FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Sue Cobb or Sarah Moss, Mayor's Office
Mayor Hickenlooper Names Nick Nuanes Denver Fire Chief
(DENVER) Mayor John Hickenlooper today announced his appointment of Nick Nuanes to the position of Denver Fire Chief.
Nuanes, a 34-year veteran of the Denver Fire Department, is currently Division Chief of Denver International Airport (DIA) for the Department. He succeeds Chief Larry Trujillo, who retired Sept. 1.
“Nick Nuanes is a career professional. He began as a line firefighter and worked his way through the ranks of the Denver Fire Department,” Hickenlooper said. “He is a highly qualified leader and manager who has earned the respect of the Denver
community and the men and women of the Department. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated an enduring commitment to officer training and development, community collaboration and fiscal responsibility. He will be an excellent Denver Fire Chief.”
Al LaCabe, manager of the Denver Department of Safety, also praised Nuanes as “an extremely capable leader whose innovation and dedication to the Department have earned the respect and good will of our workforce and our community.”
“I am deeply honored and excited by the opportunity to lead the Denver Fire Department,” Nuanes said of his appointment. “I have the greatest respect for the organization and for our employees. I thank Mayor Hickenlooper for his confidence in me, and I look forward to working under his dynamic leadership in the service of our community.”
Nuanes joined the Denver Fire Department in 1973 and earned the rank of Lieutenant in 1976. Ten years later, he was promoted to House Captain. He was named Assistant Chief of Community Services in 1994 and became Assistant Chief of the Operations Division in 1995.
From 1996 to 2003 Nuanes served as Division Chief for Safety and Training. In that role, he developed and implemented the Department’s Officer Development Program, now a model for the Mayor’s Office of Safety. He initiated a program with the Community College of Aurora in which firefighters serve as adjunct professors to train student firefighters and emergency medical providers. Nuanes has also served the Fire Department as Training Officer, Public Information Officer and chair of the Department’s Safety Committee.
Nuanes was named to his current position of Division Chief at DIA in 2003. In that capacity, he has created and secured federal funding for an on-site hazardous materials team and instituted fiscal measures to reduce expenses while maintaining staffing and service levels.
Nuanes is highly regarded for his commitment to a well-trained, diverse workforce. He helped create the Colorado Metropolitan Certification Board to promote reliable, objective testing and certification. He is a member and former officer of Firefighters Incorporated for Racial Equality (F.I.R.E.) which has developed testing instruments and training programs that have been highly successful in helping firefighters achieve promotions.
A Denver native and a graduate of East High School, Nuanes pursued undergraduate studies at the University of Northern Colorado and participated in the Rocky Mountain Leadership Program. An active community servant, Nuanes helped develop the Student-of-the-Month program at Denver middle schools as a means of improving the self-esteem of at-risk students. He also served as a baseball coach in the PALS Little League, and participated in the Hispanic Youth Leadership Conference and Gove Middle School’s Career Education Days. Nuanes has supported countless community organizations and projects ranging from schools and neighborhood organizations to food drives and services for seniors. He organized a fund drive for the victims of the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City and assisted with a benefit for the New York City fire and police departments in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 tragedy at World Trade Center.