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National Park Service Distributes Federal Funding To Local Volunteer Fire Departments

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Date: September 22, 2006
Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363

Rocky Mountain National Park is distributing $67,600 in federal funding this year to assist four local volunteer fire departments - Allenspark, Estes Park, Glen Haven and Grand Lake. The Rural Fire Assistance and Community Fire Assistance programs are part of the National Fire Plan approved by Congress six years ago.

"We are pleased to be able to assist our neighboring communities become better prepared to deal with wildland fire protection issues," said Superintendent Vaughn Baker.  "It is critical that we all work together to protect local communities and park visitors from potentially dangerous wildfires."

The Rural Fire Assistance (RFA) program is designed to increase firefighter safety and enhance the fire protection capabilities of rural fire departments that assist park fire crews with suppression duties.  The Community Fire Assistance (CFA) program provides support to help local communities prepare for wildland fires.  These programs have allowed for the distribution of $286,250 to local communities since the National Fire Plan was approved.

Steve Childs, Chief, Glen Haven Area Volunteer Fire Department said, “The National Park Service RFA funding that has been generously made available to small, rural fire departments is not only important, but critical, in terms of those department’s ability to maintain an appropriate level of readiness.  This year's funding will allow Glen Haven Fire to purchase three mobile radios which are compatible with the new systems now being used by the National Park Service and the US Forest Service.  Without this funding, Glen Haven would have had to budget out two or three years in order to purchase them.    As we add new members to the department, it is incumbent on us to provide the standard protective clothing and tools to keep them safe.  RFA funding is invaluable to us in that continuing effort.”

Scott Dorman, Chief, Estes Park Volunteer Fire Department said, “These grant funds will help us in our efforts to fight wildland fires safely and efficiently. The funds are for firefighter continuing education and for replacing some of our worn-out equipment.  On behalf of the Estes Park Volunteer Fire Department, I would like to thank the National Park Service for their continued support to local agencies. Without this support we would not be able to provide the high level of wildland fire suppression capabilities that our community needs.”

Did You Know?

a photo of folks throwing snowballs in front of the snow-covered Alpine Visitor Center

The coldest temperature inside the Alpine Visitor Center during the winter is rarely below 20 degrees. The snow insulates the building when it is closed for the winter.