Unified fire district boosts service

In 2002, three local fire agencies and paramedic services from Mercy Regional Medical Center boldly embraced the future by consolidating into Durango Fire & Rescue Authority.

This collaboration was the result of two independent studies that recommended the merging of resources to the benefit of all. One of the funding partners, the Animas Fire Protection District, surrounds Durango entirely.

Before this consolidation, Animas Fire Department volunteers responded to calls in its district by driving through the city of Durango right past fully staffed fire stations in other words, practicing territorial rather than mutually beneficial emergency response. The consolidation put a stop to this craziness.

But today there are Animas Fire District board members who seek to return us to the past. Bud Deering stated very clearly (Herald, April 25) that he is determined to withdraw Animas Fire from the consolidation and send these crucial emergency services backward in time.

Even more concerning is the reality that there is no going back.

Volunteerism is way down and our community has far outgrown this fire service model. We need fully staffed professional fire and emergency medical services.

Please remove throwbacks like Deering from this board and elect board members committed to maintaining the high-level professional services we deserve. Cast your mail-in ballots for Kathy Morris, Joe Lloyd and Matt Leeder, as they are all committed to keeping DFRA together.

Larry Ruiz

Durango

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