EFR wants to be earlier in Jeffco planning process

Evergreen Fire/Rescue and the Evergreen Metro District are asking Jefferson County to allow them to be involved in evaluating proposed developments and other planning issues earlier in the process.

“Usually, we’re notified much further down the road,” Evergreen Fire Chief Mike Weege told the fire board on Jan. 11. “We have been pushing to get involved in the process much, much earlier. The county seems very open to that.”

He explained that the county was revising its checklist of entities to notify, and he hoped fire departments would be notified much earlier rather than as the proposal was nearly ready for Planning Commission review.

Looking for firefighter recruits with a twist

Evergreen Fire/Rescue has begun recruiting for its 2022 fire academy to train new firefighters, and this year, the academy will be done differently than in the past.

The fire department will look both for those who want to participate in the full nine-month academy and those interested in learning about a specific aspect of firefighting: wildland, structure fires or medical calls.

In four days since the social media campaign started, 18 people had indicated their interest in the department, Fire Chief Mike Weege told the fire board on Jan. 11. He said three are full-time firefighters in other departments, and the new system will allow them to be fast-tracked through the academy so they can join EFR as volunteers.

“(The new system) will help people concentrate on disciplines they’re really interested in,” Weege said. “It will open a lot of doors for people who have asked through the years, `Why can’t I just do medical response?’ or `Why can’t I just do wildland?’”

2021 calls

Evergreen Fire/Rescue responded to 2,430 emergency calls in 2021, an increase over the 2,380 calls it responded to in 2020. In addition, the department’s ECARES paramedicine program, which makes routine medical calls, made 120 visits.