Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

Mygatt enjoying retirement


March 16, 2018

Boulder Rural Fire Rescue Chief Bruce Mygatt retired earlier this year after 46 years with the department.

Mygatt said that he’s most proud of where Boulder Rural is now compared to when he started as a volunteer in 1972. He went on to become the full-time chief when Boulder Rural became an official district.

“I think it’s the position and status that the department is in today,” Mygatt said. “I think we all worked as a team in making efforts to improve on what we had each step of the way.”

Throughout his career he was active in the Colorado State Fire Chiefs Association, and instrumental in opening training centers in Boulder and Longmont along with various small towns.

“Where we started as a small station on Iris Avenue [in Boulder] to where we are today speaks volumes as to where the department has been able to go and its status in the county as a fine provider of service for the citizens,” Mygatt said. “Taking good care of them every step of the way, most importantly, is our goal. It’s to constantly improve service to the citizens.”

He said that through his career, the biggest events were wildfires — some of the biggest happening in the offseason.

“They become very intense and threatening,” Mygatt said. “You don’t necessarily put the fire out, you try to contain it, surround it, protect the citizens and firefighters. The wild lands will grow back. You don’t want any injuries — I can’t recall any serious injuries over the years.

“That’s our primary responsibility as a chief officer — to take care of the firefighters and make sure that they’re safe in doing their job, and everybody goes home at night.”

The 2010 fire in Fourmile Canyon was the most devastating of his career at Boulder Rural.

“I think that was the most significant, certainly the most loss to property,” he said. “That was a monumental event. They all start off with the ability to become a major event. That one certainly escalated in the environment with the weather conditions we had. Unfortunately many people lost their homes and valuables.”

Mygatt and his wife Karen have two children and three grandchildren, who all live locally. They hope to spend time with them when it fits into their busy schedules.

Karen currently volunteers at a food bank, and both are looking for more ways to continue serving the community.

“We look forward to finding a good opportunity to continue to serve and help people,” Mygatt said. “That’s my goal right now. We are constantly listening for opportunities to help other people.

“I have a strong belief the good Lord will take care of my wife and I, and we will move ahead in a happy and enthusiastic way.”


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