Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Chief Willy Watsabaugh abandoned his boots when he donned his bunker gear to help fight a fire in Jackson last year. He retired in January after 39 years of service. (Angus M. Thuermer Jr./WyoFile)

Not many people have a job that requires them to abandon their boots when they’re called to duty.

But such was the case for Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Chief Willy Watsabaugh last year when he rushed to an apartment fire in town. He put on his bunker gear and left his boots on the curb as he went to aid his fellow firefighters.

Watsabaugh retired Jan. 7 after 39 years of service. County commissioners appointed Battalion Chief Mike Moyer interim leader for the force. In retiring, Watsabaugh cited the work of volunteers and their importance.

“The volunteers are the lifeblood of the Jackson Hole Fire/EMS organization, and without them, our program could neither succeed nor continue to maintain its high standards of excellence,” he said in a statement.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr. is the natural resources reporter for WyoFile. He is a veteran Wyoming reporter and editor with more than 35 years experience in Wyoming. Contact him at angus@wyofile.com or (307)...

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