Transitions: Lamar Fire Chief Marshall Cook

As photographs from his past 30 year career with the Lamar Fire and Ambulance Department scrolled on a video screen at the Lamar Cultural Center this past Friday evening, February 6, Marshall Cook was presented with a series of appreciation awards and plaques for his years of service to the community.

Lamar Mayor Roger Stagner presented the first plaque honoring Cook’s years of service from January 29, 1985 to February 6, 2015.  “I want everyone to know that the one outstanding thing Marshall has done since he’s been here is to have made sure we had a trained department.  Ours is outstanding from all the training he’s brought to this area.  We appreciate the service to the community of Lamar.  Thank you, “said Stagner.   Doug Harbour was next, stating, “Marshall has been instrumental in developing our 9/11 Tribute foundations.  We want to award to him our certificate of appreciation for serving this community and nation with equal dedication, compassion and professionalism.”  Fire Chief Clay Hasser from the Hasty/McClave Fire Department mentioned Marshall Cook’s generosity with assistance and training for the surrounding departments in southeast Colorado.  “He’s supported our department in a variety of areas.  We wish him the very best in his future capacity as Meeker Fire Chief, he stated.”  Bob Morrow from the Walsh Fire Department followed Hasser, telling the audience, “We want to thank Chief Cook for all the training and mutual aid for our department in Baca County and want you to have several of our patches to take with you to Meeker.”  Cook said that Morrow, “Really epitomizes what makes a small community so amazing.  This guy is a dentist, a fire chief, a city councilman, mayor, ambulance director, EMT, county coroner…this guy does it all.  Bob and I have shared a lot over the years.”  Cook was also presented by his department with a homemade shadowbox filled with accumulated memorabilia during his years with the Lamar Department.

Marshall addressed the audience about his future as the Meeker Fire Chief and starting a new life in a new community.  He said he and his wife, Carrie, were fortunate to find an ideal house with a valley view.  She will be employed at a local hospital as manager of the operating room and Cook said he would be the only full time employee in the fire department with a volunteer staff of 30.  He noted that his budget in Meeker, would be almost twice that of Lamar’s.  Meeker has a population of just under 3,000 residents.

Of his time in Lamar, he added, “My role and my job here has been to provide the support and equipment necesssary to make these people over here successful and they’ve done an outstanding job.  This department has been my life for three decades.  This has been the second most difficult decision in my life.  I’ve leaving a tremendous department and wonderful staff.

In closing, Cook offered praise for the abilities of Jeremy Burkhart who has become interim Fire Chief for Lamar.  Cook stated,” When I became the Chief eight years ago, I knew that I needed to make sure that this department would function without me.  Jeremy Burkhart is the future of this department.  All of these people are the future of the department, but this is the future leader in my opinion. I’ve spent the last several years preparing him to replace me.  I wanted to give him every opportunity to learn and to find his own way, and I think he’s well on his road to it.”

Cook concluded his remarks requesting that everyone in the roof offer a round of applause in appreciation to the firemen, EMT’s, police department and others in the city who ensure that the citizens of Lamar are safe and protected.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: communityEmploymentEventsFeaturedFire Department-RespondersLamarProwers CountyPublic Safety


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