A side view drawing of the Craig Rural Fire Protection District’s proposed training tower and live burn structure which could be completed by the end of summer. The building will provide Craig Fire/Rescue volunteers with the opportunity to participate in state mandated live burn training at home.

Courtesy photo

A side view drawing of the Craig Rural Fire Protection District’s proposed training tower and live burn structure which could be completed by the end of summer. The building will provide Craig Fire/Rescue volunteers with the opportunity to participate in state mandated live burn training at home.

Training tower, live fire building to be constructed near TMH

Video

Craig Rural Fire Protection Training Facility

On Thursday the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board reviewed plans to bring a state of the art live fire training facility to Craig. Board President Byron Willems discussed the project at the build site located on Hospital Loop Way a few hundred yards from The Memorial Hospital of Craig. Above is an excerpt of the interview.

On Thursday the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board reviewed plans to bring a state of the art live fire training facility to Craig. Board President Byron Willems discussed the project at the build site located on Hospital Loop Way a few hundred yards from The Memorial Hospital of Craig. Above is an excerpt of the interview.

Quotable

“If I want to send five or six guys to Hayden for live fire training and we have a big daytime fire here in Craig, we’re in big trouble because we don’t have enough people. This facility allows us to train right here and should a call come in, we’re ready to roll.”

— Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board President Byron Willems about the need for a local training facility

By the end of summer, the Craig Rural Fire Protection District could have a state of the art facility to provide its volunteers with live fire training in Craig.

During its regular monthly meeting Thursday, the Fire District Board of Directors reviewed plans to construct a training tower and live burn building on Hospital Loop Way, a few hundred yards southwest of The Memorial Hospital of Craig.

The board unanimously granted the planning team, consisting of Byron Willems, fire district board president; Chris Nichols, board secretary/treasurer; and Craig Fire/Rescue Chief Bill Johnston, a few weeks to review the planning documents before rendering a final decision.

According to those plans the square tower will be five industrial stories, or 100 feet tall. It will feature staircases and large empty rooms that can be customized for a variety of firefighting scenarios.

A second building, resembling a standard home with a pitched roof, will be constructed adjacent to the tower and serve as a live fire simulator.

Byron Willems, Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board president, said the cost of the training facility is $1.5 million, which will be paid with Department of Local Affairs money the district received in the past and leftover revenue from a special voter approved mill levy passed six years ago.

“The nice thing about this is we’re not asking the public for any additional funding for the project,” Willems said. “We have the money, it’s in the bank.”

The original plan also contained drawings for a second fire station, which is estimated to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 to $4 million.

“We could go borrow the money and build the station, but we don’t want to put the taxpayers in that kind of a bind right now,” Willems said. “We’re going to need one eventually and it is part of our long-term plan, but it just isn’t feasible right now.”

With a second fire station officially on the backburner, the Fire District Board decided it was time to at least phase in the tower and burn building.

The department asked for the community to support a similar, but much larger, training facility in the past, which they wanted to build near Walmart.

“The community not only said ‘no,’ but ‘hell no,’ and we understood that, it was too much,” Willems said. “This is not going to be at the same scope as that initial plan, this is just a building.”

Critics who opposed the previous training facility appear to be against this plan as well, questioning the safety of staging fires in such close proximity to a hospital.

Jennifer Riley, THM chief of organizational excellence, said the hospital and its board of directors do not share the public’s concerns.

“I don’t recall any of the board members having any concerns with them putting their burn structure next to us,” Riley said. “It’s my understanding the fires will be controlled and they won’t be burning all of the same things typical to a normal home fire that can cause that black smoke people may be concerned about.

“Certainly they would be good neighbors to have.”

In addition, Willems said the location is one of project’s best advantages.

“The location also makes sense because it’s close to the hospital, the college and all of the growth that is taking place on the west end of town, so response time would be minimal,” Willems said. “Plus the infrastructure is already here. There’s water and electricity already established on site.”

The department plans to fuel training fires with Class A combustibles, which include wood, old couches and many other items found in a typical home, Willems said.

The burn building will also feature a backup natural gas pipeline to reduce smoke on days when the wind is blowing towards the hospital and an automatic ventilation system should a fire burn too hot.

“We’re not going to use any petroleum in lighting fires, so there won’t be huge black clouds of smoke pouring out of the building,” Willems said. “We really don’t produce that much smoke either. In fact you’d be hard pressed to tell we were burning.

“The bottom line though is if the wind is blowing towards the hospital we won’t burn, that’s all there is to it.”

In addition to its location, residents have questioned whether a live burn building is necessary.

Willems argues it is because all firefighters must go through live fire training as required by state regulations.

Before asbestos abatements, the fire department staged live fire training in town by burning old, dilapidated buildings.

But burning old buildings containing asbestos for training purposes is no longer permitted and disposing the toxic insulator is far too expensive, Willems said.

And since Craig does not have a training facility the department is forced to send its firefighters all over the state including Hayden, Denver and Dotsero, to receive live fire training.

With 30 volunteers on staff, Willems said sending five or six out of the area for training puts the entire district at risk.

An average fire in Craig requires a response team of at least 10 to 12 firefighters, Willems said.

Daytime calls occasionally incite a response from only half that because it is an all volunteer department and everyone has other jobs.

“If I want to send five or six guys to Hayden for live fire training and we have a big daytime fire here in Craig, we’re in big trouble because we don’t have enough people,” Willems said. “This facility allows us to train right here and should a call come in, we’re ready to roll.”

If safety is not a good enough reason to garner community support, Willems said the tower and burn building also comes with a cash incentive.

The Insurance Services Office, through the Public Protection Classification program, analyzes a community’s ability to suppress fires and sets insurance premiums accordingly.

“Having the burn facility would actually save a lot of people money because our ISO rating would go down, which will cause most people’s fire insurance costs to go down as well,” Willems said.

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Comments

daily 2 years, 1 month ago

Who is going to pay for this? Who approved its construction and what department is responsible for it?

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Taxpayer 2 years, 1 month ago

I wonder what it takes to vote out a mill levy? Seems like the community didn't want 2nd station, so maybe we shouldn't have to pay for any of it by removing the mill levy. At least something to think about ----

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Insider1313 2 years, 1 month ago

Hayden's burn building is 15 miles away and it is free to use for Craig Fire Department, they will even let the department use their equipment and train with them FOR FREE. Firefighters have to do live fire training anyway to keep there credentials. This is something that has been handled for a while now with no problems (they just burned a building last year by 1st street, remember), but now they have to do some paperwork instead of just lighting it on fire. This is a false justification. This is just a way to spend the tax payers money, and they don't need our approval. We already gave them our money. They have all the power, the only thing we can do is remove the board and replace it with one that will make the right decisions, maybe even remove the current officers and restructure. We have a million dollar fire truck that is hardly used, and several other new trucks. For WHAT? A fire department that only can get 1/3 of its members to a major fire (direct quote from the article 30+ members and 10 to 12 respond) How are they going to train in a muti-million dollar building when they can't even get 33 percent to the real deal. Maybe we should look at the pay scale, this is a paid per call department. That's right they get paid between 18 and 20+ dollars an hour, it's not just volunteer, plus they get retirement. This needs action and now. CALL FOR THE REMOVAL OF THE BOARD AND STOP THIS! MAYBE EVEN OFFER THE CURRENT CHIEF A CHANCE TO RETIRE, IF HE DOESN'T GET RID OF HIM! They have the power but we have the say on how they use it.

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Just_A_Mom 2 years, 1 month ago

I have lived in Craig for over 10 years and am excited to see the recent forward momentum in this town!! (Eg: New hospital, new college expansion, new retail near Wal-mart and now upgrades for our fire fighters!)

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David Moore 2 years, 1 month ago

I have lived in this town over 40 years, and I too am glad to see some noticeable progress. 1950 was 62 years ago, time to move on.

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xrsareus 2 years, 1 month ago

Ranger520, I'm a little confused about your last comment. I'm assuming "people put in charge" you mean the fire board. And then "what is good for themselves". So are you saying "Because the fire board is moving forward in this project, the fire board members are going to gain something by doing this project? What is each member of the fire board going to gain? To me the entire community is going to gain. The firefighters are going to be able to safety train in closer to real life situations. They are going to be able to train as a team. I think this is what is good for our community.

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Jon Pfeifer 2 years, 1 month ago

$1.5 million to not have to travel 20 minutes to Hayden to train. What a complete waste of resources. Get ready for a non-volunteer fire department now. This is pure government waste... Craig has not grown, but the fire department's budget has.

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xrsareus 2 years, 1 month ago

So 520, you didn't answer the question I asked to help me understand your comment... I'll try again and type slower this time. What do the board members personally gain from their decision ????

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xrsareus 2 years, 1 month ago

520, That is a pretty interesting comment. In my mind you are about 1 step below accusing the Fire Board of criminal acts. I hope you have been attending the Board meetings and voicing your concerns or going to run in the up coming election to start being involved and stop this what you call "padding of their own pocket book's". Or are you like most that have an uninformed opinon, not backed by facts kind of person on this fourm? Sit back and do nothing but bitch. Never attend a meeting but know it all.

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xrsareus 2 years, 1 month ago

52OH, So let me get this straight, So the Fire Board is "padding their own pocket books" to "build a bigger empire". Why oh wise taxpayer, would the Fire Board want to build an Empire? Please enlighten me as to what an Fire District Empire would look and act like? Now I could see a Fire District Board wanting to stay on the cutting edge of firefighting technology. Giving their firefighters the best training and equipment posible to keep-up with the everchanging world we live in. Allowing the firefighters to return safely to their familys when called on to help us. I would also ask you what you think a firefighters role should be in Craig? As a taxpayer, in the know as you are, you should have no problem telling me everything a firefighter has the potential to do for you or your family's time of need.

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Rebelgirl 2 years, 1 month ago

Ok so I want to know what happens when we send members of the dept to Hayden to train when any of your houses catch fire and there is a delay because the firefighters are out of town? You would be outraged and ready to sue someone. What happens if there is an accident while the members rush back to town to help save you or your family and they are injured. It may sound simple but I guarentee if this were to happen you would complain. My suggestion if any of you think you can do better than the board you all so convinently rip apart behind aliases then step up run for the board or shut up. I am not the biggest supporter of the board I do not agree that majority of the same people have been there for years. Yes it is a revolving door with members but unless you can grow a set and run, then keep your comments to yourself. If you need the firefighters in an emergency I would hope you would want them well trained and working as one unit. With them going to Hayden you can not get the same quality of training as you can if you had a local center. If you are not in support of them then dont call 911 and expect them to come a calling cause now that you need them they are good enough. The building is needed, and as for you Insider you need to check your facts before posting, you're showing your ignorance! I see many complaints here but no real solutions.....typical.

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Insider1313 2 years, 1 month ago

Rebelgirl, my opinion and facts are valid, but if they aren't please state the facts you know. I am only here to inform and if I could run for the board I would, but that is not how it REALLY works. I wish I could change things by myself but I am only one person and it takes a community to govern itself. I am not saying you are wrong, your opinion is valid. But so is mine. No one questions the people on the Fire Department's heart, just the financial problems. Because this is your money to.

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xrsareus 2 years, 1 month ago

1313, I'm wondering why you can't run for the board? Also how does it REALLY work?

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xrsareus 2 years, 1 month ago

520, Why would everyone in Moffat county vote? Do you know what a special district is? If nobody has the desire to run for the position or even go vote, but just sit's back and bitches. How are YOU going to "get people in those seats that have more sense"?

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Insider1313 2 years, 1 month ago

Thanks 520 I was working and couldn't get back to post my answer to xrareus. The reason I can't run is my job, Conflict of interest. But I know what a special district is and I know the CRS laws and bi laws they have to follow in the “Craig Rural Fire Protection District”. This is why I am posting. I am wondering why you don’t run. You seem to have a passion for this. I’m not being a jerk, but if you know what you say you know tell us. What is your definition of a special district and what do you know of the Fire Board procedures. If I am wrong with any of my facts or opinions I am open to say so. But if we all have facts and we can combine them maybe we can figure out a plan. I may be too far right and you may be too far left, but maybe the answer is in the middle. Anyway, not an attack, just trying to get information out. Thanks for the response.

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xrsareus 2 years, 1 month ago

Insider1313, I believe there is already a "plan" and I support that plan. I look back on this discussion and wonder who in their right mind would want to run for public office in Moffat County. I vote for the people I think would do the best job they could in the positions they wanted to serve in. Whether it was for County Commissioner, City Council or the Fire Board. Since this is about the Fire Board, what have they done wrong, let's see, our Fire Department has good, modern equipment, the best personal equipment for the Firefighters and Firefighters that are trained to the same highest standards as any paid Fire Department in the nation. They have tried to plan for the future by taking advantage of grants to help with large purchases and saved money for future projects. Just happens one future projects is here now. The board consists of people from different aspects of Moffat County. Successful business men who know about budget's. If I thought I or someone else could do a better job I would try. Now do I agree with everything they do? No, but I don't agree with everything the Commissioner's or the City Council do either but unless I have a better idea, they are the one's put in the positions we voted them into. Now Ranger520 thinks everyone is corrupt and needs to be replaced. I guess we will have to agree to disagree, but Ranger520 who is going to fill those positions? I don't see anyone beating on the doors, going for any elected position in Moffat County. There are very few who want the abuse. To say the only reason the current Fire Board are there is to (Ranger520 quote) " padding their own pocket book" is an incredible statement. For now I support their efforts and visions. I will continue to do my part as a taxpayer and do my best to stay informed. Have a nice day !!!

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justoncrack 2 years, 1 month ago

Not that common sense ever applies in these online arguments, but we'll try. Simply put, our fire department is using money they already have to upgrade their training facilities so that they are better prepared to protect the rest of us.

I fully support the fire department. They willingly risk their lives to protect us, and the very least we can do is give them our support. Just like there's no atheists in foxholes, there won't be any complaining about improved training facilities when it's your house on fire.

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Rebelgirl 2 years, 1 month ago

Insider you state the Hayden training facility is 15 miles away, incorrect. the training facility is outside of Hayden where the old race track used to be. They are not looking at building a multi million dollar building. Its only $1.5 million not 2 or more. A small price considering the function of the buildings. A conflict of interest in my opinion is having someone on the fire board as well as city council. How unless you were a firefighter would it be a conflict? No business in the community has any direct influence over the FD. Anyone can run for a position. As for you mentioning the problem of the department only getting 1/3 of the people to respond, there are many employers that do not allow there employees to leave regaurdless of the reason. All of the memebers of the FD have full time jobs, through out the county and reaching beyond that. They have to provide for their families as well as dedicate time that they are not paid for training and meetings. They may get paid for calls but it depends on the call who gets paid. The members do a lot for the community and get nothing in return. As for one person not having an impact? It takes one person to start a movement, one person to speak up and get others onboard to make changes happen. If you are not willing to voice it and make an attempt to change something then why speak at all? Even if the attempt does make the change then you know you at least put the idea out there and made people think.

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Insider1313 2 years, 1 month ago

I respect your ideas, and you are right? You posted that the Hayden burn tower is outside of town, not next to residential or a college or a hospital. Interesting point, I hadn’t thought of that. So Hayden is in a safe spot. It is something to think about. Also one person can make a difference, but politics in this town are difficult. On a different point why is there more money allocated in the budget for next year for this same project (or this area), aprox. 500K. And for the year after that and after that and so on (in projected costs). I have no problems with the firefighters, but this is a bad decision by the board/ Chief and there are facts that the public doesn’t know. The firefighters do their job, I should know( I am one). Steamboat has no trouble with training in Hayden and they are a little farther away. I support the officials when their ideas are good but when they aren’t I speak up and try to help. These blogs will be used to help people better understand all the facts, even yours. So please keep trying to get more facts out, just like your last post, it was a point I hadn’t thought about.

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xrsareus 2 years, 1 month ago

Insider1313, This blog is NOT a place to understand all the facts. People get hot headed if their point of view is not the best one, even me. (did I just say that !!!) Sometimes people post just to get a reaction and push their buttons. Winters are long in Moffat County!!! You can't even rely on the newspaper to get the entire story right, it is just human and not asking the right questions. To truly understand all the facts we as taxpayers need to get involved, attend meetings, voice our opinions, likes and dislikes. Have you ever seen the Fire Board meeting agenda printed in the paper or even a time of the meeting? I do know when the next Al-Anon meeting is though. Every other government meeting is posted, County Commissioners , City, Hospital, Planning, Library, College all except the Fire Board. I don't even know if a reporter ever goes to the meetings. But should we blame the paper? No. We should blame ourselves, it is our money. We should stay informed and not just when it is a controversy. These decisions are not made overnight. I would like to see at the next Fire Board meeting a discussion about a bigger meeting room because not enough room for the people care about what is happening. Do you agree????

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truthhurts 2 years, 1 month ago

That building had already been damaged by a fire and they did attempt to use it even though it was structurally unsafe because of the damage the fire spread rapidly and they had to let it burn. It was the only burn in over 5 years and in my opinion was an unsafe “attempt” to train with live fire.

I have seen the tower at Hayden and it looks nothing like the proposed tower design on the cover of the paper. I would like more information on how the facilities differ?

Fires burn hotter and faster than ever and construction of new homes is made with more and more glued materials. Firefighters need to train more than ever to safely do the job. In a year that saw our community tragically loses four people to structure fires I thank the board for without asking for additional funds to have planned well enough to provide our community with the best product possible. My condolence to those who lost loved ones and if this facility can give our citizens a better chance to survive a fire then I can do nothing but support it.

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Tim Kjera 2 years, 1 month ago

If the fire chief wants to build a new play house with the money that was supposed to be spent on upgrading outdated equipment, I say go for it, because we the taxpayers were stupid enough to vote for a tax increase without really knowing where it was going to be spent. We gave them a blank check. They're cashing it in.

However, putting this project in an area where the smoke and carcinogens might affect people living in the area tells me that this hasn't been thought out very well. I wonder how the hospital patients are going to feel when the air handling units start sucking smoke into their building. If this burn tower produces any smoke or carcinogens that I have to breathe, the EPA is going to get a call to put a halt to it.

If this needs to be built, do it at the landfill, where it would affect fewer people, and there is a source for burn materials.

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DAILYREADER 2 years, 1 month ago

SOMETHING DOESN'T ADD UP HERE!!!! 30 VOLUNTEERS, AN AVERAGE FIRE REQUIRES 10 - 12 AND ON OCCASION ONLY HALF OF THAT SHJOW U[P. AND WILLEMS WANTS TO SPEND $1.5 MILLION FOR TRAINING. THE FIRE DISTRICT HAS WAY TOO MUCH MONEY THAT IS BURNING A HOLE IN THEIR POCKET. NO PUN INTENDED.

AND THEN HE TRIES TO BAIT US BY SAYING OUR INSURANCE PREMIUMS WILL GO DOWN. BET ME!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Insider1313 2 years, 1 month ago

xrsareus I do agree with you. These posts help people form questions, but the real place these should be asked is in the board meeting (3rd Thursday of every month at the Fire Station). And the meeting was nice when they held it in the class room, that's where they held it the first time this was really brought up to the public. But I agree that the meeting room is to small. With its 5-7 seats on the South wall and the 9 to 11 seats on the east side. Most are filled with Firefighters waiting for a pension board meeting. The reason it is normally used is because it is the easiest and best way to set up the recording device for the meeting notes. Oh you can get the fire board meeting notes on the web site http://www.craigfirerescue.org/minutes.htm but (and here is where I go into a paranoid rant) they haven't been updated since January 2012. But I like your posts, we don't agree on a lot of things but you (xrsareus) don't get dragged down by the little things. I do wish to see you at the next meeting, I hope things go well. And I want to clear up some things. I do want a burn tower, but only if the public is fully informed, no secrets. I want and always will be a servent of the public, they are the ones the need to be protected and they are the ones that pay the bills.

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xrsareus 2 years, 1 month ago

insider1313, I have read those minutes posted before. I'm not sure you pay attention when you are at those meeting. The forth item of business on the agenda in most of them I have read states "Approval of Minutes". By the looks of it, that is to approve the minutes from the last meeting before they are released to the public. So, if the last meeting was March 15th and they approved the minutes for the Feb. meeting they are only three business days from the meeting. Somebody has to put the Feb. minutes on the web site. I think you are being pretty demanding !!! Do you know of any government that works faster. I have never look. How fast are City or County minutes posted??? I guess we are going to disagree again...Would like to see you in a paranoid rant though, may be you-tube yourself and post it.

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xrsareus 2 years, 1 month ago

ranger520 I haven't seen a paranoid rant either but....insider1313 said in his last comment he was,,,,,, quote.... "here is where I go into a paranoid rant". So I thought he would make a video on you-tube and show it to us. Never to old to see something new!!! Are you?

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Insider1313 2 years, 1 month ago

Hey ranger520, xrsareus is just messing around with me. Xrsareus doesn't share our views but has valid points. After this is finished and I no longer work where I work I may post a you-tube video for him. Kind of like the video the board president was in and posted in the paper(only hopefully more details and more valid facts) including a paranoid rant. Ranger520 you have a lot of great points and we seem to be on the same page with this discussion. Keep up the good work and I'll keep posting what I hear.

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truthhurts 2 years, 1 month ago

“I know a lot of people question whether it’s worth the money, but until you experience the level of preparation it takes to go into a live fire, you can’t complain,” Johnson said. “Going into a live fire is daunting and this is going to be a valuable training tool, especially for rookies, so they know what they are going into.” — Talia Johnson, candidate for the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board

Love it she just moved here and even she can see the value in this project.

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mrsjhp 2 years, 1 month ago

I am amazed at the amount of discontent this is causing....if it was YOUR house burning down you'd want those that were responding to be the best trained firefighters in the world. Until something affects you directly it's easy to complian, judge, whine......
I know I want those men and women on our local department to be the best trained firefighters they can be. For everyone in this community.

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David Moore 2 years, 1 month ago

Agreed mrsjhp, well said. I have watched these guys save homes mere feet from a fully engulfed structure. I have witnessed them go in and out of a fire without hesitation and I have seen them do whatever it takes to rescue people and try to save their homes. If it is my house on fire, I want the best equipped, best trained individuals coming together as a team to help me in my time of need, why a select few would complain about our brave, selfless public servants is beyond me. Also, I cannot and do not speak for them, but I am willing to bet that if TMH had a problem with this tower being built close to the hospital that they would have taken a position on it by now. The location of the tower is south of the hospital building, how many prevailing winds blow from the south? And IF we had frequent southerly wind, do you think the firefighters would go "Hey, lets burn the tower and blow smoke all over the sick people today". They are not going to burn it every single day, and when they do burn, I think they would be smart enough to do it on a day that was calm or that had a westerly wind blowing. Use some common sense people, its free and not that hard to use. Bottom line is this, we approved a mil levy, we GAVE them this money, who are we, or a select few citizens, to tell them how to spend it? Even though it was generated through ALL of us as taxpayer money, it's not ours anymore, it belongs to the fire district. Geez, get off your soapboxes and find something else to do, like go outside and get some fresh, spring air instead of living in front of your keyboard whining about everything.

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David Moore 2 years, 1 month ago

So.....can you explain something. Why should we vote twice on something, money for the fire department in this case, that was already approved for them...by vote...by the people? As I said, it's not our money anymore.

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Jon Pfeifer 2 years, 1 month ago

This is not about the firefighters being better trained. They have a facility in Hayden that they can use for free. True, they have to share that facility with some other agencies, but I have not read anywhere that there is some sort of backlog or difficulty in scheduling training sessions in Hayden. Steamboat Springs uses the Hayden training center. They also serve a population about twice that of the fire department here. Mr. Willems has stated that when they lose 5 or 6 people to train, it becomes hard to get 10 or 11 people (out of 25 left) to respond to a big fire. That is why you schedule training sessions when you know you will be able to get at least 11 people on a big fire if necessary. This is a false justification.

My criticism is that this is wasteful, deceptive politics. This is about building a structure without justification and with money that people were misled into thinking was going to be spent on equipment. This is about the fire department having more money than they need, and deciding to expand unnecessarily with that money because they can.

This is also about the fire department doing something that tax payers told them they did not want them to do. They are announcing the training tower now. Next they will announce the second fire station. This is because they are receiving too much revenue for their needs, especially given that the population in Craig today is less than what it was in 1982.

I simply do not support this decision at all.

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Tim Kjera 2 years ago

You are absolutely correct Smalltowner that this is wasteful, deceptive politics.

It didn't make any sense to me that this tower would be built near an electrical substation and 2 power lines, the new hospital, a hotel, a National Park Service hiking trail and the Overlook housing subdivision. All are within a few hundred yards of the structure. But then, it dawned on me that phase two has already been planned out and a new fire station is soon to follow in the same location. Now it all makes sense.

The only hosing I see is directed towards the taxpayers. We are getting hosed again.

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Insider1313 2 years ago

Smalltowner you got it. If you look at the budget there is hundreds of thousands being allocated from next years budget for additions, and the year after (estimate). This is a multimillion dollar project. As I stated before the Fire Department has enough money to start this project (training tower) but it will be over the next couple of years that there will be a push for station 2. I have talked to Hayden (local firefighters, not the chief of West Routt) and they will let Craig use the tower for free, scheduling is open, they even were talking that they would train with them and possibly let them use equipment (so craig would not have to take equipment out of district). If training in live fire is the goal then the answer is free, but I assume that Craig will say that they have to train with their own equipment. That's fine there are plenty of vehicles and the cost would be less to go to Hayden then build. This is still the wrong decision, but I'm open to any suggestions.

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ckshanethomas 2 years ago

  I just have a few comments. I am not great at these blogs but I agree that this isn't the best choice, in my opinion the Craig Fire Department should put a second station on the free land that is being given to them. It would protect the public better, but the town voted that down (in the past). Now when this town needs a second station it will cost a lot more. So they did the next best thing and they are going to be better trained so that future firefighters will be able to save more property and lives in a safer and better manner. This is money that can't be given away or given to the schools, it has to be spent. Now the board (which I have not always agreed with and fought with) is doing the best they can with what they have got. I know certain people have said (Insider1313 or D.R.) that the tower in Hayden is close and free but it's not free, I now personally that West Routt has to charge for personal to be there among other things. And several counties have more than one burn tower in their counties. These are discussions that need to be brought up at Fire Department Board meetings. I know this issue and the Department is doing it's best to try to protect the public while doing what they want, I was there when it was brought up the first time and I know the people that are working on it, they care about what everyone thinks. 
      From a Firefighters point of view this is a good thing for Craig, and I urge you to go to the meetings and see for yourself, please. This department needs the support of the public, it needs the people that it protects behind it to guide it. And for the people that like to post anonymous that is your choice but I have posted my name. I am no longer with this Fire Department but even though I don't agree I still can see what is best for this town, and I am still a Firefighter. Look at the situation logically then look at the guys and gals that are answering your calls at 0300 (3:00am). You can contact me anytime, my email is connected if you agree or disagree. I am right here.
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ckshanethomas 2 years ago

I understand your frustration. This will be OK. The Department will always do the best with what they have. Firefighters adapt and overcome. It is not just one persons decision, if you don't trust one person on the board or the department that is ok. There are a lot of voices (5 board members, 7 officers and a group of firefighters) which have all had a voice about this. I think you should help them get another station, more cost effectively. The board meeting is the place. I mean seriously wouldn't it be better to get a second station a year or two before we need it and at a fraction of the cost (because the land if not costing hardly anything). The board is doing what the public wants, the public voted down the second station. The second station doesn't need to be huge, it can be some offices and some vehicles that the department already has. The station on Yampa is crowded and a station could help and keep cost down. Up to you ranger520, we can start something good if you want.

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Insider1313 2 years ago

Ranger520 don't let them deter you. This may be a ploy to get you off your game. Why would these people even get on the blog. They don't care about how they spend the money. They just want new toys at top dollar. This ckshnaethomas could be a plant, why is this person sticking up for the department. Ckshanethomas did you quit or get fired, because I have heard some things. Or do you want the throw more initials around, ya I know who you are to, but you are only guessing about me. Anonymous posting let us state our opinion without retaliation from these people in power. ckshanethomas knows all about this. I will be at the next board meeting, but I doubt you will. This is wrong what they are doing to the tax payers, and they can only be stopped if we replace them with leaders that want to follow the tax payers interests.

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George Robertson 2 years ago

I am in complete amazement that there are people in this world that don't even know me yet they are willing to risk their LIVES to save my house, and oft times a life! An example of how truely incredible they are: Even with all of rangers negativity, they wouldn't even hesitate to come to his aid!

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David Moore 2 years ago

You have that right nimrod. Just like when the new hospital was being planned and built, many of these same people complained because in their opinion, we just didn't need it. Just like the firefighters, nobody here would judge if one of these "I'm the only taxpayer in Craig" whiners showed up on our doorstep, we would care for them like any other. It's our job and we do it because we want to provide a service to the community and it's our passion, just like the firefighters, police and medics of our EMS. What I don't think is being understood here is this...Firefighters know how to put out a fire, I mean c'mon, you squirt water on it. What this tower will do is provide training in moving equipment up to higher floors, getting physical training wearing SCBA equipment while moving up and down stairs, and rescuing people in mulit floor situations. Fire is one component of their jobs, just like suturing is only one component of my job. We do have buildings in this town that are more than one level and the power plant is a whole other nightmare for them I'm sure. What I would like to see is those on this forum to stop believing that they are the only people who pay taxes in this town. Even if the poll generated 1000 responses, that would only be 10% of the people who reside, vote and pay taxes in this town. Get over it.

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Tim Kjera 2 years ago

This project does not meet zoning requirements and the city is asking for a varience of the heighth restrictions, according to a sign that is posted on the entrance to this site. One would think that this would be important enough to be a "news" item that should have been included in this article.

The sign says that public input can be sent to the city clerk or discussed at an April 16th, 6 pm meeting at City Hall with the Planning and Zoning Board.

I don't believe that I am the only person who pays taxes in this town. I do believe that EVERY taxpayer has the right to see that his/her taxes are being spent wisely, even if DavidMoore doesn't approve of it.

I will be forwarding my input to the Planning and Zoning Board and ask them to enforce the zoning regulations that currently exist.

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