GHFPD Board Meeting 8-20-15

Posted on: 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