The Mountain-Ear is located at:
20 E. Lakeview Drive, Unit 109 (inside Brightwood Music).
Our mailing address is PO Box 99, Nederland, CO 80466

We are also located at: 245 Apollo Drive, PO Box 99, Black Hawk, CO 80422

Phone: (303) 810-5409

Four black hats awarded

Black Hat Ceremony From left Nate Rodriguez, Christina Willis, Ian Lemley and Rob Hauck are awarded black hats for completing their firefighter training. PHOTO BY PATRICE LEBLANCthe

Black Hat Ceremony From left Nate Rodriguez, Christina Willis, Ian Lemley and Rob Hauck are awarded black hats for completing their firefighter training. PHOTO BY PATRICE LEBLANCthe

At approximately 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, Timberline Fire Protection District (TFPD) held their monthly board meeting at their recently acquired station, formerly known as Fritz Peak Observatory.

President Rick Wenzel, Vice President John Bushey, and Member at Large John Carder attended the meeting, as well as Fire Chief Paul Ondr and Administrative Chief Jennifer Hinderman.

Also in attendance were the fire chiefs of the neighboring areas, as well as four firefighters who gained their black hats. Highlights included the presentation of the black hats, introduction of the local fire chiefs, report of an incident with Tender 57, and the Chief’s Report.

Chief Ondr awarded black hats to four firefighters, meaning they have completed their firefighting training. Congratulations and thanks go to Ian Lemly, Rob Hauck, Christina Willis, and Nate Rodriguez.

The board had previously expressed a desire to meet the other local Fire Chiefs so Chief Ondr invited them to the meeting, where they introduced themselves and talked a little about their districts. In attendance were Chief Mike Scott from Nederland, Chief Garrett Ball from Coal Creek, and Chief Damian Defeo from Golden Gate Fire Department.

The workshop minutes from May 24 were approved as well as those from the June 14 regular meeting.

New business included a report about the incident that happened with Fire Truck Tender 57. Some fire trucks have a latch that holds the reverse hood. If it is not latched, then the hood can fly open while driving at certain speeds. When this happened, the firefighter pulled over, but there was an unseen ditch and the truck rolled three times. The driver sustained mild injuries and will be fine. The truck will require major repairs.

Chief Ondr is working on a full report of the T57 incident which will be ready for the department and the board in the next meeting.

Ondr delivered the Monthly Fire Chief’s Report. TFPD responded to 60 calls in June.

On June 23 there was a garage fire near Station 8. TFPD crews performed flawlessly. The homeowner and Chief Ondr were very pleased.

TFPD has completed six mitigation jobs, with six more scheduled, and close to 20 that are in the queue of inspections. There was considerable interest at the recent Gilpin County Fair. One of the issues with mitigation is how to deal with the slash. The department is looking to get a chipper, jointly with the County.

Mitigation payments have been hard to streamline, so an online payment platform will be in the works.

The board only received one application for the administrative assistant position and are currently discussing what to do.

County mitigation work around the cell tower and the water tank on the north side of Dory Hill will begin soon and is primarily County-funded.

Gilpin is still under Stage 1 fire restrictions. Conditions are not too dry at the moment but may change soon.

Ondr is applying for another Ready- Set-Go grant for chipping in the north portion of Gilpin County.

Timberline is bringing in five new shift firefighters and one in-district from their recent hiring process.

TFPD received a VFA grant for fifty percent of $10,000 in wildland shelters.

Ondr submitted a SIPA grant to update their website and to include online payment options and applications.

The new driver operator program is off ground and officers will go through in-depth state training and certification programs. Volunteers will be required to certify on individual apparatus and undergo an annual refresher.

A motion was made to approve $12,000 for a dump trailer to haul the slash from the mitigation projects. Motion was seconded and all were in favor.

The cost of living in the area continues to skyrocket. Ondr asked the board for a temporary five percent pay increase and all other employees a ten percent pay increase from August 1 to December 18 of this year. A motion to approve was made, seconded, and all were in favor. Ondr believes this gesture will go a long way in supporting the families and recognizing their sacrifice and dedication.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:43 p.m.

The next regular board meeting for Timberline Fire Protection District will be held Tuesday, August 16, 2022, at 6 p.m. at Fritz Peak building, 19126 Highway 119, Black Hawk.

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