Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue bags $64K in grants |

Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue bags $64K in grants


In recent weeks, Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue has been awarded three significant grants – from local, state and federal organizations – to purchase vital firefighter safety equipment and ensure the best emergency services for the community.

The most significant, a $54,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will help the department acquire a specialized trailer mounted with an air-bottle filling compressor and flood lights. The grant – which will be met with a 10 percent match from the department – will allow firefighting crews to replenish exhausted air bottles at the scene of emergencies, potentially saving an hour or more in transit time. “Until now, we’ve had to throw them in a car and actually drive them to the High Country Training Center to refill them,” said deputy chief Jeff Berino, who oversees the department’s grant applications. “This will allow us to keep all personnel on scene, where they can be the most helpful.”

LDFR was one of 31 departments across the state to be awarded a total of $3.8 million in the competitive federal Assistance to Firefighters grant program, which helps fire departments and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards, according to U.S. Sen. Mark Udall’s office.

Additionally, LDFR received two other grants:

– $9,000 for two thermal-imaging cameras from Freeport-McMoRan, operator of the Climax and Henderson molybdenum mines, as part of its community partnership program. The cameras, which look a little like radar guns, reveal the location of firefighters and victims obscured by heavy smoke or darkness by detecting infrared (heat) radiation. “It’s like having Superman vision,” Berino said.

– $1,400 from the state Wildland Firefighting Fund for the purchase of a “float-a-pump,” which allows firefighters to draw as much as 400 gallons per minute of water directly from streams, lakes and other water sources. The grant will be met by a 50 percent department match.

“We don’t have the capital budget to acquire all of these items on our own,” Berino said, “so we look to our governmental and community partners to help out. These grants are invaluable in keeping Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue prepared for any foreseeable emergencies, and we will continue to pursue other opportunities to help keep the fire district safe.”

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