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Peyton fire district receives safety award

Pinnacle Assurance Company, which provides workers’ compensation insurance to employers in Colorado, awarded its 2008 Circle of Safety Award last month to the Peyton Fire Protection District.Donna Frost, safety consultant for Pinnacle, said 42 out of 60,000 policyholders were nominated for the award. “A board reviewed the nominations, and only 29 policyholders actually received the award,” Frost said.Other recipients include the Cunningham Fire Protection District in Denver as well as general, electrical, concrete, landscape and excavation contractors throughout Colorado.To be a finalist for the award, an employer had to have been a policyholder for four consecutive years, have no non-compliant year-end audits, work with designated medical providers and report 80 percent of claims within 48 hours, Frost said.Finalists also had to have two or fewer cancellation notices, a cost containment certification, an approved return-to-work program and a loss ratio of 25 percent or less for the last three years, she said.A loss ratio is the amount of paid premiums versus the amount paid out in claims, said Sue Silverthorn, Peyton fire district’s insurance agent.Silverthorn said the Peyton fire district also received safety awards from Colorado Emergency Services Association, of which the district is a member, in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.”There’s a very positive attitude among the firefighters,” said Assistant Chief Mike Deckard. “We’re moving in the right direction. We’ve got great support, a good board, and the community has really stood behind us. This award says a lot about the dedication.””We’re grateful for the respect, acknowledgement and support the community gives us,” said Capt. Troy Anderson. “That keeps us safety minded, so when these awards come, we very much appreciate it.”Anderson talked about some of the district’s safety policies.”When we go anywhere near a structure fire, the firefighters are wearing a self-contained breathing apparatus,” Anderson said. “If I catch them without their SCBAs, they get pulled off – no questions asked.”Firefighters are now required to wear reflective vests at traffic accidents to be visible. Our new fire chief [Jack Rauer] insisted on that.”Deckard said they are now responding to traffic accidents with two firefighters directing traffic on each end, watching each other’s back.”The speed limit on Highway 24 is 65 miles per hour, and not all drivers slow down for us. We want everybody to go home safe,” Deckard said.Anderson said the district is continuing to send two students to firefighter training at Pikes Peak Community College every semester, as well as two students to emergency medical technician training.”We feel very grateful to the board and the community for supporting that effort,” Anderson said.”Our minimum criterion is for new firefighters to be Firefighter I and EMT-certified within two years of getting on the department. The firefighters have stepped up and said, ‘yes, we’ll do it,’ even though it takes time from their families and time from their jobs. That’s been a great asset to this department.””The attitude of all the firefighters is great,” Deckard said. “You can tell by the dedication that they really care. They’re not here just to put on the uniform and drive a big red truck with flashing red lights. They truly care about their community and the dedication shows.”Anderson said they’re making progress on the tests required to lower the district’s Insurance Services Office rating. The board set a goal for the firefighters, but Anderson said they wanted to beat it by six months.Deckard confirmed that Colorado District Court recently overturned the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners’ decision to allow 676 acres of the Santa Fe Springs development to become part of the Falcon Fire Protection District.”That decision will help us with our ISO rating by providing commercial revenue to the district in the future,” Deckard said.

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