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"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread."
– Edward Abbey  
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  Volume No. 16 Issue No. 9 September 2019  

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  FFPD March board meeting
  By Robin Widmar

   The Falcon Fire Protection District held its regular monthly board meeting March 20. Director Joan Hathcock was granted an excused absence, and Director Mike Collins participated via teleconference. Joan Fritsche, legal counsel for the district, was also present.
   
   Fire Chief Trent Harwig administered the oath of office to Christopher Hodgin, who was sworn in as a firefighter for the district.
   
   Sands exclusion petition
   Attorney Joan Fritsche reviewed the Sands subdivision exclusion petition, as well as information presented by the petitioner and the FFPD board at the January meeting (which was continued to February). After careful consideration and a review of statutory criteria, the board found that the exclusion is not in the best interest of the fire district for economic reasons, nor is it in the best interest of future subdivision property owners from a fire protection standpoint.
   
   The board voted to adopt Resolution 3-20-2019-1, which denies the exclusion of real property (the Sands) from the Falcon Fire Protection District. Directors Tom Kerby, Dan Kupferer and Mike Collins voted in favor of the resolution. Director Cory Galicia recused himself.
   
   Treasurer’s report
   With the fiscal year 16.7 percent complete as of Feb. 28, Harwig reported that the general fund had received 3 percent of its anticipated revenue, while expenses were at 10 percent across all categories. Harwig said that the District will likely receive more revenue from special ownership taxes than originally estimated.
   
   There was no activity in the ambulance transport fund. Capital Projects Fund expenses were at 29 percent because of the Station 4 lease purchase payment.
   
   Chief’s report
   Harwig said the district had just received the final specifications for the ambulances, which are on schedule for delivery in August.
   
   Deputy Chief Jeff Petersma reported that the latest reservist fire academy started March 1 with six recruits. Six personnel from Black Forest Fire/Rescue are also participating in this academy. There were 181.5 reserve standby hours, and there were no station brownouts in February.
   
   Harwig briefly discussed the March 13 – 14 blizzard. He said the storm “did exactly what they said it was going to do” but that people were deceived because the weather did not seem too bad that morning. However, within an hour of the snow starting to fall, conditions rapidly deteriorated. Motorists became stranded because of blowing and drifting snow, poor road conditions, and accidents or slideoffs. Fire apparatus also became stuck, as did the AMR ambulance housed at FFPD Station 1. Harwig said that all stranded motorists eventually reached by emergency responders and/or search and rescue teams. He noted that district apparatus did not suffer any significant damage during the storm.
   
   The district is working through the county’s process for ambulance licensing, setting up billing company services and developing policies and procedures for ambulance transport services, Harwig said.
   
   He said the district’s annual financial audit was conducted and “everything is good” from the field auditor’s perspective. The district will receive the complete audit report in late May/early June.
   
   Incident statistics
   District personnel were still sorting through data, but FFPD received at least 200 calls for service March 13-14.
   
   In February, the district received 205 calls for service, which was a 13.9 percent increase over February 2018. The 2019 year-to-date total of 453 incidents reflected a 9.7 percent increase over the same period in 2018. This was the 11th straight month of more than 200 calls for service.
   
   Meridian Road/U.S. Highway 24 intersection
   Kerby had nothing new to report regarding the project.
   
   Harwig said the district had been notified of the location of the temporary construction easement.
   
   Kupferer said the county plans have not yet been finalized. He said the district (and other nearby property owners and businesses) needs everything in writing from the county regarding final plans, asphalt removal, etc., before it can address issues such as utility relocation.
   
   Station 3 and WHMD
   The district is awaiting paperwork from Woodmen Hills regarding the petition to include Station 3 property into Woodmen Hills Metro District. The board discussed future utility requirements for existing and proposed FFPD facilities at the Station 3 site.
  
Falcon Firefighter Christopher Hodgin is sworn in by Fire Chief Trent Harwig at the March FFPD board meeting. Photo by Robin Widmar
 
Fire Chief Trent Harwig (far left) prepares to administer the oath of office to firefighters Cale Lohman, Joshua Adkins and Cody Richins at the Feb. 20 FFPD board meeting. Photo submitted
 
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