by Carol Dunn
LA VETA- The La Veta Fire Protection District (LVFPD) Board has found a buyer for all three fire trucks it has had for sale for several months. The three trucks, one of which is not in good running condition, brought $19,200 and were purchased by a local resident.
It was announced at the Board meeting Thursday night that the LVFPD election has been cancelled because there were no contested positions on the Board. Directors Larry Klinke and John Hudson will be re-elected by acclamation to four-year terms and Director Rick Dunn to a two-year term.
Thanks to a recommendation from Colorado State Forest Service District Forester C.K. Morey, LVFPD has been granted $4,430 from the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Program. The grant replaces funds that were used to purchase the BLM brush unit, referred to as “Brush 11.” According to Morey, the grant was “about 1/3 of the $15,000 I had available for the 10 fire departments that I serve in Huerfano and Las Animas Counties.”
LVFPD is putting together an emergency action plan for the tourist train which runs between Alamosa and La Veta. The train operator has been cooperative in working on the emergency plan, and the District is using as a template an existing plan for the Durango-Silverton tourist train. Board member Mark Brunner stated, “Development of the plan is going well.”
On Jan. 10, 2008 the LVFPD sent a letter to the Walsenburg Police Department regarding the roll-over accident which occurred Dec. 1, 2007 on Highway 160 at mile marker 279. An investigation was requested by LVFPD because of the length of time it took (over one hour) to free two trapped parties at the scene. Although the accident location was within the area of response of LVFPD, the Walsenburg Communications Center dispatched the Walsenburg Ambulance and Huerfano County Rescue, then did not confirm that the pages were received. At the LVFPD Board meeting, a reply from Walsenburg Chief of Police, Larry Baldonado, dated Feb. 19, was reviewed. In his letter, Chief Baldonado acknowledged that the Communications Center “failed to notify in a timely manner, the proper responding agency to the roll over accident.” He also acknowledged that the Communications Center “failed to confirm that the pages to the Walsenburg Ambulance and Rescue were being received.” In a follow-up letter, the LVFPD Board concurred with Chief Baldonado’s recommendation that a Procedure/Protocol Committee be established to review and develop emergency medical dispatch radio procedures and protocols to insure uniform dispatch. The Board also agreed with Chief Baldonado that it is critically necessary that law enforcement personnel and other public safety personnel receive first responder training for responding to emergency scenes.