by Pam Zubeck
Pueblo Fire Chief Christopher Riley has been tapped as the next fire chief in Colorado Springs, if confirmed by City Council.
Mayor Steve Bach chose Riley in a nationwide search that drew 40 applications; nine were interviewed. In a release, the mayor noted Riley's 32 years of service, including "extensive wildland experience." He's served as fire chief in Pueblo for seven years.
Riley's starting pay will be $145,000, slightly less than the $147,657 paid to Rich Brown at the time of his retirement as fire chief in April. (Brown remains on the payroll through the end of this year.)
The news release said Riley will begin September 9, but he must first be confirmed by City Council, which has shown a bit of moxie after Bach appointed "interim" public works director David Lethbridge this summer without seeking Council confirmation.
Here's Riley's résumé:
Fire Chief Christopher P. Riley
City of Pueblo (CO)
Fire Chief, City of Pueblo, appointed in 2006. Riley’s fire service career began in 1981 and includes his experience as a Chief Officer since 1996. He holds Master and Bachelor Degrees from California State University, Long Beach where he graduated with Phi Kappa Phi academic honors. In 2004, attained Chief Fire Officer Designation status through the Center of Public Safety Excellence and is member of the Institute of Fire Engineering (IFE).
Riley has served as President of the International Association of Fire Chiefs Missouri Valley Division (2012-2013) is Past President of the Colorado State Fire Chiefs Association (2009-2010). He is Chairman of the IAFC Professional Development Committee and Secretary of the IFE.
Career highlights include:
Initiated and lead the Pueblo Fire Department to become an internationally accredited agency.
Co-authored the CPSE Mentor Program, created a Professional Standards Model for the Fire Service, and lead the IAFC revision process of NFPA 1021 (Fire Officer Professional Qualifications) and the IAFC Officer Development Handbook. United States Fire Service Delegation Representative to Russia in 2004.
Extensive experience in all-hazards emergency management and fire/rescue operations that includes wildland/urban interface, emergency operations center, structural firefighting and command, and EMS.
Chief Riley is committed to collaborating at all governmental and community levels. He has lectured in areas that include leadership, professional development and standards, strategic planning, organizational development, and labor/management relations.
Local community involvement as a civic leader and board member includes: Colorado Municipal League, United Way, Catholic Charities, Historic Arkansas River Project, Action 22, Phi Kappa Phi at CSU-Pueblo, and the 100 Club of Pueblo. Riley enjoys many outdoor activities and physical fitness along with spending time with his son and daughter who attend Metro State College in Denver.