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Falcon Fire Protection District (FFPD)

FFPD March meeting

By Jon Huang

The Falcon Fire Protection District held its monthly board meeting March 20 at the Falcon Fire Administration Building on 7030 Old Meridian Road. Joan Fritsche, attorney, attended remotely; Steve Podell, secretary; Dan Kupferer, vice president; James Reid, president; Ray Hawkins, treasurer; Trent Harwig, chief, attended. Tom Kerby, assistant secretary was absent and excused.

The February minutes were unanimously approved.

Treasurers report

Harwig presented the report.

Through the end of February 2024, 16.4% of the fiscal year was completed. General fund revenues were 2% under, which is not uncommon since property tax revenue has yet to be received. Specific ownership tax revenue was over at 18%. Across all category lines, the department was at 19% budgeted expenses, which is expected because of early year expected high-dollar expenses like insurance.                   

Regarding the ambulance transport fund, across all revenue lines, they were at 23% of revenue for the year. Transport fees were slightly over at 18%. Ambulance fund expenses were under at 10%.

The capital projects fund showed 25% of budgeted revenues. Expenditures were at 5% from the minimum lease purchase payment.

The rural water fund showed no expenditures.

Of note, Harwig highlighted the budgeted revenue losses from Senate Bill 238 and SB 001, which reduced property tax revenues. As of now, they had budgeted to receive 90% and 100% of the lost amounts from the state via backfilled funds and are on track to meet those targets. They were still waiting to receive these amounts from the state.

The treasurer’s report was unanimously approved.

Staff report

Deputy Chief Jeff Petersma presented the operations report

Through January 2024, there was a total of 367 calls. The average response times remained stable. Mutual aid given and received were stable. The ambulance aid report showed no remarkable changes.

January and February logged 48 reserve hours, respectively.

Chief Jon Webb presented the EMS report.

For February, 177 patients were seen, of which 124 patients were transported with an average cash per trip of $759.06. Year to date showed 273 transports, with a cash per trip of $679.74. The 24-month totals were not remarkable. The payer mix remained stable.

Kupferer asked Webb about Colorado Springs potentially transitioning to their own ambulances. Webb recently fielded a call from Jim Webber, the ambulance contract administrator with the Colorado Springs Fire Department, and answered questions from him about their billing practices. The bottom line was that right now it’s unclear what direction they will ultimately take, but given AMR’s disappointing performances in recent years, it was an ongoing consideration. Harwig said that regardless, CSFD will likely remain in a mutual aid agreement with Falcon but would be unlikely to take on any mutual aid agreement with districts east of Falcon.

Kupferer inquired about the need for a fourth ambulance. Petersma reported that based on the 1.24 transports per 24-hour shift in 2022, a high call volume year, the department was keeping up with current demands. Webb thought Cimarron Hills was likely to obtain an additional ambulance, and he didn’t think Falcon needed one at this time.

Reid requested that they keep the board updated about any ongoing developments.

Webb introduced Carl Powell as a part-time EMS instructor who is teaching community CPR classes and educational classes.

Lt. Curtis Kauffman was absent for personal reasons. The fire prevention report showed 16 inspections, 32 follow-ups, three new projects, two fire finals and two EDARPs (Electronic Development Application Review Program) for the last month. No additional updates were noted.

Maintenance building project update

Harwig met with Hammers Construction; the engineering for the metal building was done and it has been ordered. They were on schedule and will finalize the rest of their drawings to submit to regional by April 8. Groundbreaking was planned for May. The ground engineers raised the building 1 foot to make the sewer drop work, which will necessitate a grade change.

Change order No. 1 was a $69,000 decrease for the service agreement related to the design. The draw request No. 1 was a $25,256 deposit for the metal building required for delivery. Both were considered standard practices for the ongoing construction process.

The board unanimously approved both measures with the above clarifications.

Station 1 parcel/sheriffs substation update

Petersma mentioned the recent article in The Gazette about the substation, which revealed a plan to start the project in June. Harwig had discussed clarification on parking signage at the new building and the fire hydrant location. They were still awaiting three construction easements from the county.

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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