‘Grand Lake Fire is doing great’
Ryan Summerlin April 29, 2014
To the Editor
Grand Lake Fire is doing great. I have been a volunteer with Grand Lake Fire for longer than three years, and I can assure you that Grand Lake Fire Department it’s far better than it has ever been.
In the last three years, I have been to almost all of the Grand Lake Fire Board meetings, so I know what has gone on.
Grand Lake Fire is 100 percent transparent. The fire department board meetings have always been open to anyone. The meeting notices and agendas are publicly posted per Colorado State law and the doors to the meetings are open with the exception of executive sessions.
Grand Lake Fire is absolutely fiscally responsible. In fact, Grand Lake Fire has a cash reserve of $2 million dollars. This is critical for a small town to ensure viability when tax revenues fall. The Fire Department must be able to provide service to the community in which it serves and Chief Long and the Board of Directors work very hard to make sure the Department is strong for day-to-day operations as well as for the future.
Chief Long led the Fire Department through an ISO audit, bringing our district’s rating from a 6-9 up to an ISO 4, which continues to save many homeowners money on their insurance premiums. No matter where you live in the district, your home has an ISO 4 rating, which is extraordinary since most of our district does not have fire hydrants. No other Grand County Fire district has an ISO 4. That’s $$$$ in our pockets, people.
You can thank Chief Long for the Fire Department’s EMTs responding to medical calls. With the board’s approval, he worked to put this service in place more than nine years ago. We have staff and volunteer certified EMTs who respond to all incidents. No other Fire Department in Grand County responds to medical calls, except for Hot Sulphur Springs Fire, which they just recently started.
It is invaluable for our Fire Department to be able to fight wildland fires. Because of Chief Long ensuring we have properly trained and certified wildland personnel, we have wildland crews capable of mounting the initial attack while waiting for outside resources to show up, potentially saving lives, homes, and property.
In my humble taxpayer opinion, Chief Long is worth every penny he is paid. He has made an incredible contribution to this community and the fire district ensuring we have the highest level of trained staff and volunteer personnel as well as overseeing the business of running a Fire Department and making tough decisions when they are needed or unpopular. Our Fire District is safe and thriving because of the current leadership of Chief Long and our board of directors.