The Colton Rural Fire Protection District #70 exceeded 500 (510) runs for the first time in department history. It reflects a national trend in the fire and emergency medical service industries. This doubles the number of runs by the district only five years ago. It has become very challenging to meet not only the call volume demands but the demands made on our men and women who serve the district and community. There are national standards for personnel, training and equipment, meaning more money needed and more time required from the firefighters.
I am very proud of our firefighters; they are true professionals. The level of service that we provide for the tax money we get is an incredible accomplishment. They have to juggle emergency calls at all times, training, community events, fundraisers, meetings, specialized training, family time, and careers. We are very blessed as a district and community to have the group of men and women we do.
While national statistics show a 30 percent drop in volunteerism in the fire service, we have been able to attract enough firefighters to hold two academies this year. Both the second recruit academy and the officer academy are scheduled to be completed at the end of January, with the graduation and promotional ceremonies being held at our annual awards banquet.
This year, the department also improved to an ISO rating of a 4 in the majority of the district. This meant a substantial cost savings to most of our citizens.
We encourage you to come to any of the drills at the main station held on Thursdays and some Saturdays to see what our firefighters do. Fresh baked cookies are always welcomed!