Volunteers want a fire board that will support their sacrifices
What do the volunteer firefighters want?
I have personally been asked this question by countless Evergreen citizens who know my involvement against the recall. For those that know me personally, you know I am passionate about safety and training.
Our volunteers spend more than 10,000 hours per year training. This training building will provide:
• Ventilation/roof operations
• Power tools/forcible entry
• Victim and firefighter search-and-rescue
• Team building/leadership/officer development
• Hose management/fire streams
• Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) salvage
• Overhaul fire behavior and suppression
• Confined space/basement operations
• RIT (rapid intervention team)
• Firefighter bailout/firefighter survival
• Alarms/sprinklers/standpipe operations
• Fire investigation
• Apparatus/equipment operations
• Incident command
Oh, and they will use the building for live-fire training for 36 hours per year burning firewood.
What do the volunteers want? They want a board of directors that supports them in their efforts to save lives. They unanimously passed a resolution supporting the current board:
“The members of the Evergreen Volunteer Fire Department express their full support and appreciation to all of the directors of the Evergreen Fire Protection District board. We strongly oppose the potential recall of these directors and feel that such a recall would jeopardize the safety of the community, including ambulance, rescue and fire responses.”
When directly questioned if ignoring up to three hours per month was too much to ask to support our volunteers so they could train with live fire, board candidate Barry Pier said, “I think that is a huge imposition to ask of anybody.”
I wholeheartedly disagree. Please vote NO RECALL and visit www.no-recall.org for questions about your ballots.
Committee to Save Evergreen Fire/Rescue District
– No Recall
Top 10 untruths from the fire board supporters
Below are the Top 10 Untruths publicized by the “no recall” group and corresponding facts revealed by the recall committee and candidates.
• “Citizens voted for the burn building.” Mill-levy documents referred to a nonexistent “strategic plan”; EFR’s “master plan” specifies a clean (gas burning) class B facility, not the hazardous (wood burning) class A facility being built.
• “The board wants to be good neighbors.” The burn building will not comply with HOA covenants for excessive noise, smoke, odors, etc. And the board recommends homeowners stay indoors, close their windows and not use their fireplaces during fire training.
• “The board met with the HOAs in the area; all favor the burn building.” The board met with only one HOA, and it did not agree with the proposal.
• “Bergen Meadow school parents are OK with the burn building.” Parents were given a flier stating no wood will be burned due to related issues, but now the plan is to burn wood. And concerns raised by parents and sent to the principal were not answered.
• “Jeffco Public Health has no concerns about the burn building.” The board has yet to implement any of the county health department’s or Planning Commission’s recommendations to monitor and mitigate impacts.
• “Fire training elsewhere is going to leave us without cover.” EFR has enough apparatus and personnel to send groups of reasonable size and retain sufficient coverage. And most firefighters work down the hill, so EFR deals with the exact same scenario every day.
• “Firefighters’ response times are within five minutes.” A first responder is typically on site within 10 minutes, but the first apparatus only arrives on site for structural fires less than half the time within the 12-minute goal (per EFR’s “master plan”).
• “The recall ‘statistical analysis’ (and resulting substandard response times) guessed addresses and does not factor our district, guidelines or reality.” The analysis used the more lenient NFPA rural standard (versus a combination of more suburban, rural and less-remote structures) and thus is independent of addresses, and is based on EFR’s own “master plan.”
• “The recall expense is unnecessary.” If the board was concerned, it would not have chosen a format three times more expensive ($200,000 for a mail-in ballot versus $70,000 for a polling-place election) and would not be constructing a burn building that costs eight times more to operate ($92,500 annually versus $11,200 annually renting).
• “The recall committee wants a paid fire department.” As expressed numerous times, we have no intentions to replace committed volunteer firefighters with an expensive paid department.
With all due respect for our fellow citizens, the institution, and our courageous firefighters who deserve better leadership and representation, please vote yes on A, B, C and D.
candidate for the EFPD board
EFR was professional, responsive in wake of house fire
On July 19, 2012, my home at 26082 Fern Gulch Road was destroyed by fire. As a result of this personal loss, I was able to observe not only the professional work of the volunteer firefighters but also the management of the fire by Evergreen Fire/Rescue. I, along with members of the Bear Mountain Vista HOA Board of Directors, later met with the EFPD board, Fire Marshal Frank Dearborn and Fire Chief Mike Weege to assess their fire response to my fire and to consider if any procedures could be improved upon.
We discussed improved road signage (which has been installed), widening a bad choke point at a key intersection (completed), and the addition of cisterns that would serve 200-plus homes on Bear Mountain. At all times every single individual, whether a volunteer firefighter, management, or the board, was completely professional, responsive and cooperative, and dedicated to doing a better job of serving the Evergreen community.
Now there is an election to recall the duly elected fire district board. Why? It appears to me a small group of The Ridge at Hiwan homeowners with a NIMBY (not in my backyard) attitude is forcing the board to spend precious tax dollars (your tax dollars!) to conduct a recall election because they don’t like the location of the new training facility.
Now the law of unintended consequences rears its ugly head. Part of the money being spent on this recall precludes new cisterns being built on Bear Mountain and other water-poor places in Evergreen this year. Our residents will be deprived of the benefits of additional storage cisterns, and the entire community is faced with a reduction of training and response capabilities.
Proposed board recall candidates present no evidence that they would do a better job or they would better serve the interests of the entire district. It appears quite clear that the one thing they would do is serve their own self-interest.
Please vote to retain the current EFRD board; single-interest, self-serving individuals should not be allowed to disrupt the current thoughtful, prudent and professional management of the fire district.
District board has become too insular
Last Wednesday night, I attended the replacement candidates’ community meeting at Evergreen High School. The four fire board recall candidates are running to replace four of the five current members of the EFPD board. The meeting was well organized and had a straightforward format. The candidates presented their positions, backed them up with supporting documentation and comments, and then took written questions from the members of the community, including the irefighters.
Whether you agreed or disagreed with their positions, these candidates provided the EFPD community (taxpayers, and voters) the opportunity to become informed on exactly why these people were running and what their positions were. They provided the community voters the opportunity to participate in our democratic election process.
To my knowledge, the four incumbent EFPD board members are not planning to hold a public community meeting for this election to present their position(s) and to make themselves available to the voters. I do not understand this behavior. It is wrong. It is also now too late for a meaningful meeting. I am now in a difficult position. I do not want to vote for a candidate who does not want to make his case to the community in a public forum for an election. At best it shows a lack of sensitivity, and at worst it is a serious misunderstanding of the election process in the U.S.
EFPD residents have provided the Evergreen fire department with most, if not all, of the money, through their taxes, to fund top-of-the-line personal fire gear; top-of-the-line, and in some cases over-the-top, fire equipment, including fire trucks, tanker trucks and brush trucks, also facilities and much more.
The supporters of the current fire board, who sent their election mailings, did a tremendous disservice to the fire department, the firefighters, the district board and the community by putting out a postcard with the picture of fire department members with comments denigrating and demeaning “a small, loud, wealthy, entitled group.” It was wrong. Pitching class warfare is unacceptable. Let’s pull our community together, not divide it.
I am very uncomfortable with my perception that some members of the fire department have an attitude that implies: “We are from the government (as in tax-supported), we are here to help you, we know best, give us your money, and we will take care of you. (shades of the federal government).”
The EFPD board has become too insular. At least some of the current board members need to be replaced to provide a better balance and perspective for the benefit of the community, which includes the firefighters.
Thanks for attending community meeting
Thanks to all for attending the April 3 meeting at Evergreen High School.
Myself, Barry, Dan, and Jodi — candidates for the Evergreen Fire Protection District board — wish to thank all of those from the community, including our firefighters, citizens and others, who took time to attend this meeting, ask great questions and receive our answers to them. Those questions not answered because we ran out of time and where an e-mail address was provided are being answered. This meeting was the first opportunity for us to meet with our firefighters as a group, and confirmed that our firefighters are a proud and dedicated group of professionals who serve our community well.
With all due respect, and please vote with your hearts.
EFPD board candidate
Fire board members are unresponsive
As a resident of a condominium near Station 2 of the EFPD, I initially became interested in the proposed burn training building with a “not in my backyard” concern. However, having attended several of the community meetings on this subject, it seems to me that the current board members are not only relatively unresponsive but actually neglectful of the community’s well being.
Now having seen their well orchestrated campaign to retain their positions, I am convinced it is time to vote out the politicians and vote in some real citizens!