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Storytelling is based on the word, being an honorable person of integrity is based on your word.
– Jesse Williams  
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  Volume No. 17 Issue No. 8 August 2020  

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  FFPD discusses plans for new buildings
  By Pete Gawda

   At their monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 17, the Falcon Fire Protection District Board of Directors discussed plans for the new Station 3 and the new administration building.
   
   Finance report
   The district's financial situation looks good. Fire Chief Trent Harwig predicted they should be at budget the rest of the year. Revenues and expenditures in all accounts are within acceptable perimeters. However, collection of ambulance transport fees is 21 percent lower than budgeted. The chief noted that since the Division of Motor Vehicles offices are now open the district will be receiving revenue from special ownership taxes. Harwig said that by the September board meeting they should know the new assessment rates for budget planning purposes.
   
   Chief's report
   In May, there were 277 reserve hours. Deputy Chief Jon Webb said the call volume for ambulance service is picking up. There were 88 transports in May. For the month of June, Webb said they were on track for more than 90 transports. There were 1,125 calls for fire service between Jan. 1 and the end of May. The average response time is nine minutes, 33 seconds. Response times across all zones have dropped.
   
   Construction projects
   During the remainder of the Old Meridian Road project, the chief said the three front bays of Station 3 will have access to U.S. Highway 24 through temporary driveways. However, the end bay will not be in use for about a week while the curb and gutter is being poured on Old Meridian Road. After the meeting, Harwig told The New Falcon Herald that during that time it might be necessary to take either a brush truck or a tender out of service so that the engine housed in the end bay can be kept in service.
   
   The board discussed the process of working with the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners and the El Paso County Planning and Community Development Department on approval of plans for the new fire Station 3. The board is waiting for landscaping plans for the new building. The chief said that the cost of redoing the parking lot and other expenses preliminary to the start of construction will come out of the budget. To finance, board attorney Joan Fritsche is working with the bank to get a $2,200,000 lease purchase agreement finalized. That lease purchase agreement was approved by the board at their May meeting.
   
   They also discussed the design for the new administration building. It is yet to be decided if the building will have rooftop heating and cooling units or if there will be a mechanical room to house those units.
   
   The board approved inclusion of the Station 3 parcel into Woodmen Hills Metropolitan District for water and sewer service, and approved an intergovernmental agreement with Woodmen Hills. Both actions are pending the approval of the board attorney.
   
   The July board meeting will be held at 4 p.m., July 15, at Station 3, 7030 Old Meridian Road. The meeting can also be seen on zoom by going to https://zoom.us/j/731479999.
  
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  Safety tip - Fireworks
  By Pete Gawda

   Firefighter Nicholas Gutierrez of Station 4 gives us the fire safety tip for July. He has been a full-time firefighter for almost one year. Gutierrez originally worked in landscaping. However, he always had a passion for firefighting that drove him to earn a degree in Fire Science. Before becoming a full-time firefighter, Gutierrez worked as a volunteer and a part-time firefighter. He came to Falcon from wildland firefighting in New Mexico. What he likes best about his job is serving the community. What he likes least is doing the dishes. However, Gutierrez said everyone at the fire station takes their turn at doing the dishes. Gutierrez and his wife of two years are expecting their first child, a boy. In his off-duty hours, he enjoys disc golf. Gutierrez has also recently bought a house that he is remodeling.
   
   The July fire safety tip: The Fourth of July is the day the NFH is distributed; however, fireworks usually go on way past the 4th. Gutierrez urges everyone to observe city and county regulations concerning fireworks. For updates, visit http://www.falconfirepd.org/community-resources/fireworks-faqs.
  
Nicholas Gutierrez has been a full-time firefighter for FFPD for a year. He enjoys serving the community but doing dishes at the station is not his favorite thing.
 
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  Outdoor fires banned in El Paso County
  By Pete Gawda

   As of June 22, Stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect in all unincorporated areas of El Paso County because of expected continued dry and warmer than normal conditions. The restrictions were issued by the sheriff's office and will remain in effect until lifted. Those restrictions ban open burning and the sale or use of fireworks. They also prohibit outdoor smoking except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that contains no flammable material. If the fire danger increases, the sheriff's office can issue more severe Stage 2 fire restrictions. For specific details of Stage 1 and Stage 2 fire restrictions, go to the Falcon Fire Protection District website at
   https://falconfirepd.org.
   
   Persons guilty of violating Stage I fire restrictions can be fined up to $600. Those guilty of violating Stage 2 restrictions can be fined up to $1,000.
   
   Check with http://falconfirepd.org for updated information.
  
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  Red Flag means fire danger
  By Pete Gawda

   There are at least two color-based fire danger warning systems. Perhaps the best known warning is the Red Flag Warning issued by the local office of the National Weather Service when the day's weather conditions are optimum for fires starting and spreading. The Red Flag Warning is used to inform the public, firefighters and land management agencies of dangerous fire conditions. Conditions that could prompt such a warning include low relative humidity, strong winds, dry fuels and the possibility of lightning strikes.
   
   Jeff Petersma, deputy chief of operations of the Falcon Fire Protection District, said a Red Flag Warning generates a higher level of response preparation. Depending on conditions, the department could increase the number of firefighters on duty and require firefighters to wear firefighting gear to reduce response time.
   
   While the National Weather Service Red Flag Warning is based on weather conditions, the U.S. Forest Service has a color coded National Fire Danger Rating System that takes into consideration other factors. It allows fire managers to estimate fire danger for a given area at a given time. It consists of five colors: green, blue, yellow, orange and red. Green is low fire danger— fires that do not start easily. Blue is moderate danger — fires can start from most natural causes, but with the exception of lightning in some areas, the number of starts is generally low. Yellow is high risk — fires start easily from most causes. Orange is very high danger — fires start easily from all causes and spread rapidly. Red is extreme danger — fires start quickly, spread furiously and burn intensely.
   
   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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