The Winters community is mourning the death of retired Fire Chief Scott Dozier, who died Saturday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Dozier, 58, served as chief of the Winters Fire Protection District and the city of Winters from 2001 to 2011. He previously served in multiple capacities within the Winters Fire Department since 1975, from volunteer to deputy chief, totaling 36 years with the department.
Following his retirement, he served as the equipment mechanic on all engines and equipment, most recently with the outfitting of Engine 26, which arrived at the department last fall.
“We are all very shocked by what happened the other night and we’re very sad,” said Winters City Manager John Donlevy. “Scotty was a very good friend, a very good colleague and, frankly, we love Scott. He is really important to the entire Winters family. His passing leaves a really big hole in so many things that we do. We will genuinely miss Scott.”
Added Mayor Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, “Scott was a lifelong resident and friend. His contributions to the Winters community have been significant and he will be dearly missed. Our hearts go out with condolences and love to the Dozier family during this difficult time.”
Donlevy noted that flags in Winters are being flown at half-staff as a tribute to Dozier.
Winters Police Chief Sergio Gutierrez expressed sadness over Dozier’s death.
“I’m sad for our loss, and sad for the family as well,” he said.
Possibly hardest hit of all was the Winters Fire Department. Fire Chief Aaron McAlister explained what the loss of Dozier means to the Fire Department and, indirectly, to the whole community.
“Scott was a legend in the Winters Fire Department, and the Yolo County fire community,” McAlister said. “He was of the generation that modernized the (Winters) organization, and oversaw the transition to literally downtown garages that had been cobbled together on volunteer time and labor into a modern, state-of-the-art fire service building.
“He was the father of that project. You don’t get that many opportunities in a career to transition a station as Scott did — the building itself, and from a home fire department to a 24-hour operation.”
A memorial service for Dozier is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 22, at the Winters Fire Department, 700 Main St. Those wishing to make donations in lieu of flowers can do so at the First Northern Bank in Winters.
Memorial funds will be given to the Winters Fire Department for the purchase of volunteer firefighting equipment.