Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

Letter to the Editor


September 2, 2017

Dear Editor,

A proposal for Boulder Rural Fire Department (BRFD) to “join operations” with Boulder Fire Department is being considered.

BRFD serves much of the Gunbarrel area. At the time of writing, it is not clear to me what is involved in “joining operations.” This is somewhat concerning. Area voters have elected to enact taxes to support BRFD financially at what seems to be a higher level than most fire departments, enabling the purchase of fire engines equipped with compressed air foam systems. If “joining operations” amounts to a merger, it is not clear to me that these and other resources would remain devoted to the Gunbarrel area.

The same concerns that apply to equipment also apply to staff. BRFD typically responds with a paramedic on their engines. It is not clear that this would continue under a “joint operations” scheme. Personally, I would consider staffing even more critical than equipment concerns. If “joining operations” involves reducing staff, I can’t imagine that the outcome would be positive.

I am aware that there was a recent accounting error at BRFD that caused some concern. It is not clear to me how, or if, that accounting error plays into the current joint operation proposal, or how the proposal would mitigate that issue.

My understanding is that there is a public meeting to discuss this issue on Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. at BRFD’s main station at 6230 Lookout Road, Boulder. I would urge local residents to attend if they are concerned.

Niles Oien

Gunbarrel Estates


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