GHFPD Board Meeting

Posted on: 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.