Deputy Chief Mike McGee is retiring from the Vail Fire Department after a storied career that has lasted 38 years in Vail. McGee has had a presence in Vail since 1977 when he began as an unpaid resident firefighter. He soon worked his way through the ranks and was promoted to Fire Marshal in 1981 and Deputy Chief in 2000.
His accomplishments are numerous and include playing a key role in implementation of the fire science program at Colorado Mountain College as well as the student resident program within the department. As a CPR instructor, he’s taught hundreds of people this essential skill and most recently was selected to serve on the board of directors of Starting Hearts, a local non-profit that promotes free CPR and AED training. Deputy Chief McGee has also been known as an advocate for fire safety and fire prevention practices in Vail and throughout the state.
Chief Mark Novak says McGee has touched thousands of lives over his tenure. “His contributions in developing careers of countless firefighters and EMS personnel cannot be overstated,” said Novak. “His dedication and commitment to fire and life safety are a credit to the Town of Vail and amongst the highest standards set by the United States Fire Administration.”
In reflecting upon his years with the town, McGee says the department and the town have gone through enormous changes and growth over the years. “I’ve certainly benefitted from those changes and growth and greatly appreciate having been part of it,” he said. “I’ve learned so much from those with whom I have had the pleasure of working alongside me. I have enjoyed the relationships with many contractors, property owners, business owners and many people in this valley that make Vail what it is.
“I’ll miss seeing and working with the ‘Best of the Best’ dedicated and proficient officers, engineers and firefighters of the Vail Fire Department,” he continued. “The relationships with members of the other departments across the town are part of what has made my job enjoyable but is also part of what makes the Town of Vail such a dynamic and professional team! I have grown and hope what I have given has helped make Vail and the Vail Fire Department a better and safer place.”
McGee’s last day with the town is May 1.
Contact: Mark Novak, 970-477-3474
Vail Fire Chief