On Saturday December 7, 2008 the communities of McCoy, Bond and Burns had a rebirth of their fire department. The previously defunct Bond/McCoy Volunteer Fire department was renamed Rock Creek Volunteer Fire Department (RCVFD) due to the local political turmoil. With 9 volunteers, 4 summer seasonal volunteers, 4 board members and countless donations from the public the department has been successful in re-establishing service to their communities. With few funds available, they still have an enormous amount of passion for wanting to make a difference in their communities.

In 1999 there were four board members and one operational member who formed the department. Training sessions were held on an informal basis. Local funding was secured and the donations began to come in. As funds were swelling, the discussions on how to spend them started to heat up. A fire department on the I-70 corridor pushed for a locally voted ballot issue for an inclusion, which failed. After months of fiery meetings and debate, the original department members quit and discontinued service.

METHODOLOGY

Fire Chief’s from Eagle and Gypsum thought it would be in the best interest of the new department to take advantage of opportunities that the Colorado Fire Chiefs Association has implemented. A report called a “Needs Assessment” that evaluates the current status of the department was included in the planning process to help improve the department. This process included the mentoring assistance of a Fire Chief from another county.

Chief Ron Thompson of the Pagosa Fire Protection District offered to assist newly elected Chief Brita Horn in the assessment. The “Needs Assessment” includes a look at the geographical area, facilities, equipment and a listing of the current and future needs of the department from many voices of the community. Chief Thompson met with the Eagle County Fire Chiefs, Rock Creek Fire Board of Directors and department volunteers. These meetings were attended to help gain insight and perspectives of the Rock Creek Department and possible avenues for success.

FINDINGS

Currently the 244 square miles in north Eagle County has no mill levy for fire/first responder EMS services. The Rock Creek Volunteer Fire Department (RCVFD) is a non-profit 501c3 organization.The majority of the department’s service area has Eagle County Ambulance District (ECAD) ALS medical response.The remainder is in the Western Eagle Ambulance District (WECAD). The boundaries generally are the Colorado River Water Shed Area. Detailed boundaries are from the Routt County line on the north to mile marker 7 on Highway 131 on the south, joining the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District boundary. The western boundary begins at Catamount Creek and the Gypsum Fire Protection District boundary and east to the Grand County line.

RCVFD responds to fires, rescue, and related emergency services including medical calls.Response times for both ECAD and GEFPD are approximately 30 minutes. For the past 30 years Avon Fire (later reorganized as Eagle River FPD)and GEFPD responded to the area without a mill levy collected. Currently, ECAD responds while Eagle Fire stages at Wolcott to see if RCVFD needs additional resources. While Gypsum Fire has a mutual aid agreement with Rock Creek, RCVFD is working on securing mutual aid agreements with Yampa Fire and Kremmling Fire. All neighboring fire departments respond to calls with RCVFD and coordinate on scene.