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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-February 14, 2020-Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue announced promotions within its ranks that brings expanded growth for three members of the department. With the adoption of the 2020 city budget, SSFR sees the addition of a new Deputy Fire Marshal and Training Lieutenant to the command structure.
“We’re fortunate to have a talented pool of individuals internally to fill these roles,” said interim Fire Chief Chuck Cerasoli. “We’re able to address key areas which will significant assist the community and department, so we are best positioned to protect our citizens.”
Joe Oakland assumes the new position of Training Lieutenant moving from Firefighter/Paramedic. Oakland has been with the department for the past 14 years, first as a Firefighter/EMT before moving to Firefighter/Paramedic six years ago. In addition, he manages the annual fire training academy. In his new lieutenant role, he will outline all training programs for the department from annual requirements to specialized topics to the fire academy.
Under the direction of Fire Marshal Doug Shaffer, Fire Prevention strives to reduce the fire and life safety hazards across the community. Fire inspectors perform fire code inspections for liquor and marijuana licenses annually, commercial buildings and special events. In addition, the group reviews new build plans and permits with eye on fire alarm and sprinkler systems, administers recreation fire pits and firework permits as well as open burn permits.
A thirty-eight-year veteran of the fire department, Mike Middleton moves into the new Deputy Fire Marshal position. Prior to his new responsibilities, Middleton served as a Firefighter/EMT/Plan Reviewer for the past six years in Fire Prevention. Over his tenure, he has seen the department move from a volunteer-based group to its current full-time firefighter structure. Middleton has responded to some of the city’s most intense calls over that time.
In a related move, Nick Kuchulis was promoted to Firefighter/Inspector, filling an open inspector role in Fire Prevention. Kuchulis joined SSFR in 2015 as a Firefighter/EMT and for the past year and half has also been responsible for the public education outreach efforts.
SSFR serves the city and surrounding Steamboat Springs Area Fire Protection District, a 387-square-mile area with an estimated base population of 20,000 people with upwards of 35,000 people with visitors. It is the only paramedic level service in Routt County and provides paramedic level services when requested by other fire agencies in the county through mutual aid agreements.
ContactChuck Cerasoli, Interim Fire Chief, 970.879.7170, or email Michael Lane, Communications Manager, 970.871.8220 or email