Firefighters Endorse Fire District Proposal
The volunteer firefighters of the Estes Park Volunteer Fire Department have voted to support the forming of a Fire Protection District as the best option to continue to provide the Estes Valley with the services it has come to expect and to prepare the Fire Department for future challenges. The firefighters delivered their letter of support to Estes Park Bill Pinkham this summer.
The mission of the Estes Park Volunteer Fire Department is to provide the people of the Estes Valley with fire prevention, fire protection and other emergency services in a same and efficient manner. The EPVFD members said, “The mission cannot be accomplished without support of the community to provide the required equipment and apparatus, the dedication of the volunteers to train and to respond to all emergencies, and an adequate and stable funding structure.” Stable funding is needed, for example, to replace aging equipment. While the industry standard for replacement starts at 15 years, the average age of the EPVFD front-line fire engines is over 29 years.
Volunteer Fire Captain Bo Winslow shared his perspective on the district with town employees, saying, “As a volunteer, I feel the District is the best way to move forward serving our growing community. While the Town government has supported the department for many years, we still have to fundraise to supplement that support of the department. A mill levy would provide the department funding from the entire community. We could shift our focus from asking for money to more training and education to do our best work serving the community.”
Currently, residents outside the Town limits may pay an optional subscription fee for fire services; non-subscribers are directly billed for services provided. Both practices will be eliminated if voters approve the formation of the Estes Valley Fire Protection District this fall.