Wildland fire action guide released
A community wildfire meeting that took place Thursday Aug. 30, at Middle Park High School, introduced the new “Ready, Set, Go,” wildland fire action guide that is tailored to Grand County.
The meeting also gave members of the public a chance to gain education and ask questions regarding emergency preparedness to members of numerous agencies that were represented.
The agencies that were represented at the meeting included: Grand Fire Protection District No. 1, the organizers of the meeting; American Red Cross; Grand County Sheriff’s Office; Granby Police Department; Grand County Office of Emergency Management; the Bureau of Land Management; Colorado State Forest Service; U.S. Forest Service; Rocky Mountain National Park; and the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, a new agency that assumed the responsibility of responding to wildland fires from the Colorado State Forest Service July 1, 2012.
The “Ready, Set, Go” wildland fire action guide is a guide to protecting your home from wildland fires as well as preparing yourself and your family for if a wildland fire were to occur.
The guide, which includes tips on how to protect your home as well as a checklist and guide to preparing your family for a wildland fire related emergency, was created by Schelly Olson, Public Information Officer for Grand Fire Protection District No. 1, and is available at your local fire protection district’s office and is also available at their respective website.
During the meeting, representatives from each agency spoke and accepted questions form the public.
Some of the main topics that were visited by speakers included the need to be prepared for any kind of emergency that could happen in Grand County, not just wildland fires.
“We have a personal responsibility to ourselves to be prepared,” said Jim Campbell of the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.
One step that individuals can take to protect their family’s and their home’s is to install reflective signage with their road number and house number on the sign.
Reflective signs are invaluable to emergency response teams in any emergency as is allows the teams to locate your house quickly, Olson said.
“We really need to work on signage in Grand County,” she said.
Reflective signs are available from Highlands Lumber, located in Tabernash, for $23.50.
Another way that individuals can prepare for emergencies is to register their mobile phone through the CodeRED emergency notification system at gcemergency.com or grandfire.org.
Make sure you listen to phone calls that you receive that sound like pre-recorded messages, Campbell said.
Listen to the first ten seconds of the call as it could be a telemarketer or it could be a reverse 911 call that is warning you about an emergency in your area, he said.
Information about emergencies in Grand County is updated regularly at the Grand County Emergency website at gcemergency.com. You can also register yourself if you have certain medical conditions at the website so emergency responders will know what equipment or medications you will need in case of an emergency.
“If we know you are in there and that you need help, we will get you out,” said Trevor Denney, deputy chief of the Grand County Office of Emergency management.
You can contact any of the public service agencies in Grand County with any questions or concerns or you can visit any of their websites for more information on how to be prepared for emergencies.
“All of the agencies provide valuable services and we can help you in many ways,” Campbell said. “But if you have a question for us, please don’t call 911.”
“It’s not a question of if an emergency will happen,” Olson said. “But when.”
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