Board member, recruits on horizon

Board members will interview two applicants in an effort to appoint one person to a vacant seat for the Craig Rural Fire Protection District.

Residents Walter (Alan) Webber and Mark S. Coupe submitted letters indicating interest in serving on the board.

Board members will vocalize their decision at their next regular meeting in October. The position is up for re-election in May, as well as three other board positions on the five-member board.

In other business, department officials will start the interviewing process for 25 interested recruits. The turnout is best the department has seen, thanks to an aggressive public relations campaign, Fire Chief Chris Nichols said.

"It's the first year that we've actively gone out an recruited," he said. "It's a phenomenal success."

Nichols said radio ads may have cost the district about $2,000, but that's a small price to taxpayers if some of those recruits become firefighters.

Paying for a staff of full-time firefighters would cost thousands more or at least $250,000 a year, he said.

Department officials hope at least 10 recruits will make it through the department's rigorous training, tests and a one-year rookie status to become firefighters.

"I think it's a heck of an investment," Nichols said. "Though sometime down the road, we'll have to look at some kind of (paid) staffing."

In other business, board members:

  • approved paying firefighters for all calls in which an ambulance is called to the scene. Formerly, firefighters were reimbursed on a per-call basis for fighting fires and some accident and rescue calls.
  • renewed a medical contract with Mountain Medical Specialists for physicals and other medical services. Firefighters will undergo more tests paid for by the district, such as prostate exams, mammograms, pap smears and drug screens every two years and if firefighters are above 40-years-old as required by the National Fire Protection Agency.

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