Lakewood, CO - The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) is proud to announce Wilson "Matt" Branch as DFPCs Northeast District Chief and Sam Parsons as DFPCs Northwest District Chief.
As identified in the DFPC Playbook, the hiring of these two positions will assist in improving state support to local communities and increase capacity to prepare for, respond to, and manage wildlandfire in a way that fits Colorado. The Division will move to the quadrant structure by adding the Northeast and Northwest DistrictChiefs (formerly Area Fire Management Officers) in addition to 4 more Battalion Chiefs (formerly Regional Fire Management Officers) positions across the State, which will be advertised over the next couple of months. These actions will provide enhanced coordination, establish the long-term organizational structure for the Division, improve targeted training for the underserved firefighting agencies in rural areas, and increase capacity for mitigation planning and implementation.
Branch and Parsons bring strong wildfire backgrounds, experience with DFPCprograms, and well-rounded experiences and skills outside of wildlandfire.
Wilson "Matt" Branch was raised in Southern California where he started his career in emergency services. In 1995 he moved to Leadville, CO where he supervised the ambulance service. He has worked for various agencies over the years to include EMS, fire and SAR organizations. In 2007 he took a position with the Colorado State Forest Service as an Engine Captain and in 2012 became the DFPC Northeast Regional Fire Management Officer.
Sam Parsons has over 20 years’ experience in wildlandfire, structural fire, and forestry. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. For the last six years, he has served as DFPC’s Northwest Regional Fire Management Officer, and prior to that, he worked for the Fairmount Fire Protection District in Golden as a Lieutenant and WildlandFire Operations Supervisor. Sam has extensive all-hazard incident management experience including responding to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, the 2007 Greensburg Tornado, and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake. He has worked for the United States Peace Corps in Kenya in the field of agroforestry and traveled throughout Africa.