Inter-Canyon Fire plans special meeting on finances

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By Daniel Laverty

Members of the Inter-Canyon Fire District board have scheduled a special meeting to discuss the district’s financial forecast and the current status of the department.

“We feel we need to get back to strategic planning and take a look at our financial plan moving forward,” board President Michael Reddy said at the Inter-Canyon board meeting last Wednesday.

The special meeting comes in the wake of accusations that former chief Dave MacBean embezzled approximately $643,000 from Inter-Canyon’s reserve fund from 2010 to 2012.

Board Treasurer Karl Firor said operations were not affected by the alleged theft but that the district’s reserves were “decimated.”

The board will meet from 8 a.m. to noon March 1 at the Mountain Resource Center, and will discuss rebuilding Inter-Canyon’s reserves and moving forward with vehicle purchases.

Reddy said the board intends to seek restitution after MacBean’s criminal case is over. MacBean’s arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 27.

New locks

Inter-Canyon had electronic locks installed at its four stations last month to increase security and to keep track of who is entering stations and when.

Fire Chief Randy Simpson decided to leave one door at each station with a traditional lock as the staff adjusts to the new electronic keys. The standard locks will be removed at the end of this month, Simpson said.

Simpson has also implemented a penalty system for lost keys. Replacement keys, which cost about $9, will cost staff members $25 to replace. Simpson said once a key is reported missing, the card can be erased from the system, rendering it useless.

New technology

Simpson and Inter-Canyon firefighter and paramedic Dan Hatlestad said the district is looking at implementing “I Am Responding,” a computer program that would notify the department about who and how many firefighters can and are responding to an emergency.

“It’s basically a computer program and smart-phone app that people can ‘check in’ with to let us know they are available to respond to calls,” Hatlestad said. “I can look at a screen at the station and see who is available.”

During emergencies, a responding firefighter who arrives at the station could look at a monitor and see who is responding and when they expect to arrive at the station.

Hatlestad said the Foothills Fire Department has already implemented “I Am Responding.” A call to Foothills was not returned by press time, but Hatlestad said he’s heard Foothills likes the program.

“I haven’t heard any negative reviews,” Hatlestad said. “The program is focused on departments like ours, where people are responding from their homes. It’s really a great time for new technology in firefighting.”

Simpson said he wants to wait until the district, along with the other mountain departments, makes the move from the Jeffco dispatch service to Evergreen dispatch.

“I don’t want to overwhelm people with the move to Evergreen and this new system,” Simpson said.

The “I Am Responding” system would cost the district $1,000 annually, Simpson said. For more information, visit www.iamresponding.com.

Inter-Canyon’s next regular board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 12 at Station 1, 7939 S. Turkey Creek Road in Morrison.

For more information, visit www.intercanyonfire.org.

Contact Daniel Laverty at 303-350-1042 or Daniel@evergreenco.com. Follow Daniel on Twitter @LavertyReports.