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Idaho Falls deputy fire chief accepts Virginia job

Idaho Falls

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IFFD Deputy Fire Chief Dave Coffey and wife, Michele Coffey, behind the wheel of the old ladder truck during the Independence Day parade in 2019. | Courtesy City of Idaho Falls

The following is a news release from the City of Idaho Falls.

After 25 years of service, Deputy Fire Chief Dave Coffey recently announced his retirement from the Idaho Falls Fire Department (IFFD). He is excited to announce that he has accepted the fire chief position for the city of Danville, Virginia. His last day at IFFD will be Dec. 31.

“Accepting this position comes with mixed emotions,” states Coffey. “I have called Idaho Falls home since the Navy brought me here in 1990. IFFD has been my family since 1994. The opportunities and life experiences that this department have provided me are invaluable. My life has been truly edified by the department’s leadership and the relationships I have forged with the firefighters, external partners in the fire service and community members. I cannot thank you enough,” adds Coffey.

Dave Coffey

Coffey was hired as a firefighter for IFFD in 1994 where he climbed the ranks from firefighter, paramedic, captain, division chief of special operations, and finally deputy chief of operations, a position he has held since 2014. He also served as a flight paramedic for Air Idaho Rescue from 2005 to 2010. He has a Bachelor of Science in Fire Administration, holds the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation from the Center of Public Safety Excellence, and is a delegate for the Idaho Fire Chief’s Association.

During his tenure with IFFD, Coffey assisted in the preparation and administration of the department budget, managed equipment, supervised department staff, and provided oversight of day-to-day operations. He also supervised the state Hazardous Materials Response and Technical Response Teams and provided oversight for the Fire Prevention Division and Swift Water Rescue Team.

“The experience and expertise that Deputy Chief Coffey takes with him will be difficult to replace, but the path of excellence he created will be here with us at IFFD forever. The Danville Fire Department will be fortunate to get such a steward of fire and emergency services,” states IFFD Fire Chief Duane Nelson.

Coffey also served as a liaison with several local and regional emergency planning organizations include the Idaho Department of Lands, Bureau of Land Management, and Bonneville County Emergency Planning. He also served as an incident commander for Idaho’s Region 3 All-Hazards Incident Management Team, serving in that capacity during the 2016 Henry’s Creek Fire and the Total Solar Eclipse in 2017.

Coffey helped organize the Idaho Falls Fire Department Pipes & Drums band with a mission of preserving the rich fire service heritage and to honor the brothers and sisters in the fire service when called upon.

Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper states, “Deputy Chief Coffey has served this community well. His leadership really shined during the Henry’s Creek Fire where property was saved due to his quick action and the decisions he made with over two decades of experience behind them. As a department leader, he has played a key role building and growing our department’s capabilities. In my relatively short time with the city, I have watched him grow into a firefighter’s firefighter. The citizens of Danville are indeed fortunate. We wish Chief Coffey the very best in this new role.”

The deputy chief position will be posted on the city’s website in the coming weeks.

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