DU Special Collections

Oral History Interview with John Dutch

Oral History Interview with John Dutch
None specified
Sound Recording, Sound Recording
John Dutch, Fire Chief for the City of Westminster. In July of 1982 John Dutch was selected from many highly qualified candidates. John Dutch, Fire Chief, from Kettering, Ohio, for seven years, came to the department with years of experience coordinating paid and volunteer departments. Prior to Ohio he had served with the Las Vegas Fire Department where he had worked through the ranks from Firefighter to captain in the Training Division. He brought 17 years of experience with a combination of paid-volunteer force to Westminster. The benefit of this experience was that Chief Dutch brought new ideas to local firefighting, including the idea that volunteers should receive more rigorous training and work under more comprehensive guidelines. They would also make a more meaningful contribution. Under Chief Dutch, volunteers had to complete the 100-hour fire training academy, instead of absorbing entry level training over a period of one year. The volunteer recruit academy was the first of its kind in the State of Colorado. Instead of ?coming when called,? they had to sign up for 30 hours each month of Fire Station staffing, in six hour shifts. That put firefighters in duty at Volunteer Fire Stations 2 and 3 everyday from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. the peak hours for fires. ?Our goal is to have volunteers with skills comparable to the paid members,? said Chief Dutch.