Gold Hill Fire Department

911 info from the GHFPD

August 15th, 2017

What to Expect When You Call 911

When you place a 911 call, it goes to Boulder County Dispatch, which calls out the Gold Hill Fire Department (GHFD), the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance. This call goes out to all of the agencies at the same time, for both medical and fire emergencies.

The GHFD responds to 911 medical emergencies and provides basic life support on scene. Basic life support includes, but is not limited to; heart defibrillation, bleeding control, help with breathing issues, fracture stabilization and care for any medical issue like diabetic emergencies, for example. The GHFP carries oxygen and can assist a patient with nitroglycerine, MD Inhalers, aspirin, oral glucose and epinephrine auto injectors.

The GHFD functions under the strict protocols of Boulder County and under a Boulder Community Hospital physician adviser, Doctor Todd Dorfman.

The GHFD First Responders will typically arrive on scene in under 10 minutes. AMR will arrive on scene within 15-30 minutes of receiving the 911 call, depending on where the emergency is in the fire district. AMR will provide Advanced Life Support and transport the victim to the hospital, if needed.

The GHFD has mutual aid agreements with all agencies in Boulder County that respond on emergencies. This includes assistance in search and rescue, swift water rescue, search dogs, SWAT etc. The GHFD has an auto-aid agreement with Sunshine and Four Mile. They will be toned automatically to aid in calls closer to those fire districts.

The fire department can place a request for early shut down will tell responders to turn off sirens prior to arrival, if this is prudent.

A competent patient can refuse transport by AMR, even if AMR does a patient assessment on scene. AMR will have a patient refusal form to sign. If the competent patient refuses transport, they can arrange for someone to transport them to the hospital. That driver must follow all traffic rules! If you ask someone to take you to the hospital, depending on your condition, you may be putting yourself and/or the person transporting you at risk. There is spotty cell phone coverage in the mountains and a cell phone may not work. If the patient’s condition gets worse in transport it could result in irreversible health issues or death.

A Sheriff Officer also responds to all 911 calls to provide scene safety. Depending on the 911 call, the scene may need to be cleared for safety by the Sheriff’s Officer prior to the GHFD entering.

For a fire emergency, all three agencies will also respond.


Never hesitate to call 911; it could be a matter of life or death.



GHFPD Apology

August 15th, 2017

August 14, 2017

Gold Hill Fire Protection District

1011 Main Gold Hill

Boulder Colorado, 80302


Attendees of the Gold Hill 4th of July Parade


To those affected,

It has come to the attention of the Gold Hill Fire Protection District (GHFPD) that a 4th of July float carrying water hoses and water balloons, negatively impacted many spectators and participants of this year’s 4th of July parade. The GHFPD would like to issue an apology for the unexpected situation and assure supporters of this crucial fundraising event that this behavior will not be tolerated in the future.

The GHFPD wants to remind parade participants and spectators that water balloons were banned from use during the 4th of July parade many years ago following a series of broken windshields. A water balloon, tossed at unwitting participants, is considered a form of assault. Damaging property is illegal.

The GHFPD established the “Ask First Before You Squirt” campaign the same year the water balloons were banned, and have asked that anyone squirting water, assure the people you are squirting are OK with getting wet, before squirting them. The GHFPD had many complaints this year from people who were soaked and didn’t have a change of clothes, which resulted in those people getting very cold. Many people were negatively impacted in this same way, which is unacceptable.

Please be assured the GHFPD will not allow such behavior during this family oriented fundraiser in the future. The GHPFD looks forward to your attendance next year. Thank you for supporting the Gold Hill Fire Department.



The Gold Hill Fire Protection District


Gold Hill Fire Department’s Pancake Breakfast

June 23rd, 2017

Gold Hill Fire Department’s Pancake Breakfast- Yes, it’s on the 4th!

Pancakes served: 8:30-11:00

Parade to follow at noon. 
Adults $7.00 Children $5.00
Plain or blueberry pancakes, bacon or sausage and beverages.
Free toys for the first 100 kids
Come early and socialize! 
Please park responsibly
No Dogs
Please join the camaraderie of our community and volunteer to help with breakfast. For information and to volunteer, contact Leslie Finn 303-444-5549.

4th of July

June 10th, 2017

Gold Hill Fire Department”s Annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast

Pancakes served from 8:30 am to 11:00 am
Parade at High Noon
Parade floats need to be lined up by 11:45
Free toys for the early birds 
Plain or blueberry pancakes, Bacon or turkey sausage
Coffee, tea and juice. 
Gluten Friendly 
$5.00 children
$7.00 adults
Please Park Responsibly 
Join the breakfast crew and volunteer to help! 
Contact Leslie Finn 303-444-5549,

Fire Board Meeting

January 19th, 2017

Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting, Thursday, January 19, 2017, 7:00 p.m., Community Center


Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting, September 15, 2016

October 18th, 2016


Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting, September 15, 2016

Notes by Gretchen Diefenderfer

Next Meeting is Thursday, October 20, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center

The meeting was called to order by President Rich Lopez. Attending were Bobby Vrba, Paul Garabedian, Rick Geesaman, Chief Chris Finn and community member Gretchen Diefenderfer. Boyd Brown was excused.

Minutes – Rich hasn’t finished preparing last month’s minutes, but will get them out before October’s meeting.

Chief’s Report – Chris reported that the Fire Ban had been rescinded.

     Calls – There have just been essentially non-calls – after being toned out, we weren’t needed. A person of interest ran off into the woods, and the Sheriff’s Department handled the call. There was a medical call during the bicycle race, but we weren’t called. We were called only to handle traffic in Lefthand, and there was a BMW overturned in a ditch, but we were not needed.

     New Truck – He and Bobby have been looking at a 1999 International from Lefthand, with only 10,000 miles on it. It needs a few repairs – the radiator and a leaky drain plug will be replaced, but it is 4WD and fits our other requirements.a Chris strongly suggested by buy this truck. It was custom made for Chief Nyquist, is a diesel, has been tested going up and down Lickskillet.   It barely fits in the bay, but will work. The cost is $90,000 and it’s in the budget. The board voted unanimously to go ahead with the purchase.


Other Business

            Lefthand Dry Hydrants and Plan – Rich gave a long report on long-running negotiations with the County, and it looks like they will go through, with help from the Road Department working in Lefthand. Dave Steinmann helped with the Engineering requirements, ran the computer models and filled out the 404 permit. (ADDENDUM, two hydrants have been installed and the third is staged at the bottom of Lickskillet, to be installed as the bridge work is completed.) Everyone congratulated Rich for his perseverance in seeing this through.

Cisterns Update and plan – Rick reported that, with fracking slowing down, there are used 20,000 gal. water tanks, available for much less than we’d expected. There are several options being considered – possibly working Mike Walker at the Ranch and fixing up the old, cracked pool, which could be a win for everyone, or possibly going back to the old town meadow plan. Rick will continue looking into ideas with the hope of finalizing a plan and getting this project accomplished next summer.

It was decided to work on the Pension Plan and next year’s budget at the next meeting, and the meeting was adjourned.








GHFPD Board Meeting

August 18th, 2016

Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting, July 21, 2016 – notes by Gretchen Diefenderfer

Next Fire Board Meeting, Thursday, August 18, 2016, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center. Regular Board meetings are the third Thursday of every month.

The meeting was called to order by Chair Rich Lopez. Attending were Boyd Brown, Rick Geesaman, Chief Chris Finn, Paul Garabedian, Rich, Bobby Vrba, and community member Gretchen Diefenderfer.

CHIEF’S REPORT – Chris reported that there is now a BURN BAN, which probably means that there could be more fires in areas not highly patrolled, like our woods, since people still have camp fires. Sheriff’s deputies are keeping an eye out, but there aren’t enough to really patrol.  Our firefighters are patrolling and leaving water buckets., and we have posted signs. We’ve been advised not to confront campers with a fire until a deputy is there.

CALLS – On 6/23 they were called to a smoldering power line caused by wind blowing a tree into it. On 7/1 someone smelled propane down Lefthand around the 8.5 mile marker – not found. On July 4th there were a couple of calls – a car fire, which was down Sunshine and our truck got there just as they ran out of water, and a medical for acut head at the Inn. Then we had the Cold Springs fire near Nederland. We sent a tender and 3 people. One factor in the quick response to this is that Smitty, a firefighter with the City of Boulder, but who lives in Ned, got right on it and called everyone.

MAINTENANCE – Our Med truck 5404 is temporarily out of service – it had an axel seal leak and needed new brake shoes

NEW FIRE TRUCK – Lefthand has two trucks for sale, as well as one we can have, and both have been up and down Lickskillet, which is a good recommendation. It only has a 350 gpm pump and we were looking for 500, but it has a Compressed Air Foam (CAF) system.            We’re looking into it.

On out of district fires, when we respond initially, we have to be prepared to support ourselves for up to 24 hours, as far as food and water, etc., because it takes awhile for everything to get set up. We know our firefighters and who can go on what as far as responding before the Feds come in. If the Feds come in, shifts are from 6 to 6 and food, etc. will be all set up. Also, firefighters will need to be certified.

Chris again asked if the Resource Mobilization plan had been sent to the EOC (Emergency Operations Center). Rich sent in in last year and again today. Chris needs a cop for the notebook at the desk so everyone can check our response plans.

OTHER BUSINESS – Boyd raised the issue of rumors of possible illegal grow houses and hash oil production houses in and around Gold Hill. Our protocols are to call the Sheriff and not to go in on an emergency or fire until we are cleared to do so, if we have reason to believe this is the case. Boyd has heard that people are concerned and want us to be prepared. Some issues are that a commercial grow house could be operating in a place with non commercial wiring, which can be dangerous, and as far as hash oil production, a house near Nederland blew up recently, starting a fire. There are regulations in the City, but the County is in the process of putting together regs at this time.

Rich pointed that, from a board perspective, if we know of a fire hazard, we’re responsible and we need to know the rules and regs, Chris added the County operates on a complaint basis, but that we cannot accuse anyone without evidence – the fire department doesn’t operate like police – that’s not our job. Rich suggested that perhaps the Board could send an informational letter to everyone stating the hazards and concerns. He will run it by the County Attorney for an opinion and will look into options to address our concerns.

DRY HYDRANTS – Rich reported that big equipment is marching up Lefthand and the County is agreeable to helping us with the three sites selected so far. What we need is big perforated pipe or big culvert with holes drilled into it to install in or next to the creek and then backfill with big gravel to provide built in places to draft water out of. He spoke with Ted Plank, who directed him to Andy and he has spoken with him as well. Boyd will go shopping tomorrow for pipe or culvert.

CISTERN – Rick has been looking for access for installation and drafting up on Hill Street, but there are leach fields, pumps, tanks, pipe everywhere and it doesn’t look posssible. Joanne Cole called about the East end near Hugh’s, but it looks too steep. He will talk to the Fews.

GRANT – Chris is planning to submit an Assistance to Fire Fighters Grant application – get him information on our needs in order to fill out the form. This is from the Department of Homeland Security.

Rick added that a potential water supply could be the swimming pool at the Colorado Mountain Ranch (it was used in the past when it was functional) – it would take at least $25,000 to fix, but that would be cheaper than installing a 30,000 gal. cistern and would hold 50,000 to 100,00 gallons. He’s planning to talk with Mike Walker about the possibility.



Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting 6-16-16

July 19th, 2016

Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting 6-16-16

Notes by Gretchen Diefenderfer

Next meeting will be Thursday, July 21, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center

The meeting was called to order by Chair Rich Lopez. Attending were Rich, Paul Garabedian, Bobby Vrba, Chief Chris Finn and community member Gretchen Diefenderfer. Rick Geesaman and Boyd Brown had excused absences.

Approval of the minutes was deferred. Rich was not at the last meeting and there was not a quorum to approve them without Rick and Boyd. Gretchen brought up the fact that the minutes aren’t being posted on the website. Chris reported that Dave Sturtz and Rick need to get together and show Rick how to do it.

Chief’s Report

            Calls – Discussed the accident with fatalities out west of town off the old dump road. We had a CISD (Critical Incident Stress Debriefing) two days later, which was a very good thing, as this was a very difficult call for everyone involved. Bobby has installed fence posts around the huge steep sided hole that the victims drove into and it will be filled in in August by the State Forest Service.

            Other News – Allenspark and Lefthand are spearheading an effort to get a share of the funding that Boulder County receives from the USFS for roads and fire protection on forest service lands for the Boulder County Fire Protection Districts. This would help us pay for our firefighting efforts on Federal Lands. All the departments need to be more complete in reporting all the campfires that we attend to capture the data.

Budget – it’s time to start thinking about next years budget.

New Fire Truck – Chris and Bobby have been looking into a new truck from Missouri – looks like it has what we need and would fit. Just a question of how much it would cost.

New Firefighter – Sam has started training and responded on a medical call this summer while he was training with Donal.

Have the Emergency Operations Plan and the Resource Mobilization Plan been completed and turned in to the OEM? Rich will check to make sure.

Responding to Gretchen’s request, Chris said that the 3-part medical reports are no longer being used.   Gretchen still thinks it would be a good thing to have at least a 2-copy form because we are required to keep good records, especially on a big event, and it’s handy to be able to give a copy to AMR.

Next big event is the 4th of July Pancake Breakfast and Parade! Volunteers are still needed.

Review and discussion of GHFPD goals and vision

Dry Hydrants – Rich and Chris will work with Ted Plank. The consultants on the Lefthand Canyon renovations are quite happy to work with us on locating several dry hydrants as they finalize the repairs in the canyon. Rich has obtained permission from several property owners for locating hydrants on their properties.

Cistern – Rick has been handling this and is not here tonight. Gretchen had a report from him for the GHTM that in the next few months we will be putting our plan together in order to get the necessary permits from the Planning Department. He will have a presentation for the next town meeting. Gretchen also reported to the town meeting that a location higher up in the meadow was being considered, which would provide a water supply to the houses on Hill Street in case of a fire. Steffie Wilson was very interested. Plans are not finalized, but Rich added that this 30,000-gallon cistern would be an advantage to everyone in case of fire. They do plan to confer with all the neighbors, rehab everything, and make things good again afterward.

Strategic Planning: Succession plan – not addressed this meeting.

Retirement plan process – we need to apply. Rich has started working on this.

Chris reported that signs are coming that will indicate that there is no parking on one side of our streets where they are narrow. Emergency access can be compromised when we have big events in town.



4th of July Festivities

June 11th, 2016

Gold Hill Fire Department’s Pancake Breakfast – Monday, July 4, 8:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Gold Hill Elementary School  890 Main St, Gold Hill, Colorado 80302

Kids under 12,  $3.75
Adults,  $6.75
Blueberry and Plain pancakes, bacon, all the fixins and beverages.
Fill the Chief’s Fire Boot Fundraiser
Parade to follow at 12:00 PM

Gold Hill Fire Protection Districts’s 4th of July Pancake Breakfast!

June 8th, 2016

WOOO HOOO! It’s that time of year again. The annual Gold Hill Fire Protection Districts’s 4th of July Pancake Breakfast needs volunteers. If you would like to help, please email Leslie Finn at The shifts are two hours 7:30-9:30 and 9:30-11:30.


Fire Board Meeting

May 16th, 2016

Notes on the April 21, 2016 Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board of Directors meeting, by Gretchen Diefenderfer

Next Board Meeting is Thursday, May 19, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center.

The meeting was called to order by Chair Rich Lopez.   Board members Rick Geesaman, Bobby Vrba, Paul Garabedian, and Boyd Brown attended as well as Chief Chris Finn and community member Gretchen Diefenderfer.


Calls – Chris reported that he has met with the School. They had a kid who fell and cut his head and they decided to take him in a car themselves (they had called 9-1-1), with the plan being to meet up with the ambulance on the way down to evaluate him. In the case of the school, School District rules put the teachers in charge of making these decisions. The School District is writing up their protocols and the Fire Departments will meet to go over them and have also given the school the parameters on the information Dispatch needs. The kiddo was fine.

In general, when 9-1-1 is called, our EMTs and Emergency Medical Responders will be on the scene as quickly as possible to assess and stabilize the situation and provide emergency care until the ambulance arrives, as well as call in a helicopter if necessary. Our concern with private citizens taking someone down, either to meet up with an ambulance or to drive all the way to the Emergency Room, is that, if the situation deteriorates, there is no one to care for the patient during transport and no way to communicate with anyone about what is happening.

Training and Maintenance – Training with the 3 departments continues on a monthly basis. The training schedule is posted at Maintenance on the trucks and equipment is ongoing.

County Emergency Operations and Mobilization Plan – Chris wanted to make sure this was signed and sent in. Rich will double check.

Road Issues – There is a chunk of road between County 52 and Mount Alto where fire trucks can’t make it. Chris will go out, take measurements and meet with the County about work on this, since this is a County Road.

New Fire Truck – Chris thought he had found a truck, but it will not meet our needs and a new one will cost $300,000 plus. He will continue to look, as will Bobby, but he recommends the board form a committee to start writing specs, get the proposal sheet forms from various companies that build trucks, and meet with their salesmen. Paul, Bobby, and Rich will work on this.

Chris will not be at the board meeting in May, and Rich will not either.


Election matters – Oaths of office need to be administered, and filed various places. Gretchen, our Designated Election Official, originally thought we could do that at this meeting, but it has to be done within 30 days after the date of the election, which was May 3 (and was cancelled since we had no more candidates than offices to fill). We will take care of this at the next meeting. The transparency notice has been updated and all copies will need to be filed, posted and sent to our lawyer.

Cisterns – Rick will meet with the County to get their direction on navigating Special Review or getting a waiver and expedited permits. He will also attend the next Town Meeting to present the latest plan to locate a 30,000 gallon cistern in the Town Meadow. They are now thinking that if they locate the cistern uphill it could provide fire fighting capabilities to all the houses on Hill Street as well as the houses down Gold Run Road – basically that whole side of town – but would entail more work in the meadow. He will speak with the nearby property owners first and then the Town Meeting. It will be expensive – cisterns cost $40,000-$50,000, the plumbing and fixtures around $10,000, and the excavation, etc. could be $20,000 – but will provide much needed water supply in case of a fire.

Dry Hydrants – Rick estimates that the materials will cost approximately $2,000 for each one. He met with Andy Reed, the Supervisor of the Lefthand rebuilding project to widen the road and stabilize the creek so that we can work together on our 3 possible dry hydrant locations.

Address Signs – Rich will distribute those in Lefthand. Bobby distributed some at the last town meeting, and can do that again at the next one, or people can contact any board member.


















Gold Hill FPD Board Meeting

February 17th, 2016




    February 18, 2016, 7:00 p.m.











Cistern authorization, next steps

Review and discussion of GHFPD goals and vision

Dry hydrants


New firefighters

Community Relations

Strategic Planning: Succession plan











High Wind warning – No Open Burning!

February 17th, 2016

[] On Behalf Of
Stalnacker, Jay
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 7:36 AM
To: !SHFIRERESTRICTIONS; BCFCA Mass Email list; Sloan, Tom
Subject: [BCFCA] No open burning


The national weather service has issued a high wind warning for boulder

There is NO OPEN BURNING allowed beginning immediately thru Thursday 2400.


Jay Stalnacker
Fire Management Officer
Boulder County Sheriff’s Office


The Hazards of driving Lickskillet

February 10th, 2016

Lickskillet is very icy for weeks after a snowstorm, melting during the day and freezing at night and never an advisable route in the winter.

If you or someone else gets stuck please call 303 441-4444 and ask for a Deputy and a sand truck.

Calling members of the Fire Department will delay a response, especially if they are not home.

Chris Finn



GHFPD 9-17-15

September 21st, 2015

Notes on the Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting 9-17-15.

By Gretchen Diefenderfer

Next Meeting is Thursday, October 15, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center.

Present were President Rich Lopez, Treasurer Bobby Vrba, Secretary Dave Sturtz, Rick Geesaman, Chief Chris Finn, Paul Garabedian, and community member Gretchen Diefenderfer.

CHIEF’S REPORT– Budget stuff – Chris delivered the tentative budget for discussion. Next month, October 15, will be the budget meeting. Copies need to be posted at the Firebarn, put in the Fire Department Drawer at the Gold Hill Store, and a notice has to go into the Daily Camera. Rick will do that. The budget is open for public comment, so check it out if you’re interested.

Chis pointed out that Pension Plan is a line item in the budget, but has still not been put into effect. We have approx. 65 hours of training a year, plus medical training, and people would have to attend about ½ of that to qualify. The state will match our funding. Rich has looked into it and we have to do an actuarial study of the district to see what we can afford. He will check it out further. Seems like a good thing for the firefighters.

After the fire in Lefthand, which we knocked down with our 500 gallons of water, Chris is more than ever sure that we need a 500gal. tank on the proposed new truck. There are many 2WD trucks available, but 4WD are much harder to find. He jumped the budgeted amount for a new truck (new/used) to $225,000.

Radios – in 10-15 years Boulder County is going to 800 MHz for communications and we will have to buy all new radios (for ~$6000 a piece vs. $500), just something to think about for the future. 800 MHz will provide a lot better communications.

Other stuff – Chris thinks we should have a notice box for the Firebarn. Bobbie replied that he’d just seen one at Resource and would go get it.

Chris still needs the paperwork for signers on the bank account at Vectra, plus a copy of the minutes authorizing the board members to sign. They will all get it to him.

They have been offered a vehicle to replace the old yellow pick-up we have for $1.00 (LH paid $5.00). It’s a ’97 Ford Explorer with 350,000 miles, new tires, and would replace the yellow truck to transport people, gear, etc. It can be taken on jeep trails and for scouting vs. the big fire trucks. Probably the old yellow one will be at Donal’s disposal for calls so that he doesn’t have to use his personal car.

Calls – We had a fire alarm call on 9/11, but no response was needed. Also a med check call on Labor Day, but the Sheriff took care of it and we were called off.

Chris also wanted to make sure the letter requesting exemption for audit got mailed and Rich will check again.

Old Business

Address signs – Rich reports that the new address signs from the County are here. They will be handed out at the town bake/rummage/craft sale (Gold Hill Gold Rush) on Sept. 27 and orders taken for new ones. If everyone’s address is posted by their driveway, it’s way better for emergency responders, so if don’t have one, come by and order one.

Rich will definitely be away for the November meeting and maybe October as well. Rick will chair.

Dry Hydrants – Rich reports that the Chris and the Board need to look at the potential sites and talk to the County road people about what help they can give us as they’re working on the roads. We need a field trip for ~ an hours. Rich will shoot some dates out and set up a time. Chris suggested that he get ahold of the County Engineer and see if he can meet us.

Cisterns – The consensus is that the town Meadow would be ideal. Gretchen will look at the deed to make sure that would not be prohibited and the Town Meeting would have to vote on it.

Secretary – Dave reported again that he will be gone for the March and April meetings and will not be running in the May election, so if they would like to appoint someone to replace him before that, that would be fine. They have some ideas of people to talk to. Anyone who is interested in serving as the secretary should contact one of the board members.




GHFPD Board Meeting 8-20-15

September 15th, 2015

Notes on the Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting 8-20-15.    By Gretchen Diefenderfer

Next Meeting is Thursday, September 17, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center.

Present were President Rich Lopez, Treasurer Bobby Vrba, Secretary Dave Sturtz, Rick Geesaman, Chief Chris Finn, Paul Garabedian, and community member Gretchen Diefenderfer.

Chief’s Report – There is a national high alert for fires in the West and there are a lot of local vehicles and crews out fighting them. Heads up! Call early and often if you think there’s a fire.

     Calls – We had a call that came in from 19th Street in Boulder that the caller could see flames in the area west of Gold Hill. Chris has met with Dispatch to clarify the information we need and they will be echoing again. We can’t always hear each other because of interference and dead spots, so if the dispatcher echoes the information, responders listening know more about what’s going on.

Other calls included a smoke report on July 27, a medical call on the 28, an abandoned, smoking campfire on August 1 that was called in as the Switzerland trail, but turned out to be on Sugarloaf, and a structure fire on August 3 in Lefthand. We did very well, were first on the scene, Lefthand arrived shortly thereafter and then Sunshine. And we saved the house! Our equipment, communication, and firefighters all worked well together.

Boulder County is getting ready to rename all our radio channels on November 9 – more info to follow.

AirLink (our ham radio group) will be having their meetings here and have signed a release.

Chris has received a notice of audit and wonders if the board mailed in the exemption form. Rich confirmed that it was mailed. Chris will check.

The board needs a resolution for who signs on the department checking account. Only Dave Sturtz of the present board members is a signer. Chris will take that to the bank to get the process in gear. A resolution to authorize all the current board members to be signers on our bank account at the Vectra Bank on 17th and Pearl was moved, seconded and passed.

Other Business – Gretchen reported that Donal gave a great talk to the GHTM, especially encouraging everyone to call 9-1-1 for any medical emergency or possible fire. Time is critical to our response and we don’t mind if it turns out we are not needed.


Address signs – Rich reported that 52 people have signed up for address signs – these will be supplied for free by Boulder County. They need to be posted at the main road so any emergency responders can find you!

Cisterns – Rich stated that we need to identify potential locations and approach the owners. The suggestion was made that the Town Meadow or Grove Street across from the Firebarn could be good locations – properties that the GHTM owns. Gretchen said that the Town Meeting would have to check on restrictions for the Town Meadow, but it seems like it should be ok as cisterns are underground and only the hydrant would be above ground and close to the road.

Dry Hydrants – Court and Amy’s at the bottom of Lickskillet is one good place, and we have traditionally drafted from there, but the County is going to rebuild the bridge, so we will need to wait until that is complete. There was a pull-off 20-30’ downhill from there on the south side of the road, but that is blocked right now. Ted Plank, at the County, will help us as possible in conjunction with scheduled roadwork/flood recovery work. Rich will talk to the Smiths and to Andy Martinek about a location near Clifford’s house. A location below Rowena would be great

Antenna at the Firebarn – Dina Elder (AirLink) and Joe Callahan of BCARES are working on what will happen with it, as AirLink is using the repeater on Horsfall Ridge.

Secretary – Dave reports that he will not be here for the March or April meetings and will not be running for re-election in May 2016, so if the Board wants to replace him sooner than May, that’s fine with him.

Wildfire Partners – This is a great program for homeowners to have their homes evaluated for mitigations efforts recommended, plus they give some reimbursement for expenses and certify the home, which may help with the homeowner’s fire insurance. Check at









No Fire Ban

September 15th, 2015

This is from Jay Stalnacker, Boulder County Fire Management Officer

Good morning everyone,

A few folks have been asking about ban/ restrictions. I have talked with JEFFCO, Douglas and Larimer this morning and the general consensus is the we are NOT currently in conditions to warrant any ban or restrictions. The group of FMOs fully understand the concerns with the past few weeks of dry and warm conditions but as you can see from the attached matrix, we are far from implementing any immediate restrictions. Under state law we are required to use a combination of “credible scientific evidence” along with social and political concerns and currently we have 1 of 7 elements supporting restrictions/ban.

The front range FMOs will continue to access the local conditions and keep their respective county cooperators appraised of any changes. We do understand there are isolated areas in all counties that may be in more critical condition but looking at the large scale picture our conditions are fairly normal for this time of year.

Please contact me directly with any concerns or questions.


Jay C. Stalnacker

Boulder County Fire Management Officer #1592

303-519-8103 Cell



4th of July – Independence Day in GH

June 30th, 2015

GHFPD Annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast and Parade update. Pancake Breakfast starts at 8:30 am – Adults $6.50, Kids $3.50. Blueberry and plain pancakes, bacon, hot and cold beverages. We will have gluten free pancakes and gluten free turkey sausage on request until we run out. Parade follows at noon, but floats need to be lined up by 11:45 up by the fire station. Floats will be directed where to line up. As usual, there will be free toys for attending children with an adult, given in loving memory of Susan Jackson. Please Park Responsibly! Hope to see you there!

Here’s the link to the GHFPD Facebook page (like our page!)


Bulletins from the Fire Board Meeting June 18, 2015

June 22nd, 2015

Bulletins from the Fire Board Meeting June 18, 2015


CISTERNS – The Gold Hill Fire Protection District is looking for locations for additional cisterns for fire fighting purposes in the main Gold Hill area. Ideal locations would be near the road and able to accommodate a 30,000 gal. tank (16’x16’x16’ cube). The tank would be underground and there would need to be a signed easement. The Fire Dept. would assume all responsibility. Water supply is always a concern up here for fighting fires and additional water storage would be a great advantage to all. Please contact Chris Finn with questions or possible locations ( or 303-444-5549)


4TH OF JULY – Leslie Finn reports that we are short of helpers for the Pancake Breakfast on the 4th. Come help the Fire Department and get to see all your neighbors! It’s lots of fun, too. Contact Leslie if you can help at

FIREFIGHTERS – The Fire Department is always looking for new members.  All are welcome to join and trainings are every month.  Also, Donal Maloney ( and Chris Finn ( will take people out on the trucks.  Get in touch with one of them if you have questions!  It’s a great experience.

Gretchen Diefenderfer



Fire Board Meeting notes from 5-21-15

June 17th, 2015

Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting 5-21-15

Notes by Gretchen Diefenderfer

Board Meetings are the third Thursday of each month, 7:00p.m. at the Community Center. The next meeting will be June 18, 2015. Anyone is welcome to attend.


The Meeting was called to order by Rick Lopez, Chair. Attending were board members Bobby Vrba, Secretary Dave Sturtz, Rick Geesaman, Paul Garabedian and community member Gretchen Diefenderfer.


Chief’s Report – In the absence of Chief Finn, Bobby reported that there were 2 calls: a jeep overturn and a medical call for a fall. Trainings continue. They are still waiting on a potential truck purchase.


Minutes –There were no corrections or additions and the minutes of the April meeting were approved.


New Business – Porta-Potti – The board has agreed on a license agreement between the Gold Hill Town Meeting and the Fire Board for the portable toilet. First The SafeSite Shed has to be moved – Chris needs to approve the location. Rich helped the GHTM with the paperwork to change from a 501(c)4 tax deductible corporation to a 501(c)3. He will bill the GHTM and donate the money back versus having the FPD contribute to the cost of the portable toilet as originally proposed.

Rich write a letter to the Firefighters thanking them for their response to a call in March where the victim died.


Visions and Goals – Rich brought up the goals for where we would like to be in 5 and 10 years. Here is list so far from the board and Chris:

10 dry hydrants in Lefthand

3 more cisterns up here

15 new young firefighters

equipment upgraded as necessary

The discussion turned to the cisterns and their location. Rick owns some property W of town and one could go there. Max and Gretchen both said that their

property down Gold Run could be used.

Dry hydrants – the board committed to at least 2 this year. Rick estimated the hardware, excavation, pea gravel, PVC pipe and backfill should be around $500 each. Rich has addresses of available locations in Lefthand . They will look at the 5 available and pick the 2 best sometime in the first 2 weeks in June.


Gretchen Diefenderfer



Natural Disaster Preparation info from FEMA

April 17th, 2015

Forwarded from Chris Finn ( from Colorado State Fire Fighters Assoc.


From: District2 [mailto:district2-bounces@csffa.orgOn Behalf Of Paul Acosta via District2
Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2015 2:10 PM

Subject: [District2] FW: America’s Prepareathon

Please pass this on.

Hey all, this a great link made from FEMA to use to make sure your family is prepared for a natural disaster.

There are some great videos to watch too and are a big eye opener.

Things can change in an instant, so be prepared.

America’s Prepareathon link


Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting 11-20-14

December 16th, 2014

Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting 11-20-14

Notes by Gretchen Diefenderfer


Next Meeting will be Thursday, December 18, 2014, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center.


Chair Rich Lopez called the meeting to order. Board members Paul Garabedian, Bobby Vrba, Secretary Dave Sturtz, Chief Chris Finn and community member Gretchen Diefenderfer were in attendance.


Acceptance of last meeting’s minutes was deferred until a quorum of the members present at the last meetings could approve them.


Chief’s Report – Chris reported that a letter from the State Auditor’s office will arrive in March while he is out of town. It is an application for a routing exemption from audit and will go to our CPA, who will email it to the Board. It needs to be printed, signed at the March Board meeting and mailed.

He also reported that we have a good truck possibility. Jim White of Brindley Mountain Fire Apparatus in Union Grove, Alabama has found a 2007 Pierce GMC for approx. $100,00, which is what we have budgeted for a new truck. It’s 22’4”, so it will fit in our barn and has only $3,324 miles on it. We would need a bigger tank, however – we want to be able to carry 500 gallons of water – and they will look into whether this conversion is feasible.

Calls – On the 18th, there was an unattended campfire, on the 1th a false alarm in Sunshine, and on the 11th a medical call at the bottom of Lickskillet. Chief Chris O’Brien of Lefthand and AMR handled the call as the vehicle blocked our access. On the 17th there was an upside down jeep down Lefthand from Ward in a driveway leaking a little gas and oil

Chris also reported that he’s talked with Bob at Astral Communications about the new audio pagers and they will be in the mail – we’ll get 10-12 this year and 10-12 next year.

Training continues – there will be a car fire training with the 3 departments on Saturday, December 13 (field trainings are the 2nd Saturday of each month).

Dave asked why we still have the old SCBAs around and Chris said it’s because we haven’t figured out how to dispose of them etc.


The Firefighter’s Ball is December 10th at the Inn.


Old Business – Training Flyer – Rich will email it to Chris who will have flyers made up. The Department is looking for new members – we need help and all are welcome. There are many ways to contribute, from actual firefighters to people willing to help organize.


Dry Hydrants in Lefthand – Rich has given Chris the list of people he has received approval from. Chris will set up a meeting with Ted Plank of the County Roads Department to coordinate our work with the creek work. Rich will continue to check out sites and people willing to grant access.


Insurance Policy – was renewed with no problems.


Rich thanked Rick for chairing the last meeting and Gretchen for taking the minutes, and the meeting was adjourned.






GHFPD Board Minutes, next mtg

November 18th, 2014

Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting, October 15, 2014 – Minutes by Gretchen Diefenderfer in Dave Sturtz’s absence.

Next meeting will be Thursday, November 20, 2014, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center

Meeting was called to order by Rick Geesaman.  Present were Rick, Paul Garabedian, Bobby Vrba, Chief Chris Finn and community member Gretchen Diefenderfer.  Chair Rich Lopez and Secretary Dave Sturtz had approved absences.

Minutes were approved as read.

Chief’s Report – Chris reported that there was a call yesterday, but it was just that the fire alarm got pulled at the school by the Fourmile crew who were making a presentation for Fire Prevention Month.

On the 6th, there was a brush fire just up from the bottom of Lickskillet, which, thankfully, a bystander stopped and stomped it out while his girlfriend came up to Gold Hill and called it in.  Chris went down in the brush truck to find it under control.  It looked like it could have been started by a cigarette thrown out a window.  Lefthand and Fourmile showed up, too.  A fire down there has serious potential to get really bad.  Chris is trying to find the name of the bystander to thank him from all of us.

Wildland training is coming up.  We have great trainers in Boulder County and Chris encouraged anyone interested to contact him for information.

Fourmile is building a new station and losing two: the Quonset hut and Bret Gibson is selling the Lodge.  They are reorganizing and possibly will locate a truck up here.

They will be draining the brush truck for winter.  Chris is watching the forecast for when we’ll have a hard freeze.  Medical equipment and chains have been ordered for it – also 10 or 12 voice pagers are on backorder along with programming software for them so that Chris can program them himself.

Budget – The 2015 budget was the main order of business.  The Board has reviewed the proposed budget since the last meeting and Bobby moved that we approve.  Paul seconded and it passed unanimously.  The proposed budget was available to review at the Gold Hill Store and is still available by request.

IMA Meeting – Gretchen reported that Jay Stalnaker, Fire Management Officer for the Boulder County Sheriff;s Dept. will be making a presentation with maps explaining the possible locations of our next big fires at the next IMA Meeting on Oct. 23.   Several board members indicated interest and Gretchen will email them the information.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:35

Respectfully submitted, Gretchen Diefenderfer, acting secretary.




Gold Hill Fire Protection District, Board of Directors Meeting 8-21-14

September 17th, 2014

Gold Hill Fire Protection District, Board of Directors Meeting 8-21-14

Minutes by Gretchen Diefenderfer, acting secretary in the absence of Dave Sturtz.


Next Meeting will be Thursday, September 18, 2014, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center.


The meeting was called to order by Chair Rich Lopez.  Also attending were Bobby Vrba, Paul Garabedian, Chief Chris Finn, and citizen Gretchen Diefenderfer, who agreed to take the minutes.  Rick Geesaman and Dave Sturtz  were out.


Chief’s Report  – Chris reports that he does not have the proposed budget for next year as he is waiting on information from the Assessor on our assessed valuation and tax revenue.  He’ll email it to the board when he gets the numbers.  There are 2 limits to the amount our income can go up (regardless of whether out assessed valuation goes up): the Tabor limit and the State 5% limit, which means that our income can’t rise much once it has gone down, as it did after the fire.  We have 2 mill levies – our regular mill levy and a special assessment mill levy.  Both are in the 4% range.

The big items for the budget are the dry hydrants in Lefthand and a new Fire Truck.  We have a database of all the dry hydrant locations in our district with the fitting sizes on the sun visors of the trucks.

            Calls – Chris reports no calls in the last month.

Training Reports – There are 2 regular trainings every month – the second Saturday and 4th Thursday. The last training they played with the trucks

Maintenance – The brush truck is back on line, has water, etc.   He will be ordering medical equipment for it.  Also, Old Grey, our utility truck for spotting, is getting a new paint job and will be bright yellow. When we respond to a call in Lefthand, etc., the big truck with the Jaws of Life goes first.  The brush truck is smaller and can get into places with more difficult access.  It carries 200 gal. will have medical equipment, drafts well, and has at least a 300 gpm pump.  The truck we’re looking to replace is Engine 1, with something that size, but with a bigger pump.  If we cannot locate one by next year, we’ll consider having one built for us.  We could alter an older truck and build on a used chassis.  Target date? We should have a plan in place by the end of next year.

Recruiting Poster – Chris would like to revisit this after the budget – maybe put one together at a board meeting.  We are always looking for new volunteers in many different capacities from sandwich making to trained firefighters to respond to community emergencies.  If you are interested, contact Chris at


Dry Hydrants – Rich reports that he put out the word in Lefthand for spots to install them and got some good responses right away.  Lefthand Dept. put one in across from Station 1 at Glendale Gulch.  He will send an email to Chris and Ted Planck from the County Road Department with the names and addresses so that we can work their plans with ours, as they finalize their plans for the creek.  Chris added that we want to do these well – Rick Geesaman recommended that we bury a 50 gal. tank in the ground below the water table, perforated so that it will fill with water.  Then we have a readymade spot to draft from.  Boulder County standard is a 6-inch fitting.

Gretchen reported that there will be 1,650 gal. cisterns available from Jamestown that can be repurposed now that their town water system is repaired.  The County requires 1,800 gal. cisterns for fire protection.


GHFPD Minutes of the 7-17-14 Board Meeting

August 3rd, 2014

Gold Hill Fire Protection District, Board of Directors Meeting 7/17/14 – Minutes by Gretchen Diefenderfer, acting secretary in the absence of Dave Sturtz.

Next meeting will be Thursday, August 21, 2014, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center

The meeting was called to order by Chair Rich Lopez.  Attending were Rich, Rick Geesaman, Bobby Vrba, Chief Chris Finn, and citizens Paul Garabedian and Gretchen Diefenderfer, who agreed to take the minutes.

Replacement of Board Member –

The first order of business was to fill the vacancy on the board created by Donal Maloney’s leaving.  Boyd Brown had indicated to Chris and Rick that he would be willing to serve and Rick noted that he would do a fine job, Leslie Finn had said she’d serve if they couldn’t get anyone else, and Paul Garabedian was there, full of enthusiasm.  He has lived in Gold Hill for 2 years, 3 months and is married to Diane Mehsling.  They came from East Bridgewater, MA and he served on the Board of Appeals there. He owned his own business for 24 years as a builder and framer, and feels he knows how to manage money.  He wanted to do something for the town and cannot be a firefighter.  After some discussion, the board voted unanimously to confirm Paul as the newest member of the board and Rich administered the oath of office – essentially to support the Constitution of the U.S and the State of Colorado and faithfully perform the duties of the office of director!  His contact info is: 192 Dixon Road, Boulder, CO 80302 – day phone: 720-382-0089, night: 970-391-8698 – email:  Thanks, Paul!

Minutes – Bobby moved that they approve the minutes of the last meeting, Rick seconded, and they were approved unanimously.

Chief’s Report –  

            Calls – Chris reported that our calls have been mainly abandoned, smoldering campfires on National Forest Service land in the Rocky Point area, plus one at the top of Sawmill Rd with a big hike in.  Chris’s present policy, since many of these campfires are at the end of jeep roads, which are barely jeep roads (especially since the rains of last September), is to request that the USFS be called. The USFS now has a Prevention Unit who will respond. The other option is for us to gather a crew to walk in. If a fire is fully involved, our department will have a second tone sent out and we’ll go.

He added that we are supposed to be reimbursed for fires on USFS land, but it hasn’t been happening since things changed from the Colorado Forest Service to the Colorado Dept. of Public Safety. Rick moved that the Board approve this policy, Bobby seconded and it was unanimously approved.

The brush truck is almost fixed, and will be able to make its way into more difficult to access areas.  Paul suggested that we might want to get an ATV with a small water tank to go into really difficult to access areas.  Chris added that if a campfire gets bigger, the Sheriff would be here, too, and can call for a chopper.

We also had a call for a Fire/Carbon Monoxide alarm.  Everybody needs to check for bird’s nests, etc., in vents, also check your batteries on your detectors.  Chris does not recommend unvented portable heaters.

Trainings – Bobby reported that the 3 departments (GH, Fourmile and Sunshine) had a great training with 5 engines and a Porta-pond.  Chris has 3 training officers now, Donal Maloney, Dave Sturtz, and Dave Steinmann.

Recruitment – We have a potential new guy, a Boulder County Ranger/EMT.  Some time ago we talked about a recruitment poster.  Rich will check on this – thinks Dave Sturtz may have it in his computer.

Maintenance – Bobby is putting in new windows as they become available at Resource.  Volunteers helped with weatherizing the barn doors.  Batteries have been replaced in the tender and 5433 (the new brush truck – 5431 has become a parts truck for 5433).  Tracy McConnell, x-Chief of Lyons and a CDOT mechanic is working with us now on maintenance.  The “Grey Mare” (old grey pick up) is used for spotting – there is a box with maps, binoculars, and radios in a box by the barn doors to grab when we need to check on a smoke report, etc.  Bobby will be fixing the door on the Grey Mare.

The SCBAs are due for their yearly check.  A mobile truck comes up – costs $200 for the first one and $100/unit after x 13 units.

New Truck Search – is ongoing.  Chris has brokers searching for us.  We’re looking to replace Engine 1.  We need a 4WD with a 500gpm pump, and a 500 gal. tank with CAF (compressed air foam) and it needs to be small enough to fit in our barn and get up steep, narrow driveways– not easy to find.  If we can’t finds one, we might have to increase our budget and have one built by one of the local companies.  We have $100,00 budgeted (in the bank now, since we have been saving for this).

Dry Hydrants – Chris has talked with Ted Plank, County Road guy, about the original plan for a dry hydrant above Rowena.  Since the flood, the County is working on their plan for realignment of Lefthand Creek, and will probably be able to help us with the installation in conjunction with this work, so Chris is thinking about possibly putting in 5 or 6.  Ted will let us know when the final plan is approved and work begins.  Rich will send an email to the people in Lefthand about locations/easements.

Chris also asked for help.  We had a problem on a call with a citizen who would not move a vehicle when requested to allow the Fire Truck easier access.  Rick will address this.

Budget – Chris will bring in his rough draft of the proposed budget for next year so planning can begin early on any new ideas/plans.

Other Business –

            Rest Room Alternatives –Rich checked with the County Health Department and they indicated no problem with our having a Porta-San for our occasional meetings as long as it is not open to the public (the plan is to lock it) or too close to a creek.  He will talk to Peter Swift, Chair of the Town Meeting, about this option as well as the need to move the Safesite shed, which amounts to a fire hazard because it impedes access around the back of the barn.

Dick Marchman tribute – The family has asked that contributions be made to local fire departments in his honor.  Our department will send a card – he was a highly respected volunteer firefighter and will be missed deeply.

Pancake Breakfast – Thanks to everyone. It was a big success and Leslie will be putting out a report.

Rick moved that the meeting be adjourned, Bobby seconded and it passed unanimously.