“Since we’ve been here, I have heard both positive and negative things about the department and the board, depending on who I talk to. Maybe a new face would be a good thing and I think I could be that new face.”
— Talia Johnson, candidate for the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board
Before moving to Craig, Talia Johnson, 37, served four years with the Tri-County Volunteer Fire Department in Rush as both a firefighter and an emergency medical technician.
An injury later sidelined Johnson from active duty.
Rather than cut ties with the department, Johnson decided to make a run at the Tri-State Fire Protection District Board and served in that capacity for a number of years.
In July 2011, Johnson’s husband, David, landed a position as a history professor at Colorado Northwestern Community College in Craig.
The couple relocated here with their two children in August and Johnson has been looking for an opportunity to contribute to her new community since then.
Her first tour was of Craig Fire/Rescue, which she initially wanted to join as a volunteer.
She began training for the physical exam upon her arrival in Craig, but she came down with pneumonia in September and took it as a sign her firefighting days are behind her.
As in Rush, Johnson refused to give up on her passion for fire service and has since entered the race for the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board.
“Since we’ve been here, I have heard both positive and negative things about the department and the board, depending on who I talk to,” Johnson said. “Maybe a new face would be a good thing and I think I could be that new face.”
Johnson believes she can be an asset because of her past experiences with the Tri-County Fire Department and the district board.
Her number one priority if elected would be to advocate for Craig’s volunteer firefighters.
“My number one goal is making sure things are always done for the protection of the firefighters,” Johnson said. “That’s where my heart is because I have been out there and I have been out there in secondhand equipment.”
Aside from the proposed location, Johnson said she favors the training tower and live fire structure the department is seeking to build by the end of the summer near The Memorial Hospital and CNCC.
“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.”
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