Derik Minard is coming back to Westminster.
“I’m returning to a world-class organization with exceptional men and women who serve Westminster well. Westminster is ISO class one …
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“I’m returning to a world-class organization with exceptional men and women who serve Westminster well. Westminster is ISO class one and accredited and they were only 114 fire departments in the country that have both of those,” he said.
Minard will be replacing Westminster Fire Chief Doug Hall who will retire on July 3. Minard’s first day will be on Aug. 1.
A familiar face in Westminster and the fire department, Minard joined the Department in 1991 after graduating from Westminster High School and the University of Colorado Denver, before joining the United States Army.
For WFD, he served 24 years in various roles: firefighter, paramedic, Lieutenant in Fire Prevention and EMS Chief.
Now, he will serve as the top gun. Jokingly, he said the only person standing in his way was Hall. With Hall ending his tenure, he’s excited to come back.
“It's home, and when I left Westminster, I will tell you it was a hard choice,” he said.
Minard left to be Chief of the Savannah Fire Department in Savannah, Georgia three years ago. There, he said he experienced growth and changed his management style.
The style, he said, is listening, empathy, understanding what someone wants in their career, being an engaged leader and being inclusive, accountable and transparent.
“I'm in the trenches, and I keep a pulse on the department in Savannah and I will do the same in Westminster and really build the department," he said.
Coming back, he said he has some work to do to catch up on determining what the department needs to move forward.
Minard said calls have gone from 12,000 last year and are on pace to hit 16,000 this year.
“We have a lot of things to evaluate with our services,” he said. “Where in the department are the stresses on?”
He also hopes to help work on issues like cancer and suicide in the department, which he said are issues that plague fire departments across the country.
According to him, Westminster does a fine job addressing those concerns and he’s ready to jump back in.
Not only his job, but he’s ready to jump back into the place his family calls home. He has three sons who live out West, his mother lives in Grand Junction and a brother in Dillon.
“I always dreamed that I would be the chief of Westminster.”
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