Mayor Nick Gradisar has chosen the person who will take over as chief of the City of Pueblo Fire Department and become the first woman ever to hold that position in Pueblo.
Gradisar announced this afternoon that he has selected Barbara Huber, currently a captain with the Pueblo Fire department, as the new fire chief. Huber has been a member of the Pueblo Fire Department since 1998 and a captain since 2007.
The mayor says there were six candidates for the job, which became open when former chief Shawn Shelton retired. Gradisar says he chose Huber because she possesses ‘the leadership and skills the department needs to move forward.”
Gradisar described all the six candidates as ‘outstanding’ and says making the decision was not easy. But he adds that he believes the community wants to change the status quo, and that was one of the reasons he was elected mayor.
Mayor Gradisar, in choosing Huber as chief, praised those in the department and says the department’s mission is to provide outstanding service to the community.
He says he feels Huber is the best person to lead the department as its moves forward and reflects the diversity of the Pueblo community and the call to adapt to cultural changes occurring in fire departments nationwide.
He thanked Rick Potter, who has served as chief in an interim basis since Shelton left the job in April and says his decision in no way reflects adversely on Potter.
Gradisar also urged the Pueblo City Council to confirm Huber as chief promptly as possible. In the meantime, she will serve as interim chief and formally take over chief’s duties on August 31st, the formal retirement date for Shelton.
Mayor Gradisar will hold his first ‘Community Connections’ town hall meeting tomorrow, August 2, at 9 am at the Lucero Library branch. He will be joined at that meeting by the newly appointed Fire Chief Huber.