Shawnee names Rick Potter as new fire chief

The Shawnee Fire Department will see a new chief for the first time since 2011.

The city of Shawnee today announced that Rick Potter, who currently serves as the deputy fire chief of Pueblo, Colorado, will replace outgoing Fire Chief John Mattox upon his retirement later this month.

Rick Potter has been tapped to lead the Shawnee fire department. Submitted photo.

Potter has been in the fire service for more than three decades, starting as a firefighter in Pueblo in 1990. He holds a bachelor’s degree in fire sciences and a master of public administration.

Mattox, who had served as Shawnee’s fire chief since 2011, announced last fall he would retire this year after 19 years with the city and 40 years in fire safety. His last day will be June 15.

Potter will officially assume the role June 29. He said he was drawn to the opportunity in part because of the department’s reputation for professionalism and community involvement.

“These qualities are very important to me,” Potter said in a release. “I am excited about the opportunity to serve the community alongside the men and women of the fire department and the city’s leadership team, and I look forward to becoming part of the Shawnee family.”

City Manager Nolan Sunderman said Potter’s comprehensive experience made him a good fit.

“I have no doubt that Rick will add significant value to the organization and to the community,” Sunderman said.

Potter and his wife Margaret, who have four children and three grandchildren, are in the process of relocating to Shawnee.