Inside the Chamber column: Support for the Glenwood Springs Fire Department
Inside the Chamber
When potential loss of your home or a loved one is at stake, every second counts. To the casual bystander, the sound of a siren may spark the thought that something bad has happened. To the person on the receiving end of an emergency respondent call, that sound is quite different. The flashing lights and blaring horns represent relief, hope and the reassurance that even in a most trying moment help has arrived.
When first responders show up on what could be someone’s worst day, they need to have every resource available at their disposal to be at their very best. There is an important local ballot measure that affects all of us as citizens and businesses. Ballot Measure 2A/6B is critical to maintaining the current levels of fire protection, medical, rescue and other emergency services. The Glenwood Springs Fire Department (GSFD) provides these essential services for all residents and visitors in Glenwood Springs and the surrounding Glenwood Springs Rural Fire Protection District.
Measure 2A/6B combines and renews two previously approved taxes. The revenue from the new tax will maintain current levels of services, enhance existing facilities and technology, update and replace outdated and aging firefighting equipment, firetrucks and ambulances. Most importantly, it will prevent reduced levels of staffing and longer response times.
If 2A/6B doesn’t pass, the GSFD faces a $621,000 cut in its operating budget. Any cuts to staffing levels for the fire department could cause an increase in response time to emergencies. Increased response times could result in a change in the city’s Insurance Service Office (IS0) rating, potentially resulting in higher insurance rates for everyone.
The logical next question is how much will this cost taxpayers? If 2A/6B is approved, a homeowner with a property appraised at $500,000 will see an increase of approximately $6 per month to maintain the current levels of fire protection, medical, rescue and other emergency services.
Throughout the dry summer, our community witnessed the GSFD and other agencies quickly extinguish fires at Oak Meadows, South Canyon and Transfer Trail. GSFD also responds to car accidents, heart attacks and other emergencies at a continuously increasing rate. A positive outcome in these emergency situations is often directly related to a quick response and having adequate resources available at hand. 2A/6B affects all of us as citizens and businesses. The Glenwood Springs Chamber board voted unanimously to support this measure and share its importance with the community so that our fire department can continue to do its job well. For more information, please visit yeson2a.com.
This fall’s ballot is extensive, and it’s important to learn about the issues and get to know the candidates so that your voice as a voter is represented. Please join us at Issues and Answers from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, at City Hall to hear from some of the candidates and learn about the local ballot measures. This event is being presented by the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, Glenwood Springs Post Independent and KMTS. Ron Milhorn, news director at KMTS, will moderate. Refreshments will be provided by State Farm Agent Jeff Leonard.
Angie Anderson is president & CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.