South Metro and Littleton Firefighters celebrated New Years Day at Firehouse 11 with a historic assumption of command ceremony. Elected officials, chief officers, honor guard, pipes & drums and family members were in attendance as Interim Chief Jeff Tasker transferred command to Chief Bob Baker. The two fire districts are now officially unified as one. For all images, please visit: https://www.southmetro.photography/2019-Images/Assumption-of-Command-Ceremony/
As we enter this new era for South Metro Fire Rescue, we invite you to watch this mini documentary features Littleton Fire Rescue's 128 year history:
The newly completed Firehouse 32 located at Orchard Road and Quebec Street was placed in service on Nov. 28th, 2018. Currently a crew of 7 personnel work at Firehouse 32, including a Battalion Chief, a 4-person Tower and a 2-person Medic Unit. The 16,379 square foot station features 4 apparatus bays, plenty of room for physical training, classroom learning, quiet study areas and 12 bedrooms. The firehouse was built with future growth in mind, one day staffing will include a 4-person Engine. Just like moving into a new home, there is a lot work that still needs to be done. A public grand opening celebration will be scheduled Q1 or Q2 in 2019, which we will announce once it has been confirmed. For more images, please click here: https://www.southmetro.photography/2018-Images/Firehouse-32-In-Service-Ceremony
South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) has achieved the best possible fire protection class rating issued by the Insurance Services Organization (ISO) -- an ISO 1 rating. The Class 1 rating is important to property owners who may now see a reduction in their insurance premiums.
The new rating combined with SMFR's international accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International is a prestigious designation that few fire protection districts in the nation have achieved. SMFR is the fourth in Colorado to achieve this honor, following Cunningham Fire Protection District, who South Metro unified with on January 1, 2018.
The ISO rating is evaluated approximately every five years, and SMFR's previous rating was a "Class 3". Moving to a "Class 1" places South Metro in the prestigious group of only 240 department throughout the country with an ISO rating of 1. There are seven departments in Colorado that have received an ISO rating 1 - including Denver, West Metro, Federal Heights, Cunningham, Westminster, Adams County, and now South Metro - and South Metro is the first department in the country with an ISO 1 in hauled water / non-hydrant areas. To view and down the letter from ISO stating our rating of 1 in areas with hydrants, please click here. To view and download the letter from ISO stating our rating of 1 in areas without hydrants, please click here.
Communities South Metro Fire Rescue and Cunningham Fire Protection District Merge. Click Here to Read the Full Story
Special Edition of SMFR's 2018 Newsletter is Now Available. Click Here to read the special edition of The Fireline
Click here to read the regular Spring 2018 edition of The Fireline
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 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
Contact South Metro Fire Rescue’s Preparedness Division for information at ReducingRisk@southmetro.org or 720-989-2271.