The Durango Fire Protection District announced Wednesday that Chief Dan Noonan will retire at the end of 2015.
Noonan has spent 39 years in fire service in La Plata County, 10 as a volunteer with Animas and Hermosa Cliff fire protection districts and 29 as a career firefighter with Hermosa Cliff and then Durango Fire Protection District after they merged. He has been chief since 2007.
“Durango has been good to me and my family,” Noonan said in a letter to the DFPD board of directors, which he submitted May 27. “It has been a privilege to have served Durango since 1976 and an opportunity to have worked with – and been provided the opportunity to lead – many of these professional men and women during that time.”
Deputy Chief Hal Doughty said the job has been intense for Noonan, particularly the second stage of the merger of the Animas, Hermosa and Durango fire protection districts, which entailed three trips to voters to consolidate boards and funding.
“I don’t know if people on the outside had the opportunity to see the stress he was under,” Doughty said. “There were times I wasn’t sure he would survive the consolidation.”
Noonan recommended that the board appoint Doughty as the next chief.
“Chief Noonan stated that Chief Doughty has been trained for the last five years for this opportunity and the position as chief,” said Kathy Morris, vice president of the board, in a news release. “He possesses the passion, dedication, knowledge and working relationships necessary to be successful in leading Durango Fire Rescue into the future.”
The board, using its Chiefs Succession Policy, will consider Noonan’s recommendation at its June meeting, Morris said.