East Grand Fire board candidate Q&A: What is your work experience, and how does your work experience/skills relate to the position of board member? Have you served on the board before?
My work experience that relates the most to this position is the work I’ve done in construction as well as the volunteer work I have done both as a firefighter for East Grand and while serving on the board. I understand the needs of our volunteers and am proud to have been a part of the continuous improvement and evolution of our fire district in a developing community. I ran my own business for 20 years; I was primarily focused on tree mitigation and the selling of that firewood. I have held many jobs in the county ranging from lift operator at the Winter Park Resort to chimney sweeping and plowing driveways. I have served as a board member on East Grand Fire for the last 16 years. It has been an honor to serve alongside such dedicated and enlightened people as we’ve tackled a wide range of challenges in this rapidly growing county. These experiences have given me perspective on how difficult it can be for our volunteers to find time for training and responding to fire calls while balancing work, life and family obligations. — Richard Kramer
After my first career as a tradesperson in the printing industry, the move to Grand County precipitated a series jobs in various sectors of the service industry from data processing, healthcare, fire service, GIS/land survey, Federal land management to hospitality. Looking back at my duties , I would categorize that I had made a career as an asset manager, in the literal sense. A segue to the often overlooked asset of organizations — the workforce. A majority of the people we serve don’t realize that the calls we respond to are handled by volunteers. I want to thank our volunteers for their unselfish service. With the assistance of my fellow directors, we will assure that you are trained and prepared to continue what you passionately, yet no less professionally, provide. As we evolve to meet future needs, I will advocate for career positions for those among our ranks. To our career staff, I pledge to continue to seek innovative ways to help sustain the retention of the volunteer workforce, in addition to the incentives and benefits they have access to now. — Stephen Loo
I started my career with East Grand Fire Protection District in 1998 as a volunteer. Later, I worked as a career firefighter/paramedic in the Denver area. As a full-time firefighter there for over 21 years, and as a former volunteer, I bring a unique perspective to the board. — Garth Hein
I have not served on the EGFD board before, but I have served on other local boards. I have worked at a variety of jobs in the county. Currently I’m the office manager at The Carter Group. Being an office manager, I learned to listen carefully to what is being said, and can help break it down so we can work on what the problem is. I have learned to appreciate the effort each of us brings to the table. With being part of the Fire Department, I became involved with Peer Counseling, which included extensive training. This has been useful to help others cope with life traumas. Helping other responders deal with the emotional strains of the traumas has been rewarding. — Rachel Hoyhtya
Editor’s Note: This is the third part of a six-part series about the East Grand Fire Protection District’s board election.
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In July 2021, helicopter blades could be heard flying over the burn scar at Willow Creek Reservoir. Trees as frail as toothpicks rose from a landscape blackened by the East Troublesome Fire. The helicopter overhead…