Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ to Eagle River Fire proposal |

Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ to Eagle River Fire proposal

Five years ago, after many years of serving an expanding community and service area, the town of Vail and Vail Fire and Emergency Services built a new West Vail Fire Station, in a long due investment in their emergency services. This investment confirmed the need of the fire department to expand response capabilities due to multiple simultaneous calls for help, and to obtain better access to emergencies across the entire area. Building a station in West Vail on Interstate 70 was a logical move to service that area and to have quick response and access via frontage roads and the interstate to the east and west. Soon after, the town of Vail invested another $2.4 million into renovating its oldest fire station into a more efficient facility.

Our neighboring Eagle River Fire Protection District, created in 2001, has been operating in facilities that were built prior to and during the mid-1980s recession. Similar what Vail experienced, Eagle River Fire stations have also served expanding resorts and communities that require upgraded response, now and into the future. The board of directors and fire chief have proposed three facilities to ensure efficient response and to expand when the call volume demands. The Avon Fire Station must be moved to a location that allows quicker access to all service areas, away from its current location where activities and pedestrian traffic inhibit safe and speedy response. The proposed public safety facility location is adjacent to I-70 and other arteries with quick access across the entire response area.

The Edwards Fire Station, circa 1985, needs a rebuild to stage equipment necessary to service the district, and to house multiple crews in the future. Rural communities sometimes require water tankers or wildfire units to respond to the west end, and it is impossible to the required equipment in the current station. Simultaneous emergencies frequently call for adjacent stations to respond into Edwards and Avon while their home units are already on an incident.

The final proposal is to construct a training facility in the Minturn area. Firefighters’ operational precision depends on proper and frequent training in fire, rescue and high-rise incident response. Currently, the firefighters are only able to train in buildings if owners allow in the “off season” or to travel to Dotsero or Frisco, outside of the service area. This is only possible several times a year. Training at a facility within the district could occur frequently, maintaining response-readiness.

I am asking that you consider voting “yes” for the Eagle River Fire Protection District bond initiative . An investment of about $4 per month for an average home, will allow your fire district to provide emergency services on par with the world-class community in which we live. Help us in Building a Safer Tomorrow — today.

Alan Barry


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