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"Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious."
– Stephen Hawking  
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  Volume No. 17 Issue No. 1 January 2020  

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  Exciting times
  By Robin Widmar

   New ambulances arrive
   Ask anyone who works for the Falcon Fire Protection District about its current status, and they will likely respond with some variant of “these are exciting times!”
   
   For the first time in its 44-year history, Falcon’s fire department has the capability to provide ambulance services. Scheduled to start Dec. 1, two fully staffed and equipped ambulances will provide both Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support emergency medical services and transport. The department has had ALS providers on each shift at each station, but now two fire stations will also have ambulance transport capability. A third fire station will have transport capability by March 2020.
   
   On Nov. 15, FFPD took delivery of two 2019 Ford Type 1 ambulances. (Type 1 refers to an ambulance that is mounted on a truck-style chassis.) Both vehicles are equipped with four-wheel drive as well as drop down chains for extra traction in severe conditions. The ambulances are equipped with the new Stryker Power Load System, which lifts and loads a cot (with patient) at the push of a button. The cots are rated to carry 750 pounds. In an email, FFPD EMS Division Chief Jon Webb said, “This is amazing because it will save us from potential back injuries from lifting.”
   
   Other features of these new ambulances include a built-in child seat in the patient compartment and extensive LED lighting for safety. There is also ample compartment storage space for emergency medical equipment, as well as firefighting gear for the ambulance crew so they are able to assist at fires. The entire vehicle can be raised or lowered to assist with patient loading.
   
   A third ambulance has been ordered with anticipated delivery in January 2020.
   
   Six new firefighter paramedics were sworn in at the Nov. 20 board of directors meeting. Each ambulance will be staffed by a permanently assigned firefighter paramedic and a firefighter emergency medical technician. The department’s firefighter EMTs will be assigned to the ambulances on a rotational basis.
   
   The first two ambulances will be housed at Station 1 (at Meridian Ranch Boulevard and Stapleton Drive) and Station 4 (Capital Drive, north of Constitution). AMR is still under contract to provide county ambulance services, and they will continue to back up Falcon ambulance crews when needed.
   
   Falcon Fire Department: then and now
   The Falcon Fire Department has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1975 as an all-volunteer fire department that first housed donated equipment in a former mule barn. At that time, Falcon consisted of a small number of homes, a school and abundant prairie shared by cattle and pronghorn antelope. Prior to the creation of the Falcon Fire Department, fire protection was provided by county firefighters who responded from a station near what is now Woodmen Road and I-25.
   
   Fast forward to 2019. As of press time, the department has 47 paid personnel (including line personnel and support staff), three staffed and two unstaffed fire stations and a variety of apparatus; including fire engines, water tenders, brush trucks, quick response vehicles and now ambulances. The Falcon Fire Protection District provides emergency services to more than 66,000 residents in the 113-square-mile fire district. In 2018, Falcon firefighters logged a record 2,665 calls for service –- a number that will be exceeded at the end of 2019.
   
   No one can tell what the future holds, but it is certain that the Falcon community will continue to grow, and its fire department will grow along with it.
   
   The members of the Falcon Fire Protection District wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and a prosperous new year!
   
   Stay connected with the Falcon Fire Protection District
   Website: http://www.falconfirepd.org
   Facebook: Falcon Fire Department
   Twitter: @FalconFireDept
   NextDoor.com
  
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  Safety Tip
  Keep the holidays safe
  By Robin Widmar

   Use these tips to help the holidays stay merry, bright and safe.
   
   Live Christmas trees
  • Select a fresh tree with green, pliable needles that are difficult to pull from branches.
  • Cut 2 inches from the base of the trunk before placing the tree in its stand.
  • Add water to the tree stand right away and top off daily to keep the tree hydrated.
  • Keep the tree at least 3 feet away from heat sources (fireplaces or wood stoves, space heaters, heat vents, candles, lamps, etc.).
  • Do not leave a live tree up for longer than two weeks.
  • After the holidays, move the tree out of the house as soon as possible, but do not leave old, dried-out trees in garages or near any buildings.

   For all Christmas trees, turn off decorative lights before leaving home or going to bed.
   
   Pet proofing
  • Securely anchor the Christmas tree to prevent adventurous pets from tipping it over.
  • Avoid decorations with live mistletoe and holly. If ingested, they can make pets very sick.
  • Keep wires, batteries and glass ornaments out of the reach of pets.

   
   Holiday lights and decorations
   
  • Use lights approved by an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories.
  • Replace light strings that have worn or cracked cords, broken or cracked sockets or loose bulb connections.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets, extension cords or power strips.
  • Check light strings periodically; the wires should not be warm to the touch.
  • Use nonflammable or flame-retardant decorations.
  • Keep holiday decorations away from open flames and other heat sources.
  • Make sure decorations do not block exits and doorways.

   Candles
  • Consider using battery-operated flameless candles that pose less of a fire hazard.
  • Keep lit candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Candles should be in sturdy, stable holders in places where they cannot be easily knocked down.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.
  • Do not leave lit candles unattended.
  • Never leave the house or go to bed with candles burning.
  
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