AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — The search for the chief of the Aurora fire department is getting closer.

A group contracted for hiring narrowed it down from 36 applicants to four finalists for fire chief, and now they’re asking for the public’s input.

The finalists are:

  • Richard Davis, assistant chief of the Austin, Texas Fire Department
  • Alec Oughton, fire chief of the Henrico County, Virginia Division of Fire
  • Allen Robnett, interim fire chief of Aurora Fire Rescue
  • Froilan “Pepper” Valdez, fire chief of the Billings, Montana Fire Department
  • Richard Davis
  • Alec Oughton
  • Allen Robnett
  • Froilan Valdez

These candidates will engage in a two-day, in-person finalist selection process.

Community members are also invited to submit questions for the finalists beginning Wednesday up until 5 p.m. through the Engage Aurora portal. The community panel members selected to conduct the taped interviews will gather to review and sort the questions submitted by the community and use them during the interviews.

Earlier in the day Wednesday, candidates will also tour the Aurora Fire Rescue facilities, meet with other Aurora fire employees and do tape interviews.

The city said community members will be able to provide feedback on the finalists via Engage Aurora once the interviews conclude and are published on the city’s YouTube channel on Jan. 5.

Then on Jan. 5, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the city will host a public, in-person meet-and-greet event in the lobby of the Aurora Municipal Center for community members to freely interact with the finalists.

The city said a community panel, city management and a recruiting firm were hired to conduct the search with a focus on recruiting a diverse pool of applicants.

On Friday, the finalists will meet with additional council members one-on-one. The members include the mayor, the community panel members, the city’s executive team and city department directors.

The City of Aurora Charter requires the city manager to hire a fire chief and receive approval from the majority of the Aurora City Council.

The final decision is expected to be made by the end of January or early February after gathering community feedback and conducting background checks.