Aug. 22, Camp Verde Fire District appointed Dave Curtis, foreground, as its newest board member. Curtis, a resident of Camp Verde, formerly served as Fire Chief with the Central Yavapai Fire District.
CAMP VERDE - At the Aug. 22 public meeting, the Camp Verde Fire District appointed Dave Curtis as its newest board member. Curtis replaces Jack Blum, whose resignation from the board was announced at the July 24 public meeting.
From 1979 until his retirement in 2007, Curtis worked with the Central Yavapai Fire District in Prescott Valley, the final 12 years as Fire Chief.
Curtis also served three years with the Arizona National Guard and one year with the United States Forest Service. In 2010, Curtis served nine months as a board member with the Mayer Fire District. He is currently a volunteer with the American Red Cross, one of three volunteers in the Verde Valley.
Three years ago, Curtis moved to Camp Verde with his wife Louise (Teague), who was born and raised in Camp Verde and attended school with CVFD Fire Chief Clayton Young.
Curtis says he is looking forward to serving Camp Verde as the fire district's newest board member.
"I loved being a firefighter," Curtis says. "Recently, I was told about the opening. I decided to give it a try. I figured maybe I could use my experience and education."
"I look forward to a good working relationship with him," says Steve Darby, chairperson for the CVFD board. " He has an impressive resume."
Though Curtis has extensive experience with CYFD, he says the primary function of a board member is more strategic than day to day, which is something he says will not be a problem for him.
"Being an ex-fire chief, you need to understand that you're not there to tell the chief how to do his day to day," Curtis says. "In reality, if I wanted to have a day to day job, I'd go be a fire chief. I want to help this fire district achieve its goals."
As a volunteer with the American Red Cross's Disaster Action Team, Curtis does have an occasional outlet for his firefighter's energy.
"That's one of the things I love about volunteering with the Red Cross," Curtis says. "I get to do the hands on stuff. When I retired, for me it was hard. I loved the job so much."
About his new position, Curtis says strategic planning is a strength he brings to the board.
"This will be fun, and an interesting education," Curtis says. "You work with a team with different thoughts and ideas. There are a wide variety of backgrounds on the board. It gives you a good mix, with different ideas and different thought processes."
"You get to have a little more discussion," Curtis continues. "There is an advantage to having some non-fire personnel on the board. You get people whose mindset is not traditional. That's the advantage to having a cross-section of the community. It's refreshing."
With a relatively minimal amount of experience as a fire district's board member, Curtis describes what he thinks it takes to do a good job at his new post.
"Somebody who is open minded, willing to listen to other ideas, willing to listen to the personnel and the citizens, somebody who can make decisions," Curtis says. "Somebody who's looking at taking the district into the future. I want to do things that will help the department down the road."