ONE of Bill Stone’s first moves as the new fire chief for the city of Alamosa was to establish a new command structure with two new deputy chiefs and two new captains.
For Stone, a graduate of Adams State who returned to the San Luis Valley to succeed Don Chapman as fire chief, succession planning and building a staff that can help manage an increase in calls is key.
“My goal is to set the department up for the person after me. I want to build for the future. I want to make an attempt at standards for the firefighters so they know how to get from a basic firefighter to captain,” Stone said during a recording of The Valley Pod, a podcast by Alamosa Citizen.
Listen to the full conversation HERE.
To that end, newly promoted deputy fire chiefs Paul Duarte and Devin Haynie and captains Zach Cerny and Estevan Alonzo will be introduced at Wednesday’s Alamosa City Council meeting.
Stone has been impressed with the Alamosa Fire Station and what Chapman accomplished. Stone logged 21 years as a firefighter Boise, Idaho, and then five years as division chief overseeing training for the Eagle, Idaho, fire department.
So he had an idea of what he was looking for when he first stepped into the Alamosa Fire Station.
“Don has done an incredible job of procuring equipment for the department,” Stone said. “When I came in here I was floored by the amount of the equipment, the apparatus. I feel really good about the department’s apparatus and equipment capability.”
After 26 years of Idaho firefighting and fire command, he retired to do a bit more fishing and hanging out. Or so he thought.
“At first it was pretty cool, but then I was a little bored. I was missing the interaction, I was missing the stimulation from relationships. I needed purpose. I would bring it down to that.”
When he saw the opening in Alamosa he gleefully told his wife, Kelly, he had applied. Both were star college athletes in their day, Bill as a star running back at Adams State who made it to the pros, and Kelly a two-time All American in women’s basketball at Montana State who also signed a pro contract.
She is now helping out with the Alamosa girls basketball program, and he’s full bore ahead at the fire station.
“This is a place that’s near and dear to my heart and I want to make a difference,” he said of his return to Alamosa and the San Luis Valley. “I have a lot of knowledge and experience that I want to impart onto others and that’s the impetus for where I am today.”
For Bill Stone, he’s found purpose again in Alamosa.