Firefighters may lend hand to Routt County

The Craig Fire/Rescue Department may begin to answer select calls in Routt County, according to a memo of understanding that was approved by the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board.

Chuck Vail, emergency manager coordinator for Routt County, asked fire board members Thursday for help with Routt County fires that take place outside of the Steamboat Springs Fire District.

According to the memo of understanding, Craig Fire/Rescue has the option of going to the call if requested. The department will also be paid for any work it does in Routt County.

Craig Fire/Protection Chief Roy Mason favors the agreement.

"It is one of these deals where we would go anyway, but we wouldn't be reimbursed," said Mason. "It is a very neighborly thing to do. Since we have the option of responding, it would not jeopardize the members of our district."

Mason said the department would be paid $13 per person, per hour and between $125 and $150 per hour, per truck.

In other business:

The bookkeeping procedures of the fire protection district could also be changing.

The board currently uses a software program called Quickbooks to handle its accounting. Board members feel the department has outgrown this program and needs to switch to a different software program.

Two options were discussed: Quickbooks Pro and a program suggested by the board's accountant, Jack Bonaker, called Check Book Solutions.

Board members John Ponikvar and Tom Cotton, along with administrative assistant Vicky Slaight and department member Bill Johnson, will spend some time Tuesday looking at both programs. They will give a recommendation to the board at its next meeting.

The department will receive a new firetruck in early June.

The truck is being built in Casper, Wyo. The new vehicle was inspected by Mason and Craig Fire/Rescue Chief 2 Chris Nichols. Both were pleased with the vehicle.

Some minor modifications will be made before the truck will be ready.

The new rig will help the department with rescue operations.

"Because of its diverse possibilities of rescue uses, the truck will allow us to give the taxpayers more protection on the fly," said Mason.

The board accepted the resignation of firefighter David Dempster. According to Mason, Dempster said during his exit interview that he needed to devote more time to his job and his family.

Mason respected Dempster's decision and applauded him for making the decision before the time constraints compromised his work for the Craig Fire/Rescue.

He said that Dempster left on good terms.

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