Members of the Hotchkiss Fire Department honored outgoing board president Frank McPherson last week, presenting him with a plaque and thanking him for his service.
McPherson, who is term-limited, was appointed to the board and served two years, and was elected to two terms as board president.
"It's been a pleasure," said board member Bill Long. "We're gonna miss Frank."
McPherson said he didn't realize all that went into running a fire department until serving on the board. "It's eye-opening, all that goes on in the background," he said.
Fire Chief Doug Fritz credits McPherson for successfully leading the district through construction of its new station and the purchase of two new trucks.
"Most of it's Doug's doing," said a humble McPherson. "He's the one that goes out and gets grants."
Sean Cantrell, who was elected to the board in 2014, will take over as president. Other board members include Veronica Minch and Dan Miller. Diane Walker serves as secretary treasurer. The newest board member, Guy Raether, was elected to the board at the annual meeting in April.
District board representatives live throughout the district, including Redlands and Rogers Mesa, and two in Hotchkiss, said Fritz. In such a large district, it's important to have representation throughout the area.
Fritz said the department's 35 volunteers, including four females and some new cadets who joined on last fall during a recruit drive, represent "a good solid core that is ready to respond."
McPherson also operates Master Petroleum in Lazear. He has served about 20 years as president of the Lazear Domestic Water Corporation, and in 2014 he retired from the U.S. Postal Service after serving as Lazear postmaster for 30 years.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.