A message from Fire Chief Kris Kazian
August 28, 2020
Windsor Severance Fire Rescue Community,
Let’s start this week with a little reminder for everyone- Please join me in the Pledge of Allegiance:
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.
And to the Republic for which it stands, One Nation, Under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice and for all.”
Well I will say it was yet another tough week for America. We continue to see what I consider to be unprecedented challenges for everyone, regardless of what “side” you are on. Why do we even have to have sides? While I will not get into the political side of things, I’ve seen a lot of things I never thought I would. Baseball, hockey and basketball players walk off the field, ice and court- never seen that before. A political rally on the White House lawn- never seen that before. Rioting that turned deadly just 20 minutes from the town I grew up in- never seen that before. All of this and so much more is making things harder for me to understand where we are going and how we are going to find common ground.
As we recited the pledge a few minutes ago, words such as: United, One Nation, Indivisible, Liberty and Justice for All strike me as critical words to highlight in how we might start to move toward a better place. And while we have recited these words likely thousands of times in our lives, I feel like the words should hold an even greater importance today. I continue to see social media keyboard warriors blasting one another by making justifications and assumptions about political affiliations or decisions about a person’s guilt or innocence before anyone has even had time to gather the facts. The emotions on both sides to begin to rise and boil over at an exceptionally fast rate for everyone. If we do not work to harness those emotions and feelings for solutions, we are going to see the things like happened in Kenosha, Wisconsin, become everyday events. We will become numb to the violence. Numb to the divided country we will have allowed to form. As they say, history repeats itself and many great and powerful nations have fallen, clear back to Rome.
While I share my concerns about the world around us, I also want to share the amazing things that your WSFR staff continue to do for our community, day in and day out. Our commitment to our mission, “Providing Professional Service and Compassionate Care From Our Family To Yours,” is alive and well in WSFR! As the fire chief and a member of our community, I could not ask for anything more. There are many great things happening around us if we just take the time to look for them.
Earlier this week, a woman was mowing her lawn when she suffered a significant medical emergency. WSFR and UCHealth crews arrived on scene and began CPR and other advanced lifesaving skills. I am always awestruck when I hear our personnel bring back a heartbeat and breathing for a patient. What more rewarding and noble experience could you be part of? But I am even more amazed when they are then able to talk to us in the back of the ambulance. We saved a life this week, but the story does not end there. Once the crew was finished stabilizing her and the ambulance was headed to the hospital, the crew realized the lawn was still only half mowed and they took a few minutes to complete the job and put the lawn equipment away. Certainly not an expected action, but one that certainly goes above and beyond for a member of our community who had a bad day. These are the stories a fire chief dreams his team will do when they present themselves. These are things leaders cannot mandate. They just happen, and when they do, they make me smile. We do little things like this all the time to provided added value, but things such this are amazing examples of who we are at WSFR and our commitment to everyone we serve.
Our Wildland teams are wrapping up their 14-day assignments at the Cameron Peak Fire. The fire is more than 20,000 acres and still zero percent contained. Sadly, there are some predictions this fire may be burning long into September. Fortunately, we have seen a little relief in some of the smoke conditions along the Front Range this week, and I am guessing we have all had our fill of smoke.
Colorado Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) was recalled and the 80-person team deployed to Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Laura. A WSFR Battalion Chief and his Search and Rescue Dog responded as part of that team which will be conducting damage assessment and rescue needs while on their mission.
If you saw our Facebook post from this morning, you’ll have noticed we participated in a lot of specialized training in this week. The level of commitment we have to serve our community is certainly reflected in the number of hours committed to the trainings this week. It was a lot of hard work in the sweltering heat, and I thank all the crew members who pushed through it to help make WSFR better every day.
We are making good progress on the design concepts for Fire Station 4. It is a lengthy process and we have been met with some challenges, but we have a fabulous design team with professionals helping us navigate it. I am confident we will have a fantastic asset for our community to benefit from for decades to come.
This is the time of the year fire departments across the country would normally be putting the final touches on our plans for the annual Labor Day Weekend Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) drive. WSFR Engineer Ben Guffey has headed up our annual campaign for a while, and our community has been so supportive. Our community helps us raise more money than communities four times our size! The time spent “filling the boot” at the grocery stores and coffee shops is always one of the highlights of our year. Firefighters across the country have been helping Jerry’s Kids in this manner since 1954. MDA is an amazing organization and needs the love and support from our community more than ever. In the interest of everyone’s safety the annual Fill The Boot Campaign is virtual this year. WSFR firefighters ask that you consider whatever contribution you might have done if you saw us standing outside one of our local businesses. Help us make a difference in the lives of the children who benefit from the work MDA does. You can donate by going to https://filltheboot.donordrive.com/index.cfm…. Your support is greatly appreciated, and we are looking forward to being back with our boots in hand next year seeing all of the smiling faces and generous people in our community.
As far as family life goes, my daughter who was furloughed sometime back was officially laid off last Friday. Through the power of relationships, she was able to land a new job by Tuesday. I am so grateful for the hard work and grit my girls have been able to learn over the years. Cami is done with the second week of school and it seems to be going pretty well. My wife has begun a few speech therapy visits out of the house, so she is happy to be spending less time in front of the screen. I continue to keep my commitment to my health and wellness. I completed my physical and bloodwork and so far it has been A-plusses all around. I have made all of those lovely “now you are 50” doctor appointments you are supposed to do. We just Keep on Keeping on and doing our part. I appreciate all of you who are doing your part as well.
Lastly, WSFR was honored to take part in the funeral procession for Larimer County Park Ranger Brendan Unitt who tragically lost his life in the line of duty while trying to rescue others last week. Brendan was a Windsor High School graduate and was known for his high energy levels and desire to help others. Tragic events like this that are close to home tend to put things in perspective, so while so many other things are happening around the country, please take a minute to think of the Unitt family and the loss they have suffered.
Stay safe and know WSFR is always here for you when you need us!
September 18, 2020 Windsor Severance Fire Rescue Community, While the smok…
September 18, 2020
Windsor Severance Fire Rescue Community,
While the smoke continues to cloud our air and wreak havoc on our allergies and air quality, WSFR firefighters continue to work on the Cameron Peak fire. We are currently working to see if we have the staffing to swap out our crew who come Monday will have been working on the fire for 14 days. The Incident Management Team handling the incident and those on the ground fighting this complex fire continue to do their best. It is not expected to be extinguished for possibly another month, so we may be in store for more smokey conditions given the warm weather and dry conditions forecasted.
What is not clouded by smoke is the action the Windsor Severance Fire Rescue Board of Directors took at its meeting last week. The board members have taken their sworn duty as elected officials to provide sustainable fire and emergency services to our 100 square mile fire district seriously. While not an action that was taken lightly, the Board has officially referred a measure to District voters to help stabilize funding for WSFR. The WSFR measure will appear as “Ballot Issue A” on an independent ballot that will arrive in the mail separately from the County’s General Election Ballot.
WSFR Ballot Issue A addresses allowing changes in revenue because of the possible reduction in the residential assessment rate and how the 1982 Gallagher Amendment plays into the funding formula. The Gallagher Amendment is best explained in this short video https://youtu.be/8q_nllP5yRw from the Colorado State Fire Chiefs. In 1982, all homes were taxed at 29 percent of their actual values. The Gallagher Amendment required that there would always be a 45 percent Residential and 55 percent non-residential split in property tax collections in Colorado. Due to the number of homes and value of residential property outpacing commercial properties over the last four decades, the residential assessment rate has dropped from 29 percent in 1982 to 7.15 percent today. Current estimates suggest that the residential assessment rate could be further reduced in 2022.
The WSFR Board of Directors recently unanimously approved Resolution 2020-08 to support WSFR Ballot Issue A as part of their fiduciary responsibilities. The District has also prepared the attached fact sheet on Ballot Issue A.
WSFR Ballot Issue A ONLY pertains to your Fire and EMS services here in Windsor and Severance. You may also hear about a statewide initiative on the General Election Ballot called Proposition B. This also deals with the Gallagher Amendment and, if it passes, would apply to every local government in Colorado.
I can assure you that WSFR is working daily to assure we are meeting our current and future needs with the utmost respect and appreciation for the tax revenue we are entrusted with. We have a very critical job providing you with emergency services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
On the family front, Cami was one of the 51 high school kids who was recently exposed to the Corona Virus and is going to school from home for the next 14 days. Kristy is not happy with the constant smell of smoke in the air. I guess being a firefighter for so long I cannot even smell what she is talking about. We had a great time with family in town from Chicago. Warning, I think when when my brother-in-law retires from the fire department he and his family will be retiring here!
Have a great weekend and please keep doing your part to make everyone healthy and safe.
You are not forgotten.
Did you know? 1 out of every 4 blood donations are made on a school campus yet m…
Did you know? 1 out of every 4 blood donations are made on a school campus yet most campuses will be closed to blood drives this fall. You can be a vital link to help replace lost student blood donations. Vitalant will be hosting a blood drive at the Community Recreation Center on Monday, September 21 from 9am to 2:30pm. Visit https://donors.vitalant.org/dwp/portal/dwa to make an appointment.
Weld County Politics3 months ago
Tonya VanBeber: The Democrat In Republican Clothing
Colorado State News6 months ago
Weld County Board of Commissioners Pull Out of C-PACE Program, Jeopardizes Windsor Sports Complex
Ault News3 months ago
2 Democrat Dark Money Groups Posing as Conservatives Funding Television Ads & Mailers for 3 Weld Republicans