Fire Department Prepares for Coronavirus ~ COVID-19

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Rico Fire Protection District serves as the administrative arm for the operation of the Rico Fire Department. -

Proposed District expansion economics questioned.

Adjoining property purchase one step closer.

Water rescue training described.

July 4 weekend events schedule reviewed.

Director election cancelled due to incumbent directors were the only candidates.

Rico Fire Protection District

Board of Directors monthly meeting

March 11, 2020

Rico Fire Protection District (RFPD) Administrator David Kunz reported to RFPD directors on Rico Fire Department's coronavirus/COVID-19 response training, and on the status of other regional medical transport and care provider preparedness:

Rico Fire Department training - March 10

  • how to protect yourself from possible coronavirus exposure when assisting a person needing medical assistance or transport.
  • face mask, safety glove, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) storage locations in ambulance and other Department vehicles.
  • ambulance cleaning and sanitizing procedure after transporting patient to medical facility.

Other providers

  • Rico receives coronavirus/COVID-19 information and updates via daily email from State of Colorado and first-responder agencies.
  • Medical facilities at Telluride and Cortez are preparing.  Southwest Memorial Hospital at Cortez conducts a daily briefing and is creating triage spaces.
  • Other first-responder departments in the area are training in procedures similar to Rico.

RFPD's website has links to U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) coronavirus/COVID-19 information.

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Southwest Memorial Hospital - Cortez. Photo-image at SW Health Systems Facebook page.

Other Business . . .

2020 director election

Directors considered and approved a resolution cancelling the election and a declaration deeming the candidates elected. Incumbents Tyler Lapp, Susan Robertson and Stacy Sheridan terms of office expire May 5, 2020, and were the only Rico citizens who submitted self-nominating petitions to be candidates for election to new three-year terms.

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Proposed Fire District expansion

Reviewed status of possible expansion to include West Fork and Groundhog areas south and southwest of Rico. Annual property tax revenue from the new area would be slightly more than 50% of the District's annual revenue from the existing Rico area. The new service area would be 4 to 5 times larger than the current Rico District. Annual cost to provide service to the proposed new area is unknown, and may be greater than the new property tax revenues. Expansion may not be in the best interest of RFPD.

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Fire Chief's report

Todd Jones reported on "runs" since the previous Board meeting, EMT training which began earlier in 2020 and is in progress, and swiftwater/whitewater rescue training which is expected to be available for Department members during high-runoff season.

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Property purchase

The District is considering purchase of two Rico lots and a portion of a third. This combined area adjoins the Rico Fire Station property on the south. Directors reviewed details regarding appointment of District representatives authorized to sign real estate purchase documents.

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Fourth of July schedule

Rico Fire Department coordinates this annual community event. Entertainment includes the RFPD Duck Race on the Dolores River, Parade, Dusk Light Parade, and Fireworks Show.

Dining events consist of "Burgers, Dogs, Bratwurst and BBQ" at the Rico Firehouse, and "Old Timers & Community Barbecue Picnic" at Town Park. The Rico Center sponsors both meals.

Rico Women's Club conducts a craft sale.

The "draft" schedule may be viewed at and in the Ore Cart - Events Calendar section.