All-volunteer CVFD was just fine


People deserve to know the history of what is happening at Cortez Fire Protection District and why they are asking for more tax dollars to fund a broken experiment created by some of the current board members.

In 1886, the department was formed by volunteers from the local community and remained as such until 2008, when the board hired a full-time paid chief. They hired out of state, thus ending the requirement that all personnel be from the district. The chief was allowed to live outside the district and paid taxes in another district.

After being hired, the chief immediately required that paid staff be put in place to relieve the volunteers. Within six months, he then requested 24-hour staffing. From 2008 to 2012, no volunteers were added with hopes to create the need for more paid staff. With policy changes and the department now fractured on the inside, several of the volunteers turned in their resignations, and again no new volunteers were added.

In January 2009, the chief eliminated all volunteer officers, well over 100 years of history and, most of all, experience, and then went to the board and requested a paid assistant chief be hired due to an overload of work and responsibility that those volunteers had once handled. The board agreed and once again hired out of town.

Before casting your vote, ask the following: Does this organization need more money to throw at a problem it created? Kind of reminds you of the federal government. They will also tell you it is due to an increase in the number of calls. In 2008, call volume was at an all-time low for the previous 10 years, and then it tripled? The population of our district didnít triple. Calls tripled because the chief needed to justify this mistake; he put in place a policy to have the department respond to all ambulance calls within the district.

Research the candidates and find the ones who have the knowledge to fix the problems. Vote for the people who have knowledge of emergency services and a business background.

Les Brown