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SMFR Engineer Mike Freeman Loses His Battle With Cancer

 It is with great sadness that South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) shares news of the death of Engineer Michael Freeman.  Engineer Freeman passed away peacefully in his home on July 16, 2017, after complications from cancer.  Mike started his career in 1974 with the Cherry Hills Fire Department and his many honors include being SMFR's most senior active member, holding badge number 74-1.  SMFR is recognizing Engineer Freeman's passing as an Active Member Line of Duty Death.  Flags will be lowered to half-staff at all SMFR facilities and badges worn by SMFR personnel will be shrouded.  Details of Engineer Freeman's memorial service will be shared as soon as possible.  SMFR expresses our deepest condolences and sympathy to the Freeman family during this difficult time.
  

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Press Release:

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6/27/2017: South Metro Fire Rescue Hosting the 2017 Police and Fire Games

Arapahoe County Issues Open Burning Ban 7.6.2017

 
Click here to read the press release. Prohibited open fires or open burning shall be defined as the usage of any fireworks, and any other outdoor fires including, but not limited to: campfires; fires in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed camp and picnic grounds or recreation sites, charcoal fueled fires, warming fires; fires in outdoor wood burning stoves (chimney sparks or embers); the prescribed burning of fence lines, fence rows, fields, farmlands, rangelands, wildlands, trash or debris.
Allowable activities:
  • Fires contained within liquid fueled or gas stoves, fireplaces and wood burning stoves/fireplaces within habitable buildings.
  • Propane/LP/Natural Gas fueled barbeque grills used for cooking or warming food, which do not produce or emit sparks or embers when used.
  • Charcoal fueled grills and pits used for cooking or warming food, which do not produce or emit sparks or embers when used.
  • Propane/LP/Natural Gas fueled fire pits that do not produce or emit sparks or embers when used.
  • Fire set by any federal, state, or local officer, or member of a fire protection district in the performance of an official duty.
  • Public fireworks displays supervised by appropriate firefighting/public safety personnel and supported by adequate equipment assigned to be on the scene of such permitted public displays.

Fire-Adapted Communities


South Metro Fire Rescue is committed to nurturing Fire-Adapted Communities in which wildfires burn through ecosystems without injuring people or damaging structures. This vision requires all of us to reduce our risk from wildfires. Do you have questions about wildfire safety? Click on these links to learn more about these fires and how our agency responds to them.

http://www.9news.com/news/local/wildfires/wildfire-season-in-colorado-everything-you-need-to-know/441496085

http://www.9news.com/news/local/wildfires/what-to-do-if-a-wildfire-is-reported-near-your-home-1/439509005

Lightning: Learn the Facts
by Einar Jensen, SMFR Risk Reduction Educator
Rachel Lightning
Photo:  Rachel Hurst

Lightning, a rapid discharge of electrical energy in the atmosphere, is among the most impressive weather phenomena on the planet. The winds within a thunderstorm or similar column of rapidly rising air causes particles of ice to crash into each other. During the crashes, smaller particles lose electrons while larger ones gain electrons, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As the cloud bottoms become charged negatively, the ground below becomes charged positively. When the difference between the negative charge in the cloud and the positive charge on the ground becomes large, the negative charge starts moving toward the ground. As it moves, it creates a conductive path. When the negative charge from the cloud contacts the positively charged ground, electrical current surges through the path, which creates a visible flash of lightning. Thunder is the sound of a shock wave created by the rapid heating and cooling of the air in the lightning channel.

Lightning strikes the Earth over 25 million times each year. Thirty people typically die in the US each year from lightning strikes, according to National Weather Service records. Tragically, this year’s first lightning fatality occurred in Colorado on May 7 when a woman riding a horse was struck.

Between 2011 and 2016, lightning caused 38 fires in South Metro Fire Rescue’s jurisdiction. Half of those fires were in buildings while the other 19 were wildfires of varying sizes.

Lightning bolts strike throughout the district, but in this period 44% of the strikes that ignited fires occurred in the Parker area. The second leading area with 16% is the 80108 zip code, which includes Castle Pines, Castle Pines Village and Happy Canyon.

The other zip codes in our district received the remaining 40% of lightning-ignited fires: 80121 (8%), 80112 (8%), 80125 (5%), 80124 (5%), and 80104, 80135, 80111, 80016 and 80113 each had a single fire caused by lightning.

In that same duration, lightning struck three people in our district. Two were touching metal when a bolt of lightning struck a building and one was hit while walking outside. None of the three was injured seriously.
 
Many lightning victims are caught outside during a storm because they were not aware of the predicted weather, they did not act quickly to get to a safe place, or they return outside too soon after a storm has passed. Those victims include athletes, roofers, landscapers, farmers, families and builders. The safest place during a thunderstorm is inside a building or hard-topped vehicle. When thunder roars, go indoors.
 
If you hear thunder, even a distant rumble, get to a safe place immediately. Lightning can travel several miles from the actual cloud. Thunder is the perfect clue to seek shelter before dangerous lightning begins.

South Metro's Quarterly Newsletter

Please click to read the latest edition of   

 

The Fireline!  

Fireline Spring 2017 outlined

Drop Off Your Leftover and Unused Household Chemicals at the next Tri County Health Department Roundup on Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 3270 Redstone Park Circle, in Littleton. 

For complete information, visit:  http://tchd.org/250/Home-Chemical-Waste.

Remember!  Wildfire Can Happen at Any Time

The following fire restrictions have been issued:
 
Town of Parker Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect as of Feb. 21, 2017. Click here.
Arapahoe County Open Burning Ban effective Feb. 20, 2017. Click here.

News from the Life Safety Bureau
The South Metro Fire Rescue Board of Directors has approved a new fee schedule for plan review, permitting, and inspections.  Please click here to view the new Fee Schedule effective March 1, 2017.
 
  
2017 Citizens Academy
​This year's Academy is full, but check our website next year at the end of January for the 2018 Academy.  The Academy consists of eight week sessions, typically held on Wednesday evening from 6:00-9:00 p.m.  

Following is information about what is covered at South Metro's Citizens Academy:

Have you ever wondered what firefighters do? Or what it's like to be inside a burning building? Or how to improve the fire safety of your family?  Or how to use the Jaws of Life to save someone from a car crash?  Or how investigators find the causes of fires?  Or how dispatchers direct resources to emergencies?  South Metro Fire Rescue invites you to participate in our annual Citizens Academy.  This 8-week week academy is a rare opportunity to discover the mysteries of modern firefighting and learn priceless life-saving skills.  As the images below reveal, you'll learn about SMFR from behind the scenes and learn about yourself and your community in the process.
   
  
   crawling thru burn building  Citizens Academy Invitation 2017  Anthony
 
 
South Metro Fire Rescue Announces the Recent Graduation of its Newest Class of Firefighters
Centennial, Colo. -- (Dec. 5, 2016) -- SMFR
announced today that the latest class of firefighters from SMFR Training Academy has graduated.  A ceremony recognizing the 20 graduates was held at the Parker Arts, Cultural and Events (PACE) Center on Friday,   Dec. 2, 2016 in recognition of all their efforts through the 16-week academy.  Click here to read entire press release.. 

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South Metro Fire Rescue Warns Wildland Fires Can Happen Any Time of Year.  October Was the "Most Burned Month" in 2016 for SMFR

Centennial, Colo. -- (Nov. 17, 2016) -- South Metro Fire Rescue is warning that a wildfire can happen any time of year and all residents in Colorado need to be aware of the risks and be prepared with preventative measures.  Click here to read entire press release...

Ultimate Car Seat Guide

Have you seen the Ultimate Car Seat Guide put out by Safe Kids Worldwide? It's a great new tool to help parents figure out what car seat to purchase, how to install it, how the child is supposed to fit in the seat, and when they should graduate to the next step.
 
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South Metro Fire Rescue Raises Over $101,000 for the "Fill the Boot" Campaign
Centennial, Colo. - (Sept. 22, 2016)
A few weeks ago, members of all 17 stations in South Metro Fire Rescue's district participated in helping raise money for MDA - standing at storefronts, intersections and other areas in the south metro area using their boots to collect money to help support this important cause.  Muscular dystrophy is characterized as a group of genetic diseases that causes progressive muscle deterioration that limits strength and mobility.  South Metro Fire Rescue has participated in this event for over 17 years - raising approximately $1.5 million to-date -- filling the boot each year in between calls for service.  The organization plans on continuing this tradition for many years to come.  Click here to read more.
 

 


South Metro Fire Rescue Opens Recruiting for Paramedic/Firefighters
Centennial, Colo. - (Sept. 20, 2016)
South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) has
opened up the recruiting process for entry-level and experienced paramedic/firefighter positions.  Applicants must register for intent to test no later than Nov. 18, 2016.  Click here to read more.    
      
Are You Ready for a Wildfire?
South Metro Fire Rescue takes every precaution to help pro­tect you and your property from a wildfire, but we can’t do it alone.  We need you to prepare, too.  Successfully preparing for a wildfire requires you to take personal responsibility for protecting your­self, your family and your property at home and on vacation. Here are some tips you can follow:
  • Read your workplace and school emergency plans so you know how those organizations will protect your family members in emergencies;
  • Ensure family members know how to use gas, electric and water shut-off controls;
  • Plan and practice different escape routes from your neighborhood;
  • Assemble an emergency supply kit as recommended by the American Red Cross, FEMA or similar organizations;
  • Create an evacuation plan for your babysitter or children in case such an order occurs when you aren’t home;
  • Inventory your home so that insurance claims can occur faster

Photograph by Tim Tonge

                                                                            Photograph by Tim Tonge
  
Contact South Metro Fire Rescue’s Preparedness Division for information at ReducingRisk@southmetro.org or 720-989-2271.