Commissioners Updated on County Rural Fire Calls

Staffon Warn, Prowers County Rural Fire Chief, provided statistics on the number and nature of calls his department had since the beginning of 2011.  Warn reported, “We have close to identical numbers of calls for last year at this time.”  He added, “You might think we were exceptionally busy so far this year.  Although April was busy, we’re just about the same as last year.” 

The Rural Fire Department responded to 69 total calls so far in 2011, with 26 of those in April.  There was only one vehicle fire responded to, and no building fires.  The majority, 53 calls, were for fires out of doors.  The breakdown shows one call for a Medical Emergency, ten calls for Hazardous Conditions, one for a Special Incident, and three false alarm calls.  The next busiest month was March with 12, and eight each for June and this portion of July.  April was the month of the Bent County and Hasty fires which originated the majority of response calls from the Rural Fire Department, and the majority of outdoor fires were mostly caused by lightning.  Warn stated there was only one controlled burn that got away from the resident, and one or two fires started by an electric fence. 

Budget and equipment purchases were discussed with Warn stating breakout gear for 13 firefighters could be purchased for $25,000.  That amount has been budgeted in Capital Reserves as part of an earlier agreement with the department’s volunteers.  Boots that match the gear are needed and there Warn said he would review prior purchase orders to see what boots have been on loan to the department and which had been purchased by the county.  The chief said this year’s budget had been tight due to price of gas increases, a replacement motor for the Hazmat vehicle and on-going repairs to one fire truck.  He said he would continue to seek out grant sources and/or equipment donations, but Prowers County was in decent shape compared to other departments in the county.   The commissioners said now that the July 4th weekend was past, the county had eleven months to develop wording for a resolution that would allow them to ban sales of fireworks in the county when weather conditions warranted.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: CommissionerscommunityCountyLaw EnforcementPublic SafetyWeather


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