The new falcon herald logo.
Falcon Fire Protection District (FFPD)

Still going strong

The past few months have been challenging for members of the Falcon Fire Protection District. Three senior officers were placed on paid leave in April, investigated, and reinstated in July. During their absence, the Black Forest fire ignited in June. One of the reinstated battalion chiefs was demoted to firefighter and has since left the fire department. The deputy chief of operations resigned in August. It was a lot of conflict, uncertainty, and stress for any organization to deal with, and local residents might wonder how FFPDís personnel were affected. The answer: FFPD firefighters and EMS personnel are still giving the community their best on a daily basis.Nothing has changedìItís business as usual,î said Lt. Rob Riege. ìWe still have jobs to do. We still have a service to provide to the community.îBattalion Chief Curtis Kauffman said the levels of service in the district havenít diminished, either as a result of the chiefsí absence or the Black Forest fire. ìWeíre still here. If they (residents) call, we will still be there.î Even as FFPD crews worked on the fire, they kept stations at normal staffing levels with a little mutual aid assistance from neighboring departments. ìOur response times never dropped,î Kauffman said. ìEveryone stepped up. Iím proud of every single one of them.îEvery day, FFPD calendars are filled. One crew cited a day in August when they were booked from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. with community meetings, public education events and training. Training hours dipped during June when crews were occupied with the Black Forest fire, but Kauffman said those hours are being made up in addition to regularly scheduled training. Hazardous materials training required by the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, driver/operator certifications and tactics for wildland firefighting are just a few of the subjects FFPD personnel have recently tackled.In between all of these activities; vehicles, equipment and stations must be cleaned, checked and maintained. Of course, everything comes to a halt when alarms come in. Crews still manage to eke out time for meals, and there are no complaints. Their dedication to the district and the community they serve is what keeps FFPD firefighters and EMS personnel going. ìNothingís changed on the job we still love,î said Trace Reeves, firefighter.Community dedication and supportThe FFPD personnel interviewed for this article expressed a desire to provide nothing less than the best service for district residents, regardless of other recent issues. From the chiefs to the firefighters, everyone agrees that the community comes first. Firefighter Matt Suebe said, ìThey (the citizens) deserve our services, and weíre more than happy, willing, and able to give that to them.îThat dedication was recognized by district residents who showed their support during the Black Forest fire. Citizens generously donated food and other supplies, sent cards and letters of appreciation and hung posters and banners. Even a handshake and a simple ìthank youî meant a lot to emergency workers. Suebe said the residentsí gratitude was ìbeyond anything Iíve ever seen.îMoving through and moving onInstead of allowing strife to split the organization, crews are closing ranks. Several firefighters talked about stronger bonds that have developed between shifts and within crews, and attributed this renewed sense of camaraderie to both the Black Forest fire and the nearly three-month-long investigation of three chief officers. ìWeíre not going to let political issues bring us to a halt,î said Brendan McNab, firefighter.Reserve firefighter Kelley De Laney agreed. ìFalcon as a family is staying strong,î she said. ìWe just keep our heads up, do the job we love to do, continue to train and become efficient with our skills and provide outstanding service to the community. We won’t let what happens inside the station affect what happens outside the station when it comes to providing emergency services.îKauffman is optimistic about the future. ìWeíre taking that experience and weíre moving forward,î he said. ìFalcon Fire is going to be better than ever.î

StratusIQ Fiber Internet Falcon Advertisement

Current Weather

Search Businesses

Search Businesses