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Falcon Fire Protection District (FFPD)

FFPD April Meeting

FFPD April meeting

By Jon Huang

The Falcon Fire Protection District held its monthly board meeting April 17 at the Falcon Fire Administration Building on 7030 Old Meridian Road. Attending the meeting were Joan Fritsche, attorney; Tom Kerby, assistant secretary; Steve Podoll, secretary; Dan Kupferer, vice president (attended remotely); James Reid, president; Ray Hawkins, treasurer; Trent Harwig, chief.

March minutes were unanimously approved.

Treasurers report

Reid reported this would be deferred until next month.

Staff report

The operations report was deferred until next month.

Battalion Chief Joe Cosgrove said that the report looked normal — aid provided to other agencies and received from other agencies was slightly higher than last year at this time. Forty-eight reserve hours were reported.

Chief Jon Webb gave the March EMS (emergency services) report.

Out of 203 EMS calls, 136 patients required transport. Monthly billing collections totaled $74,926.69 with a cash reimbursement per trip of $550.94, which was lower than the previous months. Year-to-date tallies showed 409 transports out of 599 medical calls, with collections totaling $260,475.72 and cash per trip at $636.86. Over the last 24 months, there have been 3,270 transports with a cash per trip of $609. Billing percentages remained the same.

Webb provided an update on the city of Colorado Springs’ proposal for EMS transport. Currently, the city is planning to create an enterprise like Colorado Springs Utilities and the airport. If they get approval from the City Council, they would take over transport April 1, 2025, when the AMR contract is up. The Colorado Springs Fire Department would oversee and hire150 civilians full and part-time. They would be able to move money through different enterprises without asking for additional tax funding, with the possibilities of a future tax supplement.

Reid asked if this would require a contract between the city and other local jurisdictions for support. Webb reported that Jim Webber planned to meet with these outside agencies, including Falcon, to discuss mutual aid and support if the proposal was approved. It is unclear what will happen to the counties east of Falcon as far as their future relationship with AMR. In addition, Cosgrove said Peyton and Ellicott are both planning on hiring their own paramedics.

Chief Curtis Kauffman gave the fire prevention report.

They are still waiting approval from the governor’s office on the energy code, or standardized guidelines, from 2021 that will be used for fire inspections and to determine whether buildings will meet code. He said there has been an uptick in commercial and residential projects beginning last month.

Harwig provided an update about Senate Bill 24-194 regarding the special district emergency services funding. He reported that the bill had passed the senate committee with a 6-1 bipartisan vote. Section 3 of the bill would allow the district to impose its own impact fees on construction and new building. Section 4 would give the districts additional power to levy a sales tax within the district’s jurisdiction. It will still require senate approval. Harwig said if the bill passes, it would not require commissioner approval. A new tax would still require voter approval, but the new bill would potentially allow other funding mechanisms to be in place for the fire district to offset the more than $1 million loss in revenue caused by recent decreases in property taxes.

Maintenance building project update

Harwig reported that Hammers Construction will be wrapping up the permit drawings this week, submit for a building permit next week, which they will receive by May 17. On May 20, they will break ground on the maintenance building. They are currently three weeks behind schedule, with a completion date scheduled for the beginning of November.

Station 1 parcel: Tract B Sheriffs Office substation

Kerby requested that the substation design match properly with the sewer hookup because they will have to relocate the sewer line. He also said he asked them to return everything back the way it was as best as they could, but he would also be heading out there to take pictures.

Resolution adopting technology accessibility statement

Fritsche said a bill passed in 2022 requiring all public entities to have their electronic communications ADA (Americans with Disability Act) accessible by July 1, 2024. The department has already been working behind the scenes to meet these requirements. The rules were published by the state Office of Information and Technology at the end of February. It requires the district to post a technology accessibility statement. To do so, it requires that the board adopt a policy and post it in a conspicuous place on the website. Secondly, it requires a statement that the district will, at minimum, make a commitment to produce a timely response for reports of inaccessible electronic communications or provide a reasonable accommodation and post the notice where someone with a disability can find it.

Currently, the district uses a service called Streamline, which helps special districts in Colorado ensure that their websites are ADA compliant based on current regulations. This includes reviewing individual pages and documents and updating or removing ones that do not meet compliance.

Harwig explained that the costs to update the website was not much because of the simplicity of the website. Some of the rules involved making font sizes adjustable and regulating background colors.

Reid explained that Denver has been sued because of not meeting ADA compliance; thus, the state has moved forward in establishing new regulations.

The resolution was unanimously passed.

FFPD board meetings are usually held on the third Wednesday of each month at 3 p.m. in the meeting room at Falcon Fire Administration, 7030 Old Meridian Road. 

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Twitter: @FalconFireDept

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