Kambish Named Sheriff, Witt EMS Director by County

Hinsdale County Commissioners were in jubilant spirits at their meeting Wednesday morning, December 18, as they took decisive action appointing Undersheriff Chris Kambish to replace resigning Hinsdale County Sheriff Justin Casey and named Buffy Witt as the new full-time Director of Hinsdale County Emergency Services. Hinsdale Commissioners Susan Thompson, Kristie Borchers, and Sarah Gutterman extended congratulations to Denver resident and Lake City native Buffy Hurd Witt who during the workshop portion of the meeting was announced as the new EMS Director. Witt, who was present and equally ecstatic at Wednesday’s meeting, is the daughter of local residents George and Beth Hurd. She takes the place of interim EMS Director Britt McLaughlin who, with Hurd, was one of three applicants for the full-time post. From her seat in the audience, Witt repeatedly thanked the commissioners for their trust in hiring her, explaining that she and her husband, Dr. Gary Witt, will move to Lake City full-time effective June 15, 2020. “I am very humbled by the opportunity and appreciate your belief in me… it’s going to be great to be home.” In the interim, Witt said she will be in Lake City a minimum of one week each month, her early emphasis January 6 through January 11/12 being on CPR recertification. While still living in Denver, she said she will have remote access to patient care reports and will be continually available. Witt said she has met with 100 percent of the EMS team members and reported to the county board that all are “committed to the team and running calls.” She has identified key “point people” to spearhead training, vehicle maintenance, and personnel for the on-call team during the transition until June 15. On the heels of announcement Buffy Witt as the county’s new EMS Director, Hinsdale County Commissioners referred to the “natural line of succession” in naming Hinsdale County Undersheriff Chris Kambish as replacement to Hinsdale Sheriff Justin Casey, effective January 15 next year. As reported in last week’s WORLD, Casey surprised the county board and public on December 11 by announcing his resignation, effective January 15, 2020, due to personal matters. Kambish previously served as Deputy with Hinsdale County Sheriff’s Office from 2014 to January, 2018, with a year-long intermission when he and his family moved to Fruita, Colorado, during which time he was employed by Mesa County Sheriff’s Dept. He returned to Lake City in January this year when he was named Hinsdale County Undersheriff by Sheriff Casey. With both the present sheriff and Kambish standing at the back of Wednesday’s meeting room, Commissioner Thompson praised Kambish for the “great job you have done,” concluding “we’d love to see you as sheriff.” Undersheriff Kambish indicated he was amenable to the promotion, “yes, it’s a good day to ask me.” Prior to taking the oath of office January 15, Kambish will continue training with Sheriff Casey. His appointment runs until January, 2021, and the sheriff’s post will be up for election in November, 2020. In making announcement of Kambish’s appointment, Hinsdale Commissioners also praised Sheriff Casey, Commissioner Borcher’s stateting, “Thank you, Justin, for your decade of service,” followed by a round of applause. Further details on both the Witt and Kambish appointments in next week’s WORLD.