Dave Roberts: Let’s be honest — part 1


(Editor’s note: Mr. Roberts’ letter has been split into two parts. The second part will appear in the Saturday Morning Press)

To the editor:

I’ve been in fire service for more than 20 years, and my family has been involved in fire service for more than 60 years as volunteer firefighters, board members of special districts and career firefighters, so I know a little about what I write.

Chris Nichols and Bill Johnston are out of control.

I’m responding to what they’ve been trying to feed the taxpayers of this district.

First, the fire board has tried three times to do this, and it was only by stating money would be used for “operational expenses including the acquisition and maintenance of firefighting equipment” that they got this measure passed.

By their own admission, they left language off the ballot question. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out why. How many times do you have to hear no?

Next, Bill Johnston wants to build a training center next to the new hospital that would include a live fire building and five-story tower, reason being so he can train like they work.

There’s one building more than five stories in the district that I know of, one four-level hotel. The rest of the structures are three stories and under, except for a couple of grain elevators. Sounds like a good investment to me.

This is another good one — a live fire building produces tons of smoke, and where does he want to put it? Why, right next to the new hospital, in the middle of new development that’s going to come to Craig.

Wow, that’s a great idea.

Chris Nichols stated the district is growing and property values are going up. I don’t think they’ve been making land for a long time, and my property value is not going up.

The fire board stated the department has “increased its level of service to include hazardous materials response, high-angle rescue, confined space rescue, swift water rescue, medical response, and arson investigation to name a few.”

Let’s look at that.

When I moved here in 1995, they had a HAZMAT team, so that’s not a new service, confined space rescue requires specialized breathing equipment that I was told the department does not own (the power plant has it, so I guess they could borrow theirs) and swift water rescue would require a boat, which is not listed on the department equipment list, unless they run up and down the shore throwing stadium seating at the poor victim.

The department has no paramedics on staff, even though more than one has applied.

Typically, more than 70 percent of fire department calls involve EMS. That might be a handy thing to have.

Craig Fire/Rescue responds to about 300 calls per year. More than half are medical assists to the hospital ambulance service, so they want to build a second firehouse, hire a paid staff, other than our chief, to run about 150 calls a year.

Let’s be honest. This is about putting someone’s name on a building, not serving this fire district.

Dave Roberts

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saunders 7 years, 5 months ago

Good letter even though I have different opinions on the subject and our opinions of the management at Craig Fire differ. While there are a few errors I think Dave did a good job of researching and listing the issues without insulting those who serve this community on the ground level and work hard to do so.

With that being said I think there are some things that could be clarified.

Bill Johnston had nothing to do with the proposed site it was offered by CNCC and the board is researching the feasibility of how to utilize the property. So much of these discussions have gotten away from that simple fact. They are doing what I commended Dave for doing they are doing the research. You mention that a five story tower is unnecessary so would you support a three story version? Would you support the department purchasing land further west? I am hopeful some of these will be answered in Part 2.

A burn building that complies with the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) can only use Class A materials basically that means wood. No plastics, couch cushion or diesel. That equates to a much lighter and less toxic smoke more like your average campfire and initial plans for the study placed it well out the range of TMH especially considering our prominent wind direction. Still a valid point and one that should be examined further.

MAZMAT - When you arrived HAZMAT was a completely separate team. It was funded and operated separately from the fire district. That has been changed and HAZMAT is now part of the department. While not a huge change they did speak truthfully.

Confined Space - The department has a ton of SCBA's which can and are used in confined space rescues. They do not use supplied air lines which is what I assume Dave is referring to.

Swift Water Rescue - Boats are usually the third option in a swift water rescue and while tossing stadium seats might not be the plan they do have trained swift water rescue technicians who will lead rescue efforts and they can put rescuer in the water if needed. The department does own water and ice rescue equipment including wet suits, dry suits and ice suits as well as a small ice rescue boat.

Paramedics - Being a paramedic is tough in Northwest Colorado. I believe we only have 2 in Moffat County that practice locally. No EMT from basic level to paramedic is allowed to transfer patient care to a provider with lower certification. That means if a patient is being treated by a paramedic for even the most minor injury that paramedic has a duty to stay with that patient until they reach definitive care or one of the other two paramedics is on scene and can take over treatment. On a fire scene or man power intensive call that could be difficult. Currently the department has a EMT-Intermediates a level matched by every ambulance that responds from TMH.


saunders 7 years, 5 months ago

It occurs to me that Dave raises a good point. If they are suppose to be tasked with providing these services maybe they need to invest in more equipment to provide these services at the highest level. The problem becomes where to keep it? They already keep two HAZMAT trailers outdoors at the City of Craig Municipal building and if anyone has been in the current station it is at capacity. If like Dave suggests they need a supplied air system for confined space rescues and a boat for water rescues where should it be kept?

Maybe Station 2 could be useful.

Looking forward to reading Part 2


truthhurts 7 years, 5 months ago

Saunders you are either a current firefighter an ex firefighter or a spouse of a firefighter. No taxpayer knows that much.

On to Mr. Roberts

Hold a grudge much?

The truth shall set you free


DaveR. 7 years, 5 months ago

Saunders, Stand and identify yourself, I am not hiding behind a sername because I will stand behind everything I say. Some of the things you mention are true, and some are not, I'm not going to debate a ghost.


saunders 7 years, 5 months ago

Would my identity change how you would debate your position?

Perhaps my name is Saunders?

I raised valid points with your letter. I did not insult or make derogatory remarks. I am only debating the topic. If you are unable to debate the topic and not the person I am sorry.

Most likely we could debate and debate but I would venture to say that much of what we would be debating would have more to do with perspectives than cold hard facts. Just as it was your right to submit your letter to the editor I will use this to dispute what I see as inaccuracies.

Again I look forward to reading Part 2


justthefacts 7 years, 5 months ago

Fact: Being honest; Billy and the fireboard lied to the community about what the money they ask for in the last mill levy was to be used for. ( Honestly)

Fact: On a scale of 1-10, Billy and the board have a credibility rating of -5.

Fact: The fire board already purchased the land behind K- Mart ( prior to asking the voters) to be used as a fire training center when Billy thought that alll firefighters were loved after 911. ( What comes first the chicken or the egg??????) ( Answer: Buy land and the public will certainly give us a traing center) ( Honestly)

Fact: Using that land can smoke out K-Mart, the bowling alley,Precision Auto, Kum and Go, the bank, Village Inn, Big Mac's place, and if the wind is right, even the Public Safety Center and Cedar Mountain. ( Not much forethought there!!!!!) ( Honestly!!!)

Fact: Good job Dave, the truth will set you free!!! and the truth hurts. (Honestly!!!)

Just The smoking Facts


DaveR. 7 years, 5 months ago

Saunders eh, never heard of you, you want facts, try this, Bill Johnston stated " rule of thumb states one firehouse can serve between 8000-10000 people". FDNY protects over 8 million people, 250 firehouses, Denver protects over 600,000 people, 35 firehouses, Grand junction fire protects 84,000 people, 5 firehouses. Steamboat Fire, 30,000, 2 firehouses. I will debate any person on any of the issues I brought up. Stand up and be counted.


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