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Additional Firefighters Improve Effectiveness and Response Time

Eagle River Fire Protection District

AVON, CO -- Dropping temperatures, a fully engulfed mobile home fire and a frozen fire hydrant almost created the perfect firestorm.

The Eagle River Fire Protection District responded to a mobile home fire and upon arrival found the home fully involved. To make matters worse, the homes were very close together and other houses were in danger of catching on fire.

"The closest fire hydrant was frozen and a secondary hydrant had to be located and connected to the first in pumper very quickly, or risk ignition of the four exposures," said Fire Chief, Charlie Moore.

Thanks to a 2007 SAFER grant award, newly added firefighters were able to quickly supply the first engine with the secondary hydrant and assess the threat to life in the home on fire.

"Our efficiency increased dramatically as we are able to perform fireground tasks faster and safer," Moore said. "Having three additional firefighters (at the mobile home fire) substantially increased our effectiveness. It makes a huge difference."

The Eagle County Fire Protection District was awarded a 2007 SAFER grant, which they used to hire nine new firefighters with three personnel assigned to each of the three 48-hour shifts.

The grant made it possible to increase engine and ladder company crew size and meet the requirements in 29 CFR 1970 and NFPA 1710.

The Eagle River Fire Protection District also was able to assemble an appropriate number of emergency response personnel on the fireground, and to respond with the appropriate numbers of firefighter in the minimum amount of time.

"We have also been able to reduce the number of two company responses to routine calls for the reason that single resource engines now respond with a total of four firefighters," Moore said. "We are able to meet our goal of 16 response personnel at a full first alarm assignment within eight minutes, 90 percent of the time."

The nine new firefighters helped with more than just fighting fires. They also are part of a growing community outreach program.

"With the additional nine firefighters, the department is able to deliver public education services more frequently," Moore said. "The SAFER grant firefighters are eager to put on the "Sparky" the Fire Dog costume and interact with our younger community members."

What They Bought With The Grant:

  • Hired 9 firefighters 
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Last updated October 23, 2020