ALAMOSA — The City of Alamosa announced Wednesday that it has hired Bill Stone as Alamosa Fire Department’s new chief.
Stone will take the reins as chief on Oct. 17. Longtime chief Don Chapman and assistant chief Tony Bobicki will retire on Nov. 4.
“I feel very humbled to be chosen for this position after an extensive application and interview process,” wrote Stone in an email. “It was very competitive and I am fortunate to have this opportunity.”
Stone has worked in fire services for 26 years. He spent 21 years on the fire line with the Boise Fire Department in Idaho. He has a bachelor of the arts degree in psychology from Adams State University and an associate of arts degree in fire sciences from Spokane Community College in Washington.
Stone said he’s looking forward to returning to the valley.
“To have this opportunity to return to the San Luis Valley is something I’ve been wanting for quite some time,” he wrote. “Everything has lined up well for this to be realized.”
The City of Alamosa conducted an exhaustive, competitive search to fill the position.
The city worked to hire a new chief that they felt would be best for the department and its volunteer firefighters.
“I'm really excited that Chief Stone is interested in coming back to Alamosa and leading the fire department,” wrote Alamosa City Manager Heather Brooks in an email. “Many of Chief Stone's experiences and qualities match exactly what the volunteers had communicated they thought was important as well as the interview panel.
“He shared that his approach will be to come into the department and take the time to learn the operations and individual volunteers. His references confirmed that Chief Stone is service driven, focused on giving back to the community and department and very skilled in interpersonal communication.”
Chapman served as chief for the past 17 years. In total, he’s worked for the department for 39 years. The City of Alamosa will hold a retirement ceremony for Chapman and Bobicki at a date and time still to be determined. Bobicki has worked at the Alamosa Fire Department for 37 years and the past 17 as assistant chief.
During his time as chief, Chapman has worked diligently to improve relations with other valley fire districts, acquire modern equipment and maintain a qualified and dedicated volunteer department.
Stone said he knows he’ll have big shoes to fill, but is thankful Chapman will be around to help mentor and guide him through the transition.
“The learning curve will be steep and swift, but I am thankful that retiring fire chief Don Chapman will be providing mentorship for me so that this transition will be smooth as possible,” he said.
“It is obvious that what Chief Chapman has done here is nothing short of spectacular. His ability to recruit and retain incredibly dedicated firefights and provide excellent equipment for the public’s protection are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Chief Chapman has meant to the Alamosa Fire Department and the citizens they serve.
“These will be big shoes to fill, for sure.
Luke Lyons is the managing editor of the Valley Courier. He can be reached via email at [email protected]