Vail Daily’s View: A ground-breaking four decades in the making
Vail, CO, Colorado
It was a moment already overdue in 1985, when a judge ordered Vail to build that … West Vail fire station already.
The year passed. Other projects took priority. The town continued to build up, and in this past decade, really up.
Attracting more visitors traditionally has been deemed more important than rather mundane “life-safety” in this haven relatively unscathed by things like fires, violent crime and such.
Finally, even heating village streets was the higher priority over fire stations — the aged, cramped central Vail one as well as the one never seriously under consideration since crabapples begin mentioning the need in 1968.
It’s been fascinating (well, for a small-newspaper editor) to watch the political thinking and action that favors marketing over public safety. That’s not such an obvious question for a town like Vail, either, where the quality of the “guest experience” will make or break the community that relies so much on sales tax to survive and thrive — and to be able to afford such things as new fire stations.
The new station will trim four minutes off the quickest response time from the central station (when not already answering other calls), which may seem like no big deal, granted.
But that’s the time that a fire in, say, a trash can, or outlet, or sofa, or stove will flash over an entire room along the ceiling all at once.
That’s a long time for someone having a heart attack or other life-threatening health, er, event.
It’s even a long time some droughty summer in the future with a spark flying in the wrong direction.
Beyond that, the station and crew based there will make coverage better throughout Vail as a whole.
And it will be the busiest of Vail’s stations, since the most calls come from West Vail.
So, a mere 42 years since the need for the station was pointed out, and 23 years after the infamous judge’s order to build it, dignitaries happily threw some dirt Monday where Wendy’s once stood.
No, it won’t likely do a thing to help attract visitors from Dallas or London or Beijing.
Just count it as one bread-and-butter need fulfilled.
Vail Daily Editorial Board