Investing in personnel, equipment is paramount
Two years ago this month I had the unthinkable happen for an emergency worker. Someone had to call 911 for me. I had spent almost 20 years as a police officer. I didn’t call 911, I responded. However, I had become critically ill and I needed emergency medical care.
I remember two things about those moments in time: hearing the fire truck pull up in front of my house and the young paramedic I had known since he was a little boy enter my living room. His dad had been a volunteer fireman and he had grown up surrounded by that tradition. Now he was there with other members of the CFD and SWMH ambulance, and their immediate response started the process of saving my life.
When I learned that the CFPD was seeking public support for a mill levy increase I wanted to know why. I took the opportunity to sit down with Assistant Chief Charles Balke and find out. I learned that it is the priority of the chief’s office and the Cortez Fire Protection District board is to provide service to community, coupled with the safety of those who work within its ranks.
I found out that the department is using air packs that are so old they can no longer even get parts for them. These air packs are approximately $6,500 apiece; replacing them is paramount, but current funds certainly don’t allow that. This, among other equipment needs, would be priority for these mill levy funds, in conjunction with maintaining full time firefighters and paramedics for immediate response to the community.
We are lucky in this community to have this forward-thinking and professional organization. There is never a time when the need for emergency service takes a holiday. The mill levy increase that the department is asking for is equivalent to approximately $2.50 a month — less than a happy meal, or a fancy cup of coffee. I hope you will join me and vote in favor of the Cortez Fire Protection District’s request for a mill levy increase.