Former Blaine County Commissioner Sarah Michael has been named to fill a vacant seat on the Ketchum Rural Fire Protection District board of commissioners.

According to the district, Michael was unanimously appointed by Commissioners Earl Engelmann and Jed Gray to fill a vacancy created after longtime commissioner Chris Stephens stepped down last month.

Throughout his 25-year career at Ketchum Rural, Stephens worked closely with local law enforcement, fire and EMS agencies and multiple dispatch centers on advancing consolidation efforts, the district stated. His projects also included establishing two county fire stations—Griffin Butte and Greenhorn Gulch—to serve northern Blaine County, and implementing on-site housing to improve response times.

Both Gray and Engelmann expressed confidence that Michael will help steer the district toward consolidation of the north valley’s fire services, a longstanding goal.

“Sarah has been involved in the county government, and I think that could be critical for one of my biggest goals [of consolidation],” Gray said. “Knowing how these things work, I think that she would be a good commissioner.”

Michael said she’s looking forward to engaging in meaningful dialogue about consolidation with Gray and Engelmann.

“I am also very excited about the mission of the district, and the district’s exemplary record of providing fire services to the north Wood River Valley, where I have lived for 20 years,” Michael said.

As required by the position, Michael, a resident of Hulen Meadows subdivision north of Ketchum, lives in Subdistrict 1—an area that spans from the Lower Board Ranch west of Ketchum north to Galena Summit.

She will be sworn in at the next Ketchum Rural Fire Protection District regular meeting, set for Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 10:30 a.m. at Sun Valley City Hall.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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