Message from the Fire Chief
Several topics for sharing with both fire district personnel and members of the community:
First, I am frequently asked about the status of the proposed acquisition of land from the Cascade School District. The Fire District has submitted a bid and is awaiting a decision by the School Board. On this subject I would like to reiterate our goals.
Provide quality emergency services to ALL who live and play here.
Plan for the future of Public Safety here in the Upper Valley.
Be good neighbors to those who live close to or nearby our stations.
When improving or developing our facilities make them aesthetically pleasing to the community and lessen as many potential impacts to the neighborhood as possible.
As with any process there are missteps along the way (this project was no different). As Fire Chief I take full responsibility and will make every effort to learn from them and improve our methodology. In the Fire Service we use a term called After Action Reviews, during this process, I learned progress and change don’t come easy, and require nurturing to clearly communicate the needs involved. Also, I am fully committed to the improvement of delivering emergency services to this community. Most importantly, this is a diverse community that truly cares about one another.
This past summer was particularly challenging. The scope and scale of our wildland fire season stresses not only our fire district but the residents who live here. The amount/duration of smoke and the close proximity of these complex fires require us to strengthen our partnerships with not only the responding agencies but with research and conservation groups who are searching for a long term solutions.
As the season changes we know historically that our call volume will be driven by weather events. Anyone traveling the passes at this time of year should be prepared for potential traffic delays and carry additional clothing and food just in case. Off road activity increases with snowmobiling and we often deal with folks who are unaware of the terrain, don’t leave a travel plan at home or in their vehicle, and are often ill-prepared when they get stuck or are injured.
Lastly, I want to thank the Firefighters, the Auxiliary, and the community for all of your support. Without your help we would not be successful. Often, our success translates into life- saving opportunities made possible by your contributions.
As the Holidays quickly approach I wish you all the best of times with family and friends.