I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season!
It has been a very busy few months at Lyons Fire. I have a lot of changes and a few very exciting things to report to all of you that have developed over the past few months.
REGIONAL GRANT RECEIVED
First, the Lyons Fire Protection District, along with Allenspark Fire, Hygiene Fire, Pinewood Springs Fire and Lefthand Fire were awarded $1.4 million dollars in the Assistance to Firefighters Grant this year. We wrote these grants as a region to assure that we were helping all our partners that respond with us on a regular basis.
The first grant we received was for $607,000 for new self-contained breathing apparatus that we wear to protect our firefighters from breathing toxic and hot gasses during fires. All the departments in our region had air packs that were very old and coming up on the end of their service life; and we all were struggling to get parts for them to keep them operational.
The new air packs have the latest, best technology in them and enables us to be fully functional with each other because we are all using the same equipment. In the past, each department has purchased their own equipment, and it has presented challenges of being functional with each other. We are all very excited about this upgrade, and it will enable us to increase safety for our firefighters and allow us to deliver better service to our communities.
The second grant that we received was for $822,000 for a major radio upgrade for our departments. These new, dual-band, radios will give us better communication capabilities in our departments and allow us to communicate with our auto and mutual aid departments if we need them. During big events, it is often necessary to call other departments that have different radio capabilities and has often caused communication issues in the past. With this new radio, we will be able to mitigate those issues and assure that our firefighters can communicate with any agency that may come to assist us in the future.
The third grant that Lyons Fire received was to purchase new heart monitors that will be put into service this winter. These heart monitors will allow us to further increase our service capability to the community by starting to move our department to advanced life support in the future.
As many of you already know, we depend on AMR to provide paramedic level service when a medical emergency occurs in our fire district. Often, they are responding from the City of Boulder and have extended response times to our district. Our plan is to start upgrading our equipment so that in the future we can have Paramedics on staff in our department to provide that service on a much quicker basis. This was also discussed at many of the community meetings regarding our mill levy increase.
MILL LEVY INCREASE
As many of you know, the Lyons Fire Protection District held a mill levy increase election back in the spring of 2022. The mill levy increase passed by a 3-1 margin.
One of the major reasons for this increase was to increase our staffing to provide adequate, safe responses to wildfires, and other emergencies in our community. In the past, we depended heavily on our volunteer staff to respond to these types of incidents and on occasion only had one person on the truck when a wildfire was reported. The increase in revenue allows us to staff at a higher level to assure that if a wildfire does occur, we can respond with adequate staffing to start safely and effectively mitigate the emergency.
In the past we only had one person on duty per day and depended on volunteers to supplement our staffing. That can be a huge challenge at times during the workweek and on weekends. With the mill levy increase, we were able to increase our staffing from one to three on duty every day. This significate increase in staffing has allowed our firefighter to respond to calls more quickly, decrease our response times because we no longer must wait for adequate staffing to get to the station before we respond and allowed us to arrive with three fully trained personnel to handle any emergency. This increase in staffing has already proved to be lifesaving on a few calls that if we had a delayed response the person may have lost their life.
As we saw with the Marshal Fire last year, it is important to have staffing that can respond quickly to wildfires and other emergencies. Wildfires will continue to grow, will threaten lives and homes, and do significant damage to our community unless we have adequate staffing to respond to these calls. We are excited that the community agrees with my plans and allowed us to increase our staffing as we have.
I want to wish all of you a happy and safe New Year! Our new motto for the Lyons Fire Protection District is “Our family helping your family”. Our family will be here to protect your family during this coming year. Stay safe!
………………….Fire Chief Peter A. Zick, Lyons Fire Protection District
Two additional updates
January 15, 2023 — Ice rescue training was held at McCall Lake. Hygiene and Lyons Fire personnel had the opportunity to practice skills needed to save a life of someone who might fall through the ice.
November 2023 — Lyons Fire Dept. got a new truck.