to OSR Directive 478.260, a fire protection district must
follow the same rules and regulations as any other fire agency
within the State of Oregon.
As a fire protection district within the State of Oregon,
we are responsible and answerable to: The Office of the State
Fire Marshall; Jackson County's Board of Commissioners; the
Office of the Oregon Secretary of State and its Dept. of Annual
Audits; the Oregon Department of Justice; the Charitable Organizations
Department of the State of Oregon; the Oregon Dept. of Revenue;
two separate branches of the Internal Revenue Service: the
federal Charitable Organizations Division, and the Financial
Division; and the Articles of Incorporation Division of the
State of Oregon.
We are directed by State law to prioritize fire protection
in this order:
Protecting our residents and their homes is our primary purpose.
CRFD legally is responsible for protecting structures and up
to five acres surrounding a structure.
Oregon law delineates that the Oregon Dept. of Forestry does
not fight structure fires. In a structure fire situation, the
ODF addresses the adjacent wildland, while protecting the structure
itself belongs solely to CRFD.
We are limited in our capabilities to fight structure fire,
due to structure fire equipment needs and professional training
requirements. Therefore, our present services do not include
entry into a burning structure unless it is "a matter of life
and death." However, it is statistically true that most home
fires must strategically be fought from the exterior of the
The ODF has the primary legal responsibility to protect wildlands,
in which we are directed by our Jackson County charter to back
them up. In actual practice, we respond to any and all wildland
fires within our district, and in the surrounding area.
Our response time is usually faster than ODF or other agencies,
and we often do not require their assistance in local situations.
CRFD cannot respond to exclusively vehicle fires in the I-5
corridor, unless the adjacent wildland is threatened.
current fire protection and medical services:
We now protect 143
homes within the district.
now have 20 trained individuals available (including Chief &
Assistants) for wildland fire fighting, with limited structure
fire training and equipment capabilities. All firefighters are
equipped with basic firefighting turnout gear. CRFD has two
breathing apparatuses (and the Hilt VFD now has 7). All engines
are equipped with radios and handtools. Support equipment is
limited (e.g., hand-held two-way radios for use in the field).
CRFD's firefighters are dispatched by a pager system. They can
be contacted for emergency response to a call 24 hours a day.
The fire district
is required by law to provide emergency in-field medical care
The Fire District
operates medical response vehicles for transporting medical
personnel and equipment on fire and medical emergency calls.
CRFD has two Basic Life Support rescue vehicles: one at Colestin
/ Station One (44-40) and one in Hilt (44-41).
We have numerous Basic Life Support First Responders and several
Emergency Medical Technicians (Level 1-A) available full-time.
We offer limited in-field first aid and trauma care, accident
extrication, and Basic Life support services. This includes
"anything from bandaging scratches to CPR and heart attack treatment."
We cannot diagnose medical conditions, perform invasive or surgical
procedures, or administer drugs. We can give oxygen, if needed.
The Fire District does not offer Advanced Life Support, with
the exception of the Automated External Defibrillator. We also
have trauma kits, and other first responder supplies. The Hilt
VFD now has a Jaws of Life rescue unit.
CRFD is not equipped, licensed or insured, or legally permitted,
to transport the public in medical emergencies. We can assist
in arranging for appropriately qualified transport, if necessary.
We "stabilize and secure the scene, and prepare injuries for
transport," and if necessary, will contact appropriate full-service
emergency medical units. Those units assume responsibility on
arrival, and can transport to medical facilities if necessary.
Base station communications:
Our base station
operates full time, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. We are equipped
with radios that have State Forestry channels as well as our
own frequency, CBs, and 911 scanners. Our base communications
are also coordinated with 911's Emergency Response Dispatch
We now have three experienced, well-trained base dispatch operators,
and back-up assistance. Hilt VFD member Christina Lehman, who
has frequently served as dispatch operator over the past 15
years, continues to assist us. Andrea Morgan assists also.
Cheri Avgeris and Sharron Halvorson have both completed CDF's
911 - Emergency Dispatch Communications Systems Training Intensive.
Sharron has worked dispatch for the last several years, and
Cheri, for the past 21 years, since the initial inception of
the fire district.
We maintain a central
firehouse at Colestin, in the center of the valley, directly
opposite our main base station. This fire house was funded and
built in 1990 by district member contributions and low-interest
private loans. It is fully equipped for use year round, and
has heated storage for our trucks through the winter, and storage
for other district tools and equipment.
By arrangement with the Fruit Growers Supply Company, which
owns it, we also have the use of the Hilt Schoolhouse as a south-end
fire house and equipment storage facility, It is winter-heated,
and trucks housed there are in service year round also.
The District has:
a rescue rig (44-41), a 400-gallon 4 X4 pumper (44-11), and
the "Quick-Attack" 150-gallon 4 X 4 wildland squad truck (44-20)
stationed in Hilt, at the schoolhouse building loaned to us
by Fruit Growers.
At Station One (at Colestin), we have a 4 X 4 500-gallon pumper
(44-13), a 200-gallon 4 X 4 pumper (44-10), and a rescue unit
(44-40). 44-12, a 200-gallon 4 X 4, is up on the top road.
In spring, 2002, we acquired a new 4-wheel all-terrain-vehicle,
to reach remote fires and transport hand-tools.
In mid-September, 2002, we were awarded a $58,500 FEMA (Federal
Emergency Management Agency) grant to purchase a new structure-fire
Fire patrols during
fire season; controlled burn oversight in hazardous areas (on
a limited / resource availability basis); tools on loan for
stove / chimney cleaning, on an availability basis.
Our back-up support:
The Colestin Rural
Fire District has automatic aid or mutual aid agreements with
the following other fire agencies: CDF, ODF, Hornbrook Volunteer
Fire Department, and the Hilt Volunteer Fire Department.
As above, the ODF does not respond to structure fires, or provide
in-field medical service. CDF will assist with both wildland
and structure fires, and medical emergencies.
Interagency aid agreements function with a "two-way street"
policy: CRFD can be called to assist these agencies, as well.
We are reimbursed for any expenses incurred, in assisting other
agencies or districts. Our availability prioritizes our own
district's needs, as is also the case with other agencies.
9 Fire Insurance Rates:
Your ISO Rating partly
determines your insurance rates. An ISO rating is a national
standard: any residence that is five miles or more from the
nearest fire station of any fire district will be classified
as a Class 10. Some insurance companies will not insure residents
that are in a Class 10.
Our fire house in the center of the valley (Station One) allows
us to remain in service year-round. Because of this, residences
within our district qualify for the upgraded ISO Class 9 rating.
The cost difference benefit to you is about 15 %.
Check your fire insurance policy to be sure that you are being
assessed for a Class 9 ISO rating!
relationship to the Hilt VFD:
Hilt company and CRFD operate as one agency, because of geographic
necessity. Legally, they are two separate entities. The legal
division between the agencies is necessary because it enables
the Hilt company to receive direct support from the California
Department of Forestry, which CRFD cannot.
Hilt VFD has an automatic aid agreement with CDF, and with the
Hornbrook VFD. Hilt and CRFD have an automatic aid reciprocity
agreement. Through our agreement with Hilt, we are able to maintain
an automatic aid agreement with CDF.
Hilt area firefighters
operate in conjunction with several professional firefighters
associated with the Fruit Growers Supply Company in Hilt, who
volunteer when assisting the Hilt VFD. Hilt firefighters can
operate under CRFD's authority in both Oregon and California.
The Hilt VFD's jurisdiction
includes the California side of the Colestin valley, and also
covers part of northern Siskiyou County, down to the Hornbrook
The two agencies are financially separate: Hilt receives no
funding from CRFD or CRFD's tax base. It must fund its own operations,
pay its own insurance, and have its own Board of Directors,
with separate meetings.
The Hilt VFD has
no tax base, and relies upon donations. Donations
sent to CRFD from California residents, unless otherwise marked,
go to the Hilt VFD; Oregon residents' contributions go to CRFD.
2003 Firefighter Training Program consisted of training that
were held bi-monthly, from March 22nd through June 21st. A
one-time Special Training for Engineers was held on July 12.
Those who participated have received wildland firefighting
training, structure fire training, personal emergency response
safety training, and First Aid and First Responder Training.
TRAINED FIREFIGHTERS WILL BE ALLOWED TO WORK ON A FIRE WITH
you show up to fight a fire but are not a trained, certified
firefighter and/or did not participate in CRFD's seasonal
firefighter training program, we will be forced to ask you
insurance does not cover community members or other members
of the public who are not CRFD trained firefighters, and you
can become a liability to yourself and to us because of safety
issues without proper training.
There are, however, other ways you can assist under our direction
in the event of a fire, such as helping to direct traffic,
providing additional transportation or back-up supplies, participating
in a phone tree, or filling water trucks or bladder bags.
Please respect these safety and legal considerations.
For those of you who feel compelled to do your part, please
consider contributing to the district with a donation. Our
budget does not cover all of our special item needs, or even
all of our standard operating expenses. Buy one of our fundraising
T-shirts, or send in a little extra money for truck fuel -
this support allows the purchase of non-budgeted equipment
needs that we cannot otherwise afford. We appreciate everyone's
cooperation and support.
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