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- Director: Michael Morgan
Mike Morgan is a Colorado native, born in Grand Junction and growing up on their family ranch he has spent most of his life in Garfield County. He began his fire service career in 1986 and has spent 30 years serving his community and the Colorado fire service. Mike oversaw Colorado River Fire Rescue, a full-service fire department with over 100 career and volunteer members.
Mike served for over 10 years on the Colorado State Fire Chiefs’ Board of Directors (including two terms as President), has participated in several projects with the International Association of Fire Chief’s, and has a long history of championing fire service-related issues. His work includes the ongoing collaborative efforts to unify Colorado’s fire service and to promote local community interests directed towards the mission of “saving lives and property”.
Director Morgan is a recipient of the coveted John M. Buckman III Leadership Award, presented by the International Association of Fire Chief’s. Mike has worked with the Division of Fire Prevention and Control, which in his opinion is the “focal point” for Colorado’s fire prevention and suppression efforts, to find new and innovative ways to serve its customers.
When asked what his desire is for his new position, Mike stated “to represent all of Colorado’s fire service, large and small, and to unify our voice to protect the residents, visitors, and responders of our great state”.
Mike and his wife Sabrina have been together for over 30 years and have three children; David, Cole, and Caitlin and 3 grandchildren; Darrien, Reed, and Avery.
- Chief Administrative Officer, Jennah Kitchell
The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) is pleased to announce Jennah Kitchell as the new DFPC Chief Administrative Officer. Kitchell comes to DFPC from the Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS) Executive Director's Office. She joined CDPS in 2016 as one of CDPS’s Auditors and rose in the ranks to Internal Audit Director.
While at CDPS, Kitchell developed a comprehensive strategy to execute the annual Departmental audit plan, focusing on areas of highest risk. Her focus was collaborating with internal stakeholders while assisting CDPS become more efficient and effective, operationally, through innovative recommendations that support departmental goals.
“As a fifth generation Coloradan and a lover of the outdoors, I appreciate the important work DFPC does to protect the people and resources of this State,” Kitchell said. “I want to apply my leadership skills to help DFPC achieve its goals and fulfill its vision, while advocating for the personnel who make it possible to provide vital services to the residents of this great state!”
“I am excited to bring Jennah Kitchell onboard at this key time in DFPC history,” said DFPC Director Morgan. “We are going through some big changes and she will play a key role in seeing these challenges and opportunities through successfully.” Director Morgan added “Jennah is the right person for the job, and I look forward to her joining DFPCs leadership team.”
- Section Chief, Professional Qualifications and Training: Lisa Pine
Lisa Pine has over 27 years’ experience working with diverse stakeholder groups to find optimal solutions to complex issues. Prior to starting her career in the fire service, she spent 14 years as an environmental planner and public outreach specialist working on complex environmental reviews in support of large infrastructure projects in Colorado.
Lisa left Genesee Fire Rescue in 2015 to become the DFPC Training and Safety Officer where she worked with fire departments statewide to ensure all members of the fire service have the training they need to stay safe and meet the needs of their communities. In August 2019, she took the position of Administrator with the newly created Colorado Fire Commission, a diverse group of stakeholders evaluating Colorado’s fire issues.
Chief Pine has two Masters Degrees, one in Geography, focused on post-wildland fire erosion processes and recovery, and one in Leadership. She was awarded Executive Fire Officer designation from the USFA National Fire Academy in 2020. Originally from Rochester, NY, Lisa lives in Evergreen with her husband Daniel, dogs, Tucker and Pirate (the one-eyed wonder dog), both Great Pyrenees mixes, and cat, Prim. All but the husband are rescues.
Email Chief Pine at firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Center of Excellence: Ben Miller
Ben spent the first part of his career with 15 years of service at the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). Ben was the founder and program director of the first operational unmanned aerial system (UAS) program for a non-federal public safety agency in the United States.
The MCSO UAS program has been featured in prestigious print media—such as National Geographic, Time, and Smithsonian Air & Space—and has been covered by numerous news organizations around the world, including Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Throughout the industry, Ben is regarded as a thought leader on the applications of small unmanned aircraft in public safety. His perspective has been shared in presentations across the United States and Canada, including testimony to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, as well as to other members of Congress at both the state and national levels. His expertise has been sought by prestigious organizations—such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, the United States Department of Justice, and the Federal Aviation Administration's NextGen Institute—and numerous other entities in the unmanned aircraft space, including academia and industry.
Beyond unmanned aircraft, Ben spent the latter part of his public safety career researching, testing, and evaluating public-safety-related technologies that increase safety and efficiency for first responders. Having managed the adoption of numerous new technologies and processes, Ben is excited for the opportunity to lead a first-class team and create the space they need to do big things. Ben—raised in Fruita, Colorado—is a Western Slope native and resides in Grand Junction with his wife of 17 years and their 14-year-old twins.
Email Director Miller at email@example.com
Section Chief, Wildland Management: Vaughn Jones
Vaughn Jones has served as the Chief of the Wildland Fire Management Section since May of 2015, and was the Branch Chief of Operations for 3 years prior to this appointment. Before transferring to DFPC, Vaughn was the Northeast Area FMO with the Colorado State Forest Service for 8 years and an Assistant District Forester with the CSFS Golden District for 6 years.
Prior to going to work for the State, Vaughn held forestry, range, and wildfire roles with the US Forest Service on the White River National Forest and Pawnee National Grassland. Vaughn holds a B.S Degree in Natural Resource Management (1993) and a Master’s Degree in Ecology (1997), both from Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
His experience includes serving as an Agency Administrator on state-responsibility fires, as a member of Rocky Mountain Area Type 1 and 2 Incident Management Teams, as a member of the Jefferson County and Pueblo Dispatch Zone Type 3 Incident Management Teams, and in various wildfire response and prescribed fire roles. Vaughn is proud to be a 3rd generation native of Colorado, and has been married to his wife Amy for over 30 years. Vaughn and Amy have a son in the fire service and a daughter who works in human services.
Email Chief Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Section Chief, Fire & Life Safety: Chris Brunette
A native to Colorado, Chris grew up in the Morrison area. He attended Red Rocks Community College, followed by the University of Colorado – Denver. After obtaining his Bachelor’s degree, he entered the Fire Service, where he has spent the last 15+ years serving in various roles and capacities, both as a volunteer and career firefighter.
He currently volunteers for Elbert Fire Protection District. Chris joined the State as a Life Safety Inspector for the Department of Public Health and Environment in January 2009. While working through his Master’s degree at Colorado State University-Global Campus, his team was transferred to the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention & Control (DFPC) to combine with their existing prevention bureau to form the Fire & Life Safety Section in 2013.
The Fire & Life Safety Section is responsible for the fire and life safety oversight of the State’s healthcare facilities, public schools, limited gaming facilities, waste tire facilities, as well as any fire suppression system installed in the State. They are also the administrators for the Safe Cigarettes Program and the State’s Fireworks program. With DFPC, he filled various roles from Fire Inspections Unit Chief to Fire Plan Review Unit Chief, to now leading as the Section Chief.
Email Chief Brunette at email@example.com