About Our Team
The Department of Emergency Management supports a safe and resilient Eagle County by preparing, mitigating, responding to, and recovering from emergencies through shared values and strong partnerships.
Our team provides coordination and support for the independent agencies and governments that deliver emergency services across Eagle County. When disasters exceed local capacity, the Department of Emergency Management works with public safety partners to mobilize resources and ensure a unified response.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT CORE SERVICES
Birch Barron, MSPH, CEM
Director of Emergency Management
Birch Barron joined the Eagle County team in 2019 where he has focused on strengthening relationships and improving the county’s ability to support our first responders. Birch has led emergency management efforts with the Maryland Department of Emergency Management, Howard County Fire & Rescue, the University of Maryland Center for Health & Homeland Security, and the City of Baltimore.
Birch’s extensive experience working in disasters includes wildfires, catastrophic floods, civil unrest, and multiple earthquake, hurricane, antiterrorism, and first responder support missions across the U.S., Mexico, Central America, and Africa. He holds a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where he focused on health systems and disaster response. When he is not at work, you can usually find Birch out in the mountains with his two boys catching fish, building questionable snow forts, and searching for the perfect place to hang his hammock.
Deputy Emergency Manager
As Deputy Emergency Manager, Fernando Almanza is responsible for promoting a prepared and resilient Eagle County by engaging with first responders and the public. Fernando is also a Level III hostage negotiator for the Special Operations Unit and has seven years of experience as a 911 Dispatcher with the Vail Public Safety Communications Center.
Fernando’s past positions and experiences include serving as the Interim Executive Director and Board President for the Hearts Reign organization, Eagle County School Board Director (District E), Domestic Violence crisis hotline volunteer, Mental Health First Aid instructor, Question-Persuade-Refer Instructor, Incident Dispatch Team/ Mobile Communications Unit Radio Operator, Court Appointed Special Advocate Interpreter, and Latino Network member with Voces Unidas. Fernando is a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School Emergence Program and recipient of the 40 Under 40 award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police. In his free time, Fernando enjoys snowboarding, visiting family, playing video games, and working on his house and vehicles.
OFFICE OF MITIGATION & WILDFIRE PROTECTION
Community Mitigation Manager
Since 2006, Eric Lovgren has been primarily responsible for Eagle County’s Wildfire Mitigation Program. He interacts with homeowners, developers, fire districts, land management agencies and numerous citizen and environmental groups in this role. Eric is also responsible for the design, implementation and oversight of all county-led hazardous wildfire fuel reduction and forest health projects, community chipping days, and cost-share assistance.
Eric has a bachelor's degree in Natural Resource Management from Colorado State University and maintains numerous professional certifications including Wildland firefighter. He helps to facilitate the Eagle County and Roaring Fork Valley Wildfire Collaboratives as well as the REALFire Program, a partnership with the Vail Board of Realtors and Community Wildfire Planning Center. Eric is a member of the U.S. Forest Service Community Mitigation Assistance Team and serves as chair for Fire Adapted Colorado, working to engage with other wildfire professionals throughout the state, sharing knowledge and best practices aimed at creating fire adapted communities. Eric spends his winters skiing as much as possible and summers on his mountain bike or floating down the Colorado River. Eric is also a bluegrass addict and banjo player. Want to talk about music or wildfire? He’s your guy.
Wildfire Mitigation Specialist
Katie Jenkins is Eagle County’s Wildfire Mitigation Specialist. For the past several years, she has been working in the field of commercial fisheries management, living aboard fishing vessels, and collecting biological data for the National Marine Fisheries Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Her experience in a regulatory role for the federal government led Katie to applying her knowledge to the field of Wildfire Mitigation where she continues to assist with decreasing the effects of wildfire in our community. You will most likely catch Katie on her mountain bike (or skis… or snowboard… or raft… or any of the other Colorado vessels). She also really enjoys traveling to other countries and eating any and all food that comes her way.
OFFICE OF 800MHZ COMMUNICATIONS
Communication Systems Administrator, GROL
Mick McQuilton joined Eagle County as a wireless technician in 2009 and became the technical lead for the transition to Colorado’s statewide Digital Trunked Radio System. In 2017, he took on budgetary and administrative responsibility for the county’s public safety communications network. Mick holds a B.S. in Telecommunications Management from Ithaca College and has worked to promote interoperable communications through the Northwest Colorado All-Hazards Emergency Management Region and as a Director of the Consolidated Communications Network of Colorado. A lifelong wireless enthusiast who occasionally skipped high school to DJ at his local radio station, he also enjoys reading, finance, aviation, and exploring other cultures.
Communication Systems Technician
Donny Folk has been in the telecommunications field for 22 years. He has followed cutting edge technology trends to implement for customer needs then transitioned into wireless broadband from its infancy. Now as a radio technician with Eagle County, Donny keeps first responders’ communications working from programming radios to installing equipment at tower sites to improve coverage for all users. In the summer, Donny can be found on the river, on two wheels mountain biking, or on a motorcycle trip; winter time is all about skiing.