By L.C. Grady
James (Jim) Reid, the new president of the Falcon Fire Protection District Board of Directors was elected for a four-year term in May 2023. Although he is a longtime Colorado resident, Reid was born and raised in central California, south of San Francisco. His grandparents lived in Denver, and he spent time with them when his mother was ill; and, for a couple of years, he attended school in Colorado.
“When I graduated high school, I moved here because I loved Colorado,” Reid said. “I enlisted in the Air Force out of Denver in 1980. I’ve served in Germany, California, South Korea, among other places. I’ve spent eight years in Germany and served at Ramstein Air Force base during the terrorist bombing in 1981.” He then returned to Colorado 13 years later and was stationed at Shriever (then Falcon) Air Force Base.
Serving has been a way of life for Reid for more than 43 years. “I became a firefighter in the Air Force in 1980. That’s all I ever wanted to do. I never wanted to do anything else.” After he returned from a deployment in Kuwait in 1996, the Air Force had too many firefighters and Reid had to find a new job. He still taught and volunteered for various fire departments until he retired out of Peterson Air Force Base. He then served as a fire marshal for Monument and El Paso County for more than a decade, holding key roles in the Waldo Canyon Fire, Black Forest Fire recovery and multiple fires and hazardous material responses within El Paso County. He also served as executive director of the El Paso County Department of Public Works and later as a director of the newly established Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management, where he guided the merger of the city and county offices of emergency management, prior to his retirement in March 2023.
Reid has an education background that includes an associate degree in applied fire science and personnel administration, a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational management from Colorado Christian University; he is a graduate of the Colorado Peace Officers Safety and Training certification program and a graduate of the Executive Fire Officers program from the U.S. Fire Administration at the National Fire Academy. He also holds numerous fire and emergency management certifications.
In addition to his educational credentials, Reid has a strong working knowledge of the county, fire service and various aspects of emergency management from wildfires to plane crashes that he brings with him to the FFPD board. “I’ve lived in this area for many years.” Reid said. “I was the chair of the Hanover Fire Protection District Board. The Falcon Fire Protection District is a very progressive fire department. Under Chief Harwig’s direction and leadership, they’ve been very proactive. The department has done very well, it’s grown appropriately, they haven’t overtaxed the citizens. They’ve done a phenomenal job. If the growth continues, it’s obviously a challenge, but the chief is forward looking, and he stayed on top of it pretty good so far.”
Reid said Harwig is “one of the better chiefs that stays on top of the growth. … We are fortunate to have him.” Reid also praised the professionalism of the department’s first responders, which he ascribes to the current department leadership as well as previous boards.
Reid is married with six grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys restoring old VW bugs, fishing and traveling. “I don’t regret leaving California. I could never go back. Here is where home is,” Reid said. When asked about his favorite fishing spot, Reid responded: “Timberline fishing club, on the back side of Cripple Creek, is a nice place to get away and enjoy the day. Sometimes, I don’t even fish. I just sit there and enjoy the water.”
Photo by L.C. Grady
Jim Reid, the new president of the Falcon Fire Protection District Board of Directors, has plenty of experience and education related to fire districts. Among his list of accolades, he served as a fire marshal for Monument and El Paso County for more than a decade,
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