2011 was a busy year for the Cortez Fire Protection District. As we close out the year we have seen a tremendous increase in out emergency call volumes. With only a few more days remaining in the year we are already over 1550 calls. This is an increase of over 200 more emergency responses from last year. We could not have been so successful in handling each and every call if it were not for our amazing members. So as we wrap up 2011 and prepare for the challenges of 2012 I wanted to reflect on some of the amazing things our membership has accomplished this year and to say thank you for making me feel welcome and part of a wonderful organization.
The first several months of 2011 were extremely busy with structure fires. Cortez personnel responded to everything ranging from the small room and contents fires to the large commercial warehouse fire. During the first part of the year there was a good chance that when crews came to work, they were going to respond to some type of fire. We even responded to our first grass fire of the year in February.
Most of the structure fires Cortez responded to were of such significance that mutual aid from the neighboring agencies was necessary. With that said, I would like to thank each of our neighboring agencies for assisting in the protection of Life and Property to our community, after all that is what it is all about. The mutual aid agreements among the Montezuma County fire agencies was utilized and tested with great success. Additionally Southwest Ambulance responded to many of these fire scenes and assisted in the rehab of emergency scene personnel. They were also on scene in case anyone was injured. Thankfully there were no significant injuries and no fatalities associated with these fires.
Of course Cortez Fire Protection District personnel responded to more than just structure fires in 2011. We stayed busy with a few grass fires, field fires and lightning strikes before, during and after the official wildfire season.
Then there are the many medical emergencies that our personnel responded to in conjunction with Southwest Ambulance. As with any fire agency, these comprised the majority of our emergency calls for 2011. These calls included everything from the vehicle rollovers ejecting passengers out to the sick individuals needing a little TLC and transport to the hospital. I am confident that the high level of care provided to the members of our community by both Cortez Fire Protection District personnel and the personnel from Southwest Ambulance has made a significantly positive affect on the lives of those they encountered.
Throughout 2011 the members of the Cortez Fire Protection District have continued to train in order to maintain if not increase their certification levels, knowledge levels, and emergency service delivery capabilities. Each and every member of the organization has participated in various forms of professional development. Many members participated in a Driver/Operator program while other National certifications in medical provider levels to include EMT-Basic and Paramedic.
2011 saw our most recent ISO evaluation in which we are still awaiting the results. Again I am confident that due to the time and effort of everyone within the organization and the professional level in which we conduct our organization that we will have a positive result.
There were many other things that were accomplished in 2011. One example was the team from Cortez Fire Protection District that participated in Tri-State came home the over all winner out of over 20 teams. They won several other events in this training/competition that has made the organization proud. Another example was a very successful MDA event in which the members collected over $9,000 for Charity.
Members of the Cortez Fire Protection also represented the organization with pride and professionalism at the 10th anniversary event honoring those that lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Many area emergency service organizations were in attendance to pay their respects.
Finally 2011 saw the first Citizens Fire Academy in which 11 members of the community participated in a four week event focused on introducing the public to what the fire service is about and the various aspects of what the Cortez Fire Protection District does to meet the objectives of the fire service. The participants learned what it takes to be a firefighter and the various things we do to keep the public safe.
Many of us are excited to see what new challenges 2012 will bring along with the ones we have planned for our selves. We wish everyone a Safe and Happy Holiday Season.
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Cortez Fire Protection District
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Cortez, CO 81321