Fire Chief’s Corner

 

Golden Gate Firefighters are honored to serve the community with well trained emergency responders.

We would like to remind everyone thaimg_0279t wildfire season is still underway and the county is currently under a fire ban.  Research from post fire analysis from across the country has proven that defensible space is effective in reducing the risk of home ignition.  Creating defensible space and keeping your driveways accessible allows firefighters to access the area and provides for firefighter safety.  Keep up the good work in removing fuels away from your homes and the ongoing efforts of the Firewise community.

A second reminder is to change your batteries in your smoke detectors.  Each time we need to set our clocks to day light saving we should also change the batteries in the smoke detectors.  Smoke detectors save lives.

As always, thank you for supporting the volunteer firefighters of Golden Gate so that we can protect our community.

Fire Chief Doug Cupp

Election 2016 – Absentee Ballot Request

The 2016 Election for Directors will be a polling place election, taking place at the Grange on May 3, 2016.

If you would like a mail-in ballot, you must complete a Mail-In Ballot Request and return it to the Designated Election Official, no later than April 29.

This must be done even if you’re registered as a mail-in ballot voter with Jefferson County, since the Golden Gate Fire Protection District conducts independent elections.

All mail-in ballots must be RECEIVED by May 3, 2016.

Download the Mail-In Ballot Request here.

GGFPD Election 2016 – Director Candidates

The Golden Gate Fire Protection District will have two director seats up for election on the May 3rd ballot.   The term for each seat is 4 years.

Candidates for this year’s election, listed in ballot order, are:

David Kinnard

In our Golden Gate Canyon area, wildland and structural fires pose a major threat to our families, homes and land. Medical emergencies of illness and injury are an even more common threat to our health and wellness. A skilled and timely response by our firefighters and medical first responders is critical to protecting our lives and property, and a key to safety for our families, livestock and visitors in our special foothills environment.

As a member of the GGFPD Board of Directors, I will work to support:

  • The best equipped and trained volunteer Dept. we can provide
  • Responsible financial stewardship and accountability to the community we serve
  • Recognition by the County and State for the increasing service and financial demands that the growing recreational use in our District places on our volunteers and resources

I am a 25 year resident of Golden, married father of four; Lori and I moved to Douglas Mountain three years ago. As a physician trained in cardiology, I have over 30 years’ experience leading teams of highly skilled professionals serving patients and families challenged by cardiovascular disease, our nation’s leading cause of death. I recognize our GGFPD Board must support a high level of technical knowledge and skill in the Dept., implemented by dedicated and generous volunteers, with innovative, transparent, cost-effective use of scarce resources to successfully protect our District from the threats of fire, illness and injury. I pledge to focus sharply on these goals; if you share these priorities I would appreciate your support.

John Arendt

In 2007 I volunteered with the GGFPD to revise and update the water source database.  Ever since I had been planning to join the fire department and up until the Black Hawk Ridge fire last fall (directly across from our house), I hadn’t taken the leap.  I was the first person at the fire with boots and shovel.  I experienced firsthand how vulnerable we are especially with increasing recreational use of the canyon.

I joke with my wife that I didn’t realize I wanted to be a fire fighter until I was 50!  I’ve recently passed my Colorado FF1 written and JPR’s.  Wildland training is around the corner.  In the short time I’ve been directly involved it’s been intense physical and mental work, yet fun and incredibly rewarding.

My entire professional career has been involved in engineering of industrial and consumer safety products.  Bringing a product to market is no different than managing any organization.  Understand root issues, develop goals and creating a plan of action to accomplish those goals using the available resources.

Being a small fire district, Golden Gate must be creative, nimble, and resourceful to accomplish our goals.  There is no space, time nor energy for politics or being politically correct nonsense.  The needs and goals are clear.  Let’s boil it down to the basics and get on with things.

A mentor of mine said to me in a recent discussion about running for a board position that a fire department has the highest moral duty to act with uncompromised standards to perform beyond that which is expected.

I believe the focus of any first response organization should be the highest level of safety for the citizens as well as the first responders while assuring highest value for tax payers’ dollars.  We owe the community of Golden Gate Canyon management that provides the highest level and quality of training and equipment for the fire fighters, a balanced budget, excellent value for funds spent, elimination of waste and seamless coordination with mutual aid partners synergizing services, training and equipment.

I look forward to working with the Auxiliary and the Grange, representing you, the residents of Golden Gate Canyon.

Steven Green

Patsy Daniel

Mill Levy Certification Notice

It has come to our attention that the mill levy to support the Golden Gate Fire Protection District has been improperly certified for the past four years.  The District Board of Directors has taken swift action to investigate how this happened and approved the required budget adjustment for this year.

The approved general mill levy for our fire district as set by the voters, in accordance with the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, or TABOR, is 9.000.

Unfortunately, the accountant who has been working with the District for the past four years, improperly, and for reasons unknown, departed from the Colorado-approved guidance and certified the rates at 10.774 for 2014 and 12.665 for 2015.

A mill certification is a typical administrative task done after the budget is adopted, simply certifying the mill at the rate approved by the voters, and filed directly with Jefferson County to determine your property taxes.

Fortunately, the approved budgets for the past two years did not rely on the additional amounts to fund core operations.  The District has taken steps to put the excess revenue into reserves.  While the District will not receive all of the 2016 property tax revenue until this fall, the Jefferson County Treasurer will not allow the District to correct the mill levy to be collected this year, which will stand at 12.665 mill.

At the March 2016 meeting of the Board of Directors, the Board voted 4-0 to certify a mill levy tax credit for property taxes next year.   This means the mill will be reduced to a level to even out the over-collection from the past four years.  The District will use revenues collected this year, and held in reserve, to fund next year’s operations.

The District will be hiring an accountant with experience working with special districts and knowledge of our obligations under TABOR.

We regret this occurred and take stewardship of your tax dollars seriously.  We appreciate your understanding and patience as we take steps to ensure our District has the appropriate level of professional services and additional oversight moving forward.

Get the Facts: The Golden Gate Fire Protection District and Auxiliary

Mr. Steve Green, a member of the Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Fire Protection District, has been sending out communications fabricating information and misrepresenting the relationship between the District and the Golden Gate Auxiliary, a non-profit formed to support the District through private donations and efforts.

The Golden Gate Auxiliary is an important, community-driven organization directly supporting the mission of the District to provide additional resources, in terms food, training opportunities, and recognition, to our hardworking volunteer fire fighters.  This broad, grassroots organization brings members of our community together, to take greater ownership over the success of our fire department.

In the past year, since the Auxiliary was established, they have hosted the annual Pig Roast, with a record net income, sponsored the meal for the annual firefighter recognition dinner, raised money to host a wildland-urban interface fire training course, and taken charge of a firefighter incentive program.

Mr. Green incorrectly stated in an email to the community that the District “handed over $20,000” to the Auxiliary without a vote.

The Golden Gate Auxiliary is funded entirely with private donations and does not receive any funding, tax-payer or otherwise, from the District.

The decision to transfer fundraising activities to the Auxiliary was approved by the Board of the Golden Gate Fire Protection District in 2014 by a 4-1 vote.

These allegations, besides being untrue, are inflammatory and do not recognize the important work of our Auxiliary and their relationship to our department.

We invite all members of our community to learn more and join the Golden Gate Fire Auxiliary to support our firefighters!  If you know a member of the Auxiliary, please thank them for the work they do to support our community.

 

 

Fire Chief Job Opening – Applications Due March 31

The Golden Gate Fire Protection District is currently accepting applications for a part-time fire chief.  Please submit a cover letter and resume to contact@goldengatefire.org.

POSITION: FIRE CHIEF, GOLDEN GATE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT

 STATUS: PART-TIME; FLSA NON-EXEMPT

EMPLOYMENT STATUS:  AT-WILL

WORK HOURS:   AS NECESSARY TO SATISFACTORILY PERFORM THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION, NOT TO EXCEED TWENTY HOURS PER WEEK.

This position description is established by the Board of Directors (“Board”) of the Golden Gate Fire Protection District (“District”) to outline the basic requirements, duties and general responsibilities of the position of Fire Chief.  This position is “at-will,” which means the Board may terminate the employment relationship at any time and for no reason, subject only to the requirements of Federal and State law.  Similarly, the employee may terminate the employment relationship without notice at any time for no reason

 Position Summary

The Fire Chief is the District’s Chief Executive Officer and Commander in Chief.  The Fire Chief is responsible for enforcing the rules, policies and procedures adopted by the District Board, and for carrying out the duties and responsibilities with the authority given a Fire Chief by Colorado Revised Statutes.  The Fire Chief is responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day administration and operation of the District.

Immediate Supervisor

The Fire Chief serves under the direction and guidance of the District Board.

Supervisory Authority

The Fire Chief is responsible for the supervision of all Department volunteers and employees, directly and through subordinate supervisors.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

In addition to the authority granted by the Colorado Revised Statutes, the Fire Chief shall:

General

  1. Strive to personally fulfill and create a culture focused on the mission of the Golden Gate Fire Protection District;
  2. Be responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day administration and operation of the District;
  3. Develop rules and procedures necessary to implement and enforce the policies, procedures, and codes adopted by the District Board or required by Colorado Revised Statutes;
  4. Promote a culture of excellence to serve the Golden Gate Canyon community with fire, medical, and emergency services;
  5. Assist the Board of Directors to develop, implement, and evaluate of all aspects of fire suppression, prevention, emergency rescue and medical services, hazardous materials response and ambulance services provided by the District or third parties;
  6. Provide recommendations to the Board to improve service and value to the community;
  7. Coordinate intergovernmental agreements with other agencies and districts. Develop and maintain positive, effective working relationships with District employees and volunteers, other emergency services agencies, other governmental agencies and the community;
  8. Consistently promote a professional image of the District at all times;
  9. Attend Board meetings and prepare regular or special reports for the Board; and,
  10. Represent the district at meetings, conferences and trainings that may require travel and overnight lodging, when possible. Attendance at the Jefferson County Fire Council is required.

Personnel

  1. Provide leadership and maintain high expectations and standards for District personnel;
  2. Lead, recruit, retain, organize, and supervise District personnel;
  3. Delegate duties and responsibilities to ensure the efficient operation of the District to meet the needs of the community;
  4. Provide training that meets or exceeds the requirements and needs of District personnel; and,
  5. Verify pension and LOSAP eligibility and records on an annual basis.

Operations

  1. Command fire ground and emergency operations; and,
  2. Ensure that District operations meet or exceed standards imposed by Federal or State law, regulation or code.

Equipment and Facilities

  1. Be accountable for all District property and ensuring equipment is maintained and in a high state of readiness; and,
  2. Be responsible for the purchase, sale, upgrade, usage, maintenance and security of District property in accordance with Board policy and the approved budget.

Administration and Finance

  1. Assist in developing budgets for the District each year;
  2. Assist the Board in identifying and procuring grants to fund District needs;
  3. Ensure the records of the District are properly organized and maintained; and
  4. Respond to information requests and District concerns in a prompt and professional manner.

Mandatory Qualifications and Requirements

  1. Possess and maintain a valid State of Colorado driver’s license, and maintain an acceptable motor vehicle driving record.
  1. Possess and maintain a Firefighter I or greater certification.
  1. Possess and maintain CPR certification and First Responder
  1. Possess and maintain Basic Wildland certification.
  1. Incident Command Certification (200 or equivalent).
  1. Obtain continuing education and training as necessary to perform the duties of the position.
  1. Pass an annual fitness test.

Working Environment/Physical Requirements

This position requires work in a variety of locations and conditions, including living quarters and office areas, in and around a wide variety of automotive, mechanical, chemical and medical equipment or supplies, and emergency scenes of every type.

  1. A substantial portion of this position will involve sedentary, administrative work in an office environment; however, in the event of an emergency incident, the Fire Chief may supervise fire ground activities at the emergency incident and/or perform other duties at an emergency incident;
  2. Strenuous physical activity under extreme adverse conditions may be required periodically;
  3. Must possess the ability to lift items in excess of one hundred fifty (150) pounds occasionally and up to sixty (60) pounds frequently;
  4. Will be required to work in all weather conditions and in extreme temperatures below twenty degrees (20 degrees) Fahrenheit and in excess of one hundred degrees (100 degrees) Fahrenheit;
  5. Work may be performed under hazardous and adverse conditions, including but not limited to, weakened structures, slippery and uneven surfaces, proximity to moving mechanical equipment, burning structures, broken glass or other materials, electrical currents, high places, and confined spaces;
  6. Work may result in exposure to contaminated environments, including but not limited to, hazardous materials, smoke, gases, chemicals, fumes, odors, mists and dusts;
  7. Work may result in exposure to air or blood borne infectious diseases or illnesses, such as Hepatitis A, B or C, HIV, tuberculosis, small pox, etc.;
  8. Work may result in exposure to high noise levels requiring the wearing of hearing protection;
  9. This position requires the ability to read, write, speak and understand the English language at a level adequate to perform the job; and,
  10. This position will involve periods of high physical, mental and/or emotional stress.

Special Tools and Equipment

Must have demonstrated skill in the proper operation of Fire District apparatus, vehicles, equipment, computers, and emergency radio equipment.

Golden Gate Fire Protection District Board of Directors Election Announced

The Golden Gate Fire Protection District will be conducting an election for two directors on May 3, 2016.

The election will be held at the Grange, 25201 Golden Gate Canyon Rd, Golden, CO 80403 from 7am to 7pm on May 3.

Nominations are currently open and must be received by Friday, February 26 at 3pm.

Golden Gate Fire Protection District Election Resolution 2016

Jefferson County Hazard Mitigation Plan Survey

Residents are invited to provide feedback to the Jefferson County multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee on reducing hazard impacts.  The survey is intended to gather public feedback on concerns about wildfires, floods, winter storms and other hazards and strategies to reduce their impacts.

Take a quick, five question survey and let your concerns and ideas be heard.  Please respond by February 17th.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JeffCoHMP_Update2015

The Jefferson County Hazard Mitigation Plan was developed in 2010 and is updated every 5 years.  The draft will be available for public review and comment in March 2016.  A public meeting to discuss the plan update is tentatively scheduled for March 23rd in Wheat Ridge with more details forthcoming.