Foolish Act in Ohio Creates New Nightmare for New Colorado Chief

The foolish act of sending an inappropriate photo in 2010 has come back to haunt a new Colorado fire chief.

Fire Chief Bryan Ware, 37, took the reins of the newly created Beulah Fire Protection and Ambulance District in Beulah, Colorado earlier this month following a fire-EMS consolidation. He was previously in charge of the Beulah Ambulance District dating back to when he was hired in 2010.

Coincidentally, Chief Ware resigned from the Huron (Ohio) Fire Department in 2010 in the midst of a criminal investigation for having sent a picture of testicles to a group of friends as a joke. One of the recipients of the photo was a 16 year old boy who was on a soccer team that Chief Ware coached.

Chief Ware was charged with disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, pled guilty, and was placed on probation. The probation ended in October, 2012.

The disclosure of the charge has prompted a division in the community and the department with a number of firefighters resigning. The district board reportedly knew about the charge and some other details about the chief, but felt he was doing an excellent job as chief.

More on the story from Colorado and Ohio.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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