchester Fire Department.
Contact Information: Aaron Frank, Town Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-264-5509