The Importance of Colorado Centre Fire Department
FROM THE FIRE DEPARTMENT CHIEF JOSH WINTER
In the world of professional Fire Departments saying “we got lucky” is not an option. It is not by luck that the Colorado Centre Fire Department can operate in such an efficient manner. Colorado Centre Fire Department was designed to get two highly trained Firefighters to your emergencies as quickly as possible. We are then followed up by a full emergency response from the City of Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD). The closest CSFD unit is a minimum of 15 minutes away. If you consider that a fire doubles in size every minute, you can understand why it is imperative that we get firefighters to the fire in minutes.
Colorado Centre Firefighters are not volunteers. Each Firefighter is a paid professional Firefighter that works full time for another Fire Department. One minimum requirement for Colorado Centre Firefighters is that they have been a full time paid firefighter for a professional Fire Department for a minimum of three years. Having said that, a majority of our Firefighters have been professional Firefighters for more than 10 years. This accomplishes many goals, but one benefit to Colorado Centre is the cost savings to the District. One full time professional Firefighter will cost as much as one hundred thousand dollars by the time they are prepared to save lives. We are able to hand pick and contract firefighters that are ready to work as part of a two person team the day we bring them on board at no cost to the district. Most Fire Departments have to put their Firefighters through 12 to 21 week academies before allowing them to work in the firefighter position. For all other Fire Departments there is ongoing cost to keep the many Firefighter Certifications up to date. By contracting our firefighters, each one must maintain their certifications through their full time Department. This again is a huge cost savings to the District. Colorado Centre Firefighters must follow National Fire Protection Association rules as their guidelines and all have a minimum of an Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B) Certification. Our firefighters all have past experience from other Fire Departments that give them real world emergency situations to base their decision making on.
A recent example of Colorado Centre’s success is the quick response and direct actions of the crew during the recent vegetation fire along Marksheffel Road. This fire started just west of the neighborhood homes, and if it was not immediately attacked, could have jumped Marksheffel Road and threatened homes. Our Firefighters were able to attack the fire from in between the flame front and the homes. This stopped the forward progress for the fire and held it until resources from CSFD arrived on-scene to help fully extinguish the fire. If Colorado Centre Firefighters were not in place to have made the right strategic and tactical decisions, Colorado Centre could have easily lost homes.
In medical emergencies where life support measures such as CPR are needed your firefighters can arrive anywhere in the Colorado Centre area in less than 5 minutes. This immediate response has saved the lives of residents that would not be alive today if the response times were longer. In all emergencies the most critical actions are taken by the first arriving unit. This is why it is so important that we have qualified professional Firefighters responding to your emergencies.
Not only is your Fire Department there for the immediate response to 911 calls, but we have also implemented an annual Fire Safety Day. The goal of this event is to help educate the community in a family fun way. Our intention is that this education will prevent many types of emergencies from taking place. In addition to this we aim to teach the community what to do in many types of emergencies.
I hope this gives you a glimpse into how Colorado Centre Fire Department is set up and why it is so important that we are right around the corner from you and your loved ones. If you have any questions, I encourage you to stop by your Fire Station and meet the on duty crew. Let them give you a tour of the station and answer any questions that you might have. Josh Winter, Fire Chief