Rico Fire PD Reviews Service Area Expansion Goals

RFPD Board Meeting - September 16, 2019

  • Grant request submitted for EMT training.
  • Compressed-air breathing tanks due for replacement.

The Rico Fire Protection District Board held its regular monthly meeting September 16, 2019, 7:00 PM at the Fire Station. The agenda included possible expansion of RFPD's service area, future EMT training, and compressed-air breathing apparatus tanks replacement.

Service Area Expansion

Board members and Chief discussed proposed expansion of service area to include West Fork/Fish Creek and Groundhog areas, south and west of Rico. These areas are not now included in a fire protection district. Groundhog is accessible approximately May 1 through November.

Fire station construction at both locations will be considered, depending on site availabilities. Other fire departments would be able to respond to fires and emergencies in the new areas if RFPD is unable or needs assistance. These neighboring fire departments include Dolores, Norwood, Cortez and Mancos.

A vote to approve annexation into RFPD by qualified electors in the proposed areas is required.

EMT Training

A grant application has been submitted for EMT training class expenses to a Colorado organization which provides such funding. The standard grant requires a 50% local match. RFPD has requested a waiver to reduce the local match to 20%.

EMT training class tuition will be $2,000 per student. RFPD plans to send six firefighters to EMT training. Southwest Medical of Cortez is the most likely provider of the training.

Replace Breathing Apparatus Compressed Air Tanks

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Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) tanks constructed of lightweight "composite" materials are carried in backpacks to provide firefighters a source of compressed, breathable air. The apparatus is similar to SCUBA gear for underwater diving. The letter "U" is omitted from the acronym for above-water apparatus.

Six of RFPD's composite SCBA tanks are near or at end-of-life -- "aged-out." Replacement is needed to assure reliability. Cost is about $1,000 per tank.

Other Agenda Items

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2020 Budget will be ready for review at the October 2019 meeting.