The Rough and Ready Volunteer Fire Department (RRVFD) has announced the retirement of Fire Chief Don Gannon, effective March 31.
Gannon’s career has spanned 27 years on the fire department and 25 years as fire chief. Assistant Chief Bob Vaughn, who has served the Rough and Ready community for two decades, will be introduced as the new fire chief with Gannon passing the keys and pinning the badge on Vaughn in a transition ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday at the Rough and Ready Fire Station.
“The Rough and Ready community has greatly benefited from Don’s many years of proven leadership as fire chief and I feel honored to be named to take over the position,” Vaughn said in a news release. “I know everyone joins me in congratulating him on a job well done and wishes him and his family the very best in the years to come.”
Vaughn has been with the RRVFD for 20 years, becoming a firefighter in 1993. He then moved into the position of captain in 2002 and was named assistant chief in 2008.
Gannon began his fire service career as a firefighter with the RRVFD in 1986 and quickly moved up to assistant chief and then to chief in 1988. Then, only after a few months on the job, Gannon oversaw the fighting of the massive 49er Fire in September of 1988.
Over the years, Gannon directed many changes, including the replacement of all fire engines and equipment that the department uses today. However, his greatest achievement was his vision for a new fire station in downtown Rough and Ready. Nearly 15 years in the making, Gannon’s vision became a reality with the facility’s ribbon cutting ceremony held in January of 2012.
Throughout his career as chief, Gannon often put his “real job” in construction on hold in order keep the fire department running smoothly. Under Gannon’s leadership, he increased the professionalism, safety and stature of the all-volunteer department and always set a high standard for himself, his officers, firefighters and staff. Many residents of the community are alive today and their property preserved due to Gannon’s dedicated service.
Gannon and his wife, Carolyn, moved to Rough and Ready in 1977 and are proud parents of three children and six grandchildren. Gannon plans to go fishing, enjoy his family and friends and continue to work part time in construction. Carolyn Gannon has served as office manager for the fire department since 1989 and will continue in this position.