Prairie du Chien hires new fire chief

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Jeff Boughton started as the new chief of the Prairie du Chien Fire Department on Dec. 28. He has 38 years service experience. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Prairie du Chien has hired a new fire chief. Jeff Boughton began his new duties on Dec. 28, and brings 38 years in the fire service—including 34 of them in Boscobel with  the last 12 as fire chief—to the community.

“This was a great opportunity. I’m familiar with the community and knew some of the guys [on the department],” Boughton said. “I taught just about every one of them here.”

The calm and cordial new chief has also served as a fire service instructor for Southwest Tech for 28 years. Due to his connections at the Fennimore technical college, he’s also contributed to the advisory board there. Citizens may also recognize Boughton’s friendly face as the owner/operator of Boscobel Auto Clinic for 23 years before he sold his business and moved to Verona, where he acted as deputy fire chief for a few years. This service was just prior to hearing about the opening in Prairie du Chien and accepting the local chief’s position.

“Jeff comes highly-recommended from other agencies,” Interim City Administrator Chad Abram said.

Boughton arrived to fill the shoes of Harry Remz, who remains on the department providing fire inspections throughout Prairie du Chien. Remz was fire chief for 10 years and has been on the department for about 20 years. Following Remz’s retirement from the full-time position in August 2017, Deputy Chief Tim Deluhery Sr. stepped up to fill in as interim chief.

Currently, the Prairie du Chien Fire Department has around 28 men on its roster, which can have up to 32 members. Boughton said it seems to be a “very respected department” and he’s appreciative to the community for its history of supporting the organization. He said he’s ready to oversee the department as it broaches new evolutions in firefighting.

“I’m still getting acclimated, but I’m excited to help lead a good department with a good bunch of guys in a good community,” he commented. “I have some ideas to make things more efficient. One of my goals will be to computerize some things.”

Abram added, “He has some good ideas that, I think, will improve the overall performance to bring the department into 21st Century firefighting.”

Personally, Jeff has been married to Kimberly for 38 years and they have three grown children. They also have six grandchildren (with one on the way). He said, though he never has much free time to enjoy hobbies, he does like to fish and hunt.

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