Fire Chief and CEO, Aspen Fire Protection District
Rick Balentine is fire chief and CEO of the Aspen Fire Protection District, since 2014. A volunteer firefighter for 24 years before that, he has been elected to most of Aspen Fire’s officer positions and served as the district’s EMS officer after becoming its first certified EMT in 1992. Balentine has responded to many wildfires and other natural disasters locally, starting with the Storm King wildfire in 1994, and nationally, including Hurricane Katrina. In 2009, he successfully lobbied the AFPD board of directors to become the state’s first fire department to provide fully paid health insurance coverage for its volunteers. The Aspen Chamber Resort Association awarded Balentine the 2018 Molly Campbell Service Award.