The Sopris Sun

So much more than a firefighter

By Ron Leach

Carbondale Fire Chief

Did you know that the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, answers more than 1,200 emergency 911 calls annually? Seems like a lot of fires, right? On average, Carbondale Fire responds to 420 emergency fire calls and nearly 800 emergency medical calls annually. How does that work, you might ask?

Carbondale Fire is your local emergency responder resource for everything including fires, medical emergencies, backcountry rescues, automobile accidents, swift water rescues, avalanche initial response and emergency spill containment.

All of our staff firefighters are certified by the state of Colorado and are emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Additionally, most of our volunteer firefighters are EMT certified as well. During any given shift on any given day, there are at least two firefighters on duty who are also certified as paramedics and many of Carbondale Fire’s staff and volunteer firefighters also are certified in hazardous materials response, swift water rescue and more.

Next time you see an ambulance whiz by en route to an emergency, remember to thank your local fire department for operating as your fire, rescue and medical emergency service team.

Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District Saving You $30,000 Annually

In the 2004 local election, the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, received a 20-year bond for capital improvements that was approved by taxpayers in the district. The bonds were refinanced in 2007 to save taxpayers money with a better interest rate. In 2017, I worked with the Board of Directors to refinance that bond, saving taxpayers $30,000 annually over the next 10 years. That’s a total of $300,000 in savings.

The original bond was used for capital improvements, including construction of the administration and training station and remodel and expansion of staff quarters to provide quicker responses to emergency calls. Additionally, we remodeled and constructed crew quarters at Station 84 on the west end of CFD.

The CFD is grateful to the community for its ongoing support and improving our ability to serve in emergencies and are happy to be saving our taxpayers’ money in the long term.

Lower Property Insurance Rates thanks to Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District

The Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District is proud to announce that the fire district recently received an improved rating from the Insurance Services Office (ISO). The District has improved its ISO rating to a Class 3 public protection rating, effective Aug. 1, 2017.

The ISO is a third-party independent agency that evaluates and scores communities in the following three categories: fire department, water supply and communications systems. The ISO evaluates the results on a national scale from 1 to 10 (1 being the best and highest), based on a number of qualifiers, such as efficiency and efficacy in fire department management and deployment, emergency communications, access to or transportation of water supply and more.

Since 2003, Carbondale Fire’s ISO rating has improved from Class 7 to 5 and most recently to Class 3, which reflected improvements in all three grading components since last surveyed in 2012.

Because of the rural nature of the Carbondale Fire Protection District, the district has worked hard to create a Fire Department Delivered Water Supply via a tanker shuttle, resulting in the equivalency of having a fire hydrant within 1,000 feet of any property. This innovative water supply shuttle increases CFD’s ability to successfully protect all properties effectively. ISO has recognized this fire department delivered water supply that effectively means that any property within 5 road miles of a fire station, (even without hydrants) is included in the ISO Class 3 rating.

Over the years, by improving the ISO classification, Carbondale Fire has saved local property owners millions in insurance premiums by innovating and improving the department, the facilities and the efficacy of responses.