Public safety round-up: Keystone hosts fire-fighting conference |

Public safety round-up: Keystone hosts fire-fighting conference

Fire leadership conference comes to Copper

More than 300 fire officers from across Colorado are gathered in Keystone this week for the 23rd annual Colorado State Fire Chiefs’ Fire Leadership Challenge conference.

“This conference brings fire-service professionals together to hear about critical issues facing us today, and it provides valuable networking for the exchange of thoughts and ideas for providing the best service to our citizens,” said Steve Pischke, interim chief of the Vail Fire Department and one of the primary conference organizers.

Among the highlights of the three-day conference running now through Friday at the Keystone Conference Center:

• Sgt. Scott Takahashi of the North Metro Drug Task Force, speaking on the problems facing firefighters and hazards associated with marijuana-growing operations. Also, Wayne Belohlavy of North Metro Fire will discuss the emerging dangers of butane hash oil fires and explosions.

• Colorado Springs Deputy Fire Marshal Kris Cooper will present the lessons learned from the Waldo Canyon Fire.

• A panel discussion on Friday about developing the statewide mutual-aid system for Colorado that will allow fire departments and other emergency-service providers to quickly mobilize and help their neighbors.

At the pre-conference earlier in the week, nearly 150 lower-level company officers — those who would be in charge of emergency scenes — were offered training in critical issues such as sizing up incident scenes, mentoring subordinates and even what can be gleaned from farmyard animal behavior.

“To have this caliber of fire-department chief officers here in our backyard is certainly a true honor and a great coup for Summit County,” said Dave Parmley, chief of Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue, the local host agency. “With the economic and management challenges making our world ever more complex, these types of conferences are invaluable in helping departments function most efficiently and providing the best service and the best value to the public.”

District attorney’s office donates more than $22K

The District Attorney’s Office has delivered checks to local charitable organizations amounting to $22,672 this year. The proceeds have been collected from defendants convicted of mostly low-level traffic offenses and misdemeanors.

“This is a great way for the judicial system to give back to the community, exemplifying an important aspect of restorative justice,” District Attorney Bruce Brown said in a written statement. “The money that transfers from an offender’s hands to a community-based organization that is dedicated to preventing crime and helping victims is a valuable cycle of justice.”

The charitable organizations receiving funds were selected through an application process, and all are located within the four counties of the Fifth Judicial District: Clear Creek, Summit, Eagle and Lake. All organizations provide services that either help prevent crime or that benefit victims of crime.

The following organizations are part of the 2014 Charitable Fund:

• Advocates for Victims of Assault

• Bright Future Foundation for Eagle County

• Buddy Program

• Clear Creek Advocates

• Dare Project Clear Creek County Sheriffs

• Eagle River youth Coalition

• Full Circle of Lake County Inc.

• Lake County Advocates

• Red Ribbon Project

• Starting Hearts Inc.

• Summit County 4-H Council Club

• Summit County Community Care Inc.

• Summit County Library Foundation

• Summit Medical Center Health Foundation

• Vail Valley Salvation Army

• Vonnie’s Voice

Summit County fire departments endorse Measure 1A

The policy boards of Summit County’s three fire departments have endorsed ballot issue 1A, a property-tax measure that would shore up funding for the Summit County Ambulance Service and the county’s 911 dispatch center in addition to generating funds for water-quality projects. The measure would raise property taxes by 2.417 mills for eight years to generate $3.7 million annually for the public-safety and environmental efforts. That would cost property owners an additional $19.24 annually for every $100,000 of property value. The funding “is critical … to be able to meet the emergency-services needs of our residents, property owners and visitors,” according to a resolution passed unanimously by the boards of directors for the Copper Mountain, Lake Dillon, and Red, White and Blue fire departments. “This measure will provide a stable source of funding for our ambulance service and our dispatch center, allowing all of the county’s emergency agencies to continue providing seamless, speedy and high-quality service in critical situations,” said Jim Cox, president of the Lake Dillon Fire Protection District.

Summit County paramedic wins state award

Summit County Ambulance Service Paramedic Robert “Bob” Shedd has been awarded the 2014 C.J. Shanaberger Lifetime Achievement in EMS Award from the Emergency Medical Services Association of Colorado.

The award recognizes emergency workers whose contributions to prehospital care have been consistent and long-lasting, representing in effect, a lifetime of outstanding service to the profession and the public. It honors the memory of Carol J. Shanaberger, a Colorado paramedic and attorney who diligently worked for many years to improve EMS in Colorado and the nation.

Shedd has been a part of taking care of more than 3,300 patients, logging 2,500 hours of time with them from 2000 to 2013.

Since starting as a full-time employee in 1990, Shedd has logged an estimated 300,000 miles in an ambulance.

“Bob has always been committed to caring for people,” coworker William Clark said of Shedd in his nomination. “He is dedicated to providing exceptional patient care. It’s his commitment to the patient at the point of care that I have always admired about Bob. He is one of those people that you pray comes to your side when you are in need. Never seeking to make a name for himself, he has nonetheless made a place for himself in the hearts of everyone he knows and many that he has helped. His generosity of time and genuine kindness to patients, friends and co-workers cannot be exceeded.”

Former Summit County Ambulance Service director Sean Caffrey offered his praise for Shedd: “Bob consistently demonstrated a mastery of clinical EMS skills in combination with an outstanding customer service ethic. For decades, he helped to impart those skills to students and new team members throughout Summit County and the central mountains of Colorado.”

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