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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 June board meeting
  By Robin Widmar

   The Falcon Fire Protection District held its regular monthly board meeting June 19. All directors were present except for Mike Collins, who was granted an excused absence. Attorney Richard Shearer, legal counsel for the district, was also present.
   
   Oaths of office
   Fire Chief Trent Harwig administered oaths of office to Scot Gilmore, who was sworn in as a firefighter and Jonathan Webb, who was sworn in as the Emergency Medical Services division chief.
   
   Treasurer’s report
   Harwig reported that the fiscal year was 42 percent complete as of May 31. The general fund had received 57 percent of its anticipated revenue. Expenses across all categories were at 44 percent, including transfers to the ambulance and capital improvement funds. Harwig noted that special ownership tax revenue continues to exceed expectations.
   
   The capital projects’ fund has received 37 percent of its anticipated revenue in the form of transfers from the general fund. Expenditures were at 32 percent, with payments for apparatus and ambulances due later in the year.
   
   “We’re doing good across everything right now,” Harwig said.
   
   Chief’s report
   Reservists logged 336 standby hours in May with no station brownouts. Harwig said he does not anticipate any more brownouts because of staffing increases.
   
   Harwig and other staff members met with an architect regarding preliminary drawings for an administrative building. The purpose is to determine project costs for budget planning.
   
   Delivery of the new ambulances has been delayed slightly, Harwig said. However, he still anticipates hiring additional staff in August or September, and said the district will still begin ambulance transport service by the end of the year. He also noted the District is continuing to finalize billing policies and other procedures.
   
   Incident statistics
   The district received 245 calls for service in May, bringing the year-to-date total to 1,388 as of May 31, which is a 27.6 percent increase in call volume over the same period in 2018.
   
   Out of 157 combined emergency medical calls and traffic accidents in May, about 55 percent required at least one patient to be transported by ambulance. This percentage of transports has been consistent through 2019.
   
   Attorney’s report
   Attorney Richard Shearer provided a written report to the board.
   
   Harwig spoke with the head of the Falcon seniors group regarding years-old plans to build a senior center on the property at FFPD Station 1. The group has been unable to bring that plan to fruition and agreed that the lease between the seniors and the fire district should be ended. Shearer said he will draft a formal termination letter.
   
   Shearer recommended that the board table the Shiloh Mesa exclusion until the next meeting to allow time for directors and legal counsel to adequately review the documents.
   
   Shearer announced his retirement. He will not be taking new business after July, but he assured the board that he will continue to work on projects already underway with current clients. He also will help the board find a suitable replacement.
   
   Old Meridian Road and U.S. Highway 24 intersection design
   Harwig said the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners has approved documents related to the intersection redesign project. There was no other new information to report.
  
Scot Gilmore is sworn in as a firefighter by Chief Trent Harwig at the June 19 board meeting.
 
Jonathan Webb is sworn in as the Emergency Medical Services division chief by Chief Trent Harwig at the June 19 board meeting. Photos by Robin Widmar
 
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