Carbondale fire district surveying residents |

Carbondale fire district surveying residents

Gene Schilling

We have just concluded a series of 11 neighborhood meetings about the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District Master Plan study. Some of these were well-attended, and others were not.

We are disappointed that more citizens did not attend, as the goal of these meetings was to solicit community input about fire and ambulance services. Many of you will have an opportunity to offer your feedback in a survey that will be mailed to a sample of district residents that should be arriving between May 29 and June 2.

This survey will be mailed out to approximately 3,500 residents. This represents a random, scientifically valid sample, and we urge all of you who receive a copy to complete the survey. The survey should take 5 to 10 minutes to complete and will come with an option to complete it online. All completed surveys, whether mailed or completed online, will be confidential. You will have approximately two weeks to complete and return the survey.

Your participation is very important to us, especially since the meetings were not as well-attended as we had hoped. Finally, for those who have not been sent a survey by mail, you will have an opportunity to take the survey online in the latter part of June.

In other Master Plan happenings, Almont Associates, the technical advisers for the plan, visited the district for four days in late April. They toured the entire district, including all fire stations. They examined operations, equipment, the district’s vehicles, records and interviewed all personnel, including the board members and volunteers.

They are now analyzing this information and will be submitting a report within the next month. This report will include recommendations on how to meet the future challenges facing the district and what it will take in terms of staffing and other resources to meet both national standards as well our community’s expectations.

This self-examination process has been very challenging and time-consuming, but we are convinced that the outcome will result in a fire district that will meet your expectations while providing service that meets national standards in a cost-efficient manner. We look forward to your continued participation in the next two months and will continue to reach out to you and communicate on our progress.

Gene Schilling is president of the board of directors of the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District.

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