by Carol Stevens
GARDNER- Nothing brings a smile to your face like the smell of a BBQ on Labor Day. Chefs Larry Michaels and Larry Waide kept the burgers, brats and hotdogs going non-stop for the Upper Huerfano Fire District’s annual open house Mon. Sept. 7. A few special guests stopped by during the afternoon: CK Morey, from Colorado State Forest; Dave De Tray, fire chief of La Veta Fire District; and Paul Gomez, Incident Command for the Huerfano Fire Department. Board members Steve Hodges, Larry Michaels and Dan Been were on hand for questions. Fire fighters Diana Cupps, Ben Cupps, Larry Waide and John Morgan, along with interim fire chief Buzz Deardorff were available for questions about volunteer service. Some of the new fire department auxiliary members were there to help with the yard sale, clean up, and food. After the festivities, they stuffed bags of goodies for the firefighters’ next call.
The highlight of the day was showing off the new pumper truck the department bought with DOLA grant money. The board located a 2009 International Maxi Star that is equipped with 21st century firefighting gear. Firefighters can shoot foam from the front, sides, top and rear of the truck and shoot water from nozzles and sprayers positioned around and on top of the vehicle. A computerized control box makes it easy to operate all of the capabilities without leaving the cab. Chairman Steven Hodges was more than happy to show off the truck.