Frequently Asked Questions

Organization

How is the Falcon Fire Protection District organized?

The Department is governed by a five-member, publicly-elected Board of Directors who serve up to two consecutive four-year terms. The Department is managed by a career Fire Chief and a Deputy Chief of Operations. The Department is a combination department, meaning it is staffed by career (paid) firefighter/emergency medical technicians (EMTs) as well as reserve (volunteer) firefighter/EMTs. 

Responsibilities

What is the Falcon Fire Department’s area of responsibility?

The Department responds to calls within 113 square miles of unincorporated El Paso County. It serves more than 30,000 residents and protects more than 15,500 structures with a 2014 market value of $3.1 billion.

Calls/Responses

How many calls does the Department respond to each year?

The Department responds to more than 2,000 calls a year.

How many firefighters respond to a typical medical call?

When responding to a call, each engine carries a minimum of two firefighters. Since most responses are related to medical issues, we respond with one Falcon Fire apparatus and the American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance. 

Why is the American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance always at Fire Station 1?

The AMR ambulance is located at Fire Station 1 to minimize response times for advanced life support to the busiest area of the fire district. The ambulance is staffed 24/7 by an AMR Paramedic and an AMR Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).

How many calls involve responses to fires?

About 3 percent of calls each year are responses to fires.

How many firefighters respond to fire calls?

A minimum of four career firefighters and a chief officer respond to fire calls. 

Stations

How many stations does the Department have?

The Department operates from four stations for the protection of our citizens and businesses.

  • Station 1, the newest station, is at Meridian Ranch Boulevard and Stapleton Road. It is staffed 24/7.
  • Station 2, on North Meridian Road in the north end of the District, is not staffed.
  • Station 3/Headquarters, on Old Meridian Road and Highway 24, is staffed 24/7.
  • Station 6, on Jones Road in the east end of the District, is not staffed.
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With the rapid growth of the community, what are the Department’s future goals for stations?

The District’s goals for stations include:

  • Construction of a new station in District 4 (the southwest portion of the fire district) is planned for 2016. 
  • Adding living quarters at Station 2. 

Station 1 Highlights

Why was the new station necessary?

This is the primary response station for areas north of Woodmen Road. It provides reduced response times to the most populated areas of the fire district , which also generate the highest call volumes.

How was the new Fire Station 1 financed?

Construction was financed by Farmers State Bank on a ten-year lease/purchase agreement. The District paid off this station in January 2015, five years early, saving taxpayers $192,541 in interest.

How long did it take to complete construction of the new Fire Station 1?

Groundbreaking for the 15,500-square foot station took place July 31, 2009, and the station became operational in May 2010.

What happened to the existing facility on Old Meridian Road?

This facility is now Station 3/Headquarters and is staffed 24/7.  Administrative and training functions remain at this facility.  

Firefighting apparatus

What firefighting apparatus are assigned to each of the Department’s stations?
  • Apparatus at Station 1 include:
    • An engine
    • A water tender (water truck)
    • A brush truck
    • An AMR ambulance
    • A pumper/tender
    • A Quick Response Vehicle (QRV)
  • Apparatus at Station 2 include:
    • A 4-wheel drive engine
    • A water tender
    • A brush truck
  • Apparatus at Station 3 include:
    • An engine
    • A water tender
    • A utility truck
    • A brush truck
    • A Quick Response Vehicle (QRV)
  • Apparatus at Station 6 
    • A pumper/tender
    • A water tender
    • A brush truck
What’s the average age of the Department’s trucks? What’s the average life span of a fire truck?

The average age of our trucks is six years. The average life span of firefighting equipment is 10-15 years.

How much does it cost to replace firefighting apparatus?
  • The cost of replacing an engine is about $380,000
  • The cost of replacing a water tender is about $150,000
  • The cost of replacing a brush truck is about $85,000
    • All the prices above are in 2010 dollars
How old is the Department’s newest apparatus?  How old is the oldest apparatus?

We took delivery of our newest firefighting vehicle, a Pumper/Tender in 2010. Our oldest apparatus, a tender, was delivered in 2002.

Challenges

What are the Department’s most significant future challenges?
  • Our Department serves one of the fastest growing Fire Protection Districts in El Paso County.  Our current mill levy is one of the lowest in the county, which impacts our ability to hire staff, replace old equipment, build new stations, and invest in current firefighting technology.
  • The current status of the economy
  • The exclusion of the Banning Lewis Ranch as it becomes part of the City of Colorado Springs
  • Reducing assessed values of properties by which our revenue is generated
  • Neighboring District Relations (Auto and Mutual Aid Agreements)
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When was the last mill levy increase for the Department?
  • The last mill levy increase approved by voters was in 2000.  That increase, from 2.5 to 5.7 mills, funded:
  • Construction of Station 3
  • The expansion of a classroom and sleeping rooms at the Headquarters facility
  • New emergency equipment purchases
  • The salary and benefits for the District’s first career firefighters
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Where does the Department get its funding?

The Department’s funding comes primarily from property tax income and fees charged for new construction, plan reviews and inspection permits. Additional funding comes from the contract with American Medical Response.

Doesn’t the Department receive funding from El Paso County and the State?

The District receives no funding from El Paso County or the State of Colorado.

What additional development is anticipated in the Department’s area of responsibility?

El Paso County has approved new development that will add about 11,000 new structures to the District in the coming years.  This has the potential to double the District’s population to 52,000.
The number of structures in the District will soon exceed more than 20,000 as the population grows.  Additionally, the Banning-Lewis Ranch development will split the District creating response challenges between District 1 and District 4.

What other areas pose challenges to the Department? 
  • The Claremont Ranch development within District 4, which has the second highest response rate for the District, does not have a fire station.  
  • District 5, located in the far northwestern portion of the fire district, and our current intergovernmental agreement with the Black Forest Fire Department.
What are ISO ratings and how are they determined?

ISO ratings determine the cost of homeowners insurance.  The District was re-inspected in January 2010.  Ratings are based on evaluations of several categories, including

  • Personnel
  • Water supply
  • Equipment
  • Training
  • Call volume

Ratings are on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the best rating. Higher protection class ratings, translate to more expensive homeowner’s insurance premiums. 

What is the District’s ISO rating?

The District’s ISO rating is 5/7 for properties within 5 road miles of a station and 10 for properties outside the 5 road mile area.

Community Education Services

What community education services does the Department provide?

The Department offers a number of community service programs, which include:

  • A Fire Explorer Program
  • Fire prevention and education information in local news media
  • Presentations in local public schools, to homeowner associations, and to local civic and service organizations
  • A Community Awareness Program
  • An extensive Community Resources page on this Web site
  • A high school student intern program through Falcon School District 49

Recruitment and Training

How can I become a firefighter for the Department?

The District continually recruits new volunteer firefighters. Most career firefighters are hired from the District’s volunteer corps. All firefighter candidates must complete four months of Emergency Medical Technician-Basic training before they are eligible to join the Department.

What training is required to become a firefighter for the Department?

Career and volunteer firefighters all complete the same training to qualify for positions with the Department.  All firefighters must complete the District’s fire training academy.

  • Training includes:
    • State Firefighter I certification
    • State Hazardous materials certification
    • Wildland firefighting training
    • Emergency vehicle operator certification

Firefighters must complete a minimum of 36 hours of training each year and maintain their certifications.

Besides becoming a firefighters are there other opportunities to serve with the Department?

In addition to opportunities to serve as a firefighter, there are opportunities to serve as an Emergency Medical Technician. 

What training is required to become an Emergency Medical Service Reserve for the Department?

All EMS Reserve’s are required to maintain their EMT-Basic at a minimum as well as complete a mini-academy in house.

How do firefighters earn promotions?

Promotions are earned through experience/ability, by completing advanced education, and through a testing process.