Fire Chief Stephen Charles

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Fire Chief Stephen Charles

Berthoud Fire Protection District Fire Chief since 1985

Stephen Charles has 37 years of fire service experience; he has served as Fire Chief of the Berthoud Fire Protection District for the past 26 years.

He is a graduate of Aims Community College with an A.A.S. degree in Fire Protection and an A.A.S. degree in Fire Science. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy four year “Executive Fire Officer” program. In December of 2006, Chief Charles completed the Emergency Management Institute / FEMA “Emergency Management, Professional Development Series.” He has been a member of the Eastern Colorado, Type III All – Hazard Incident Management Team since 2007 responding to several major incidents.

Prior to entering the fire service, Chief Charles experienced a successful 10 year tenure as a law enforcement officer in California and Colorado. He served as a patrol officer for 5 ½ years and a criminal investigator for 4 ½ years specializing in crimes against persons. He served on the Larimer County Special Weapons and Tactical team for 4 ½ years.

Chief Charles has an extensive instructor background. In 1984 he received instructor certification in “Criminal Investigation” through the Board on Peace Officer Standards and Training, State of Colorado. In 1990, he became an instructor with Volunteer Fireman’s Insurance Services in risk management education. He became an adjunct instructor for Aims Community College within the Fire Science degree program in 1992. In 2004, he became an instructor with the Community Policing Institute / Louisiana State University instructing three terrorism and weapons of mass destruction courses to emergency service responders throughout Colorado. For the past 13 years he has instructed National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) courses for the Urban Area Security Initiative, Division of Fire Prevention and Control, The BlueCell, Inc and Department of Homeland Security in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Montana and South Dakota. He currently holds a “Colorado State Board for Community Colleges and Occupation Education Credential for Career and Technical Education” certification.

Additionally, Chief Charles consults through the Georgia based company National Fire Services Office preparing fire departments for their audit by the Insurance Services Office. He has assisted fire departments in lowering their Insurance Services Office, Public Protection Classification in Colorado, Kansas, Montana and Texas.
His most recent accomplishment was completing an extensive training program in Penrose, Colorado facilitated by Lyle Sankey; former champion saddle bronc, bareback and bull-rider. Chief Charles learned and developed skills in bull-rider protection.
He has been married to his lovely wife Marlene for 47 years. They have three children and six grandchildren. Chief Charles enjoys spending time with his livestock, attending bull riding events, road trips with his family, fishing with his 9 year-old son Matthew and his grandchildren.