Strategic Plan 2011-2016
The Red, White & Blue Fire Protection District (District) was formed in February 1976 as a statutory fire protection district. The quasi-governmental special district model was utilized to secure long term funding via a property tax mill levy in the manner of multi-faceted emergency response services. Today, the District incorporates approximately 130 square miles of Summit County, Colorado, including Breckenridge Ski Resort, one of the most popular and largest skiing and snowboarding destinations in North America. The Towns of Breckenridge and Blue River along with unincorporated Summit County consist of a year round population of approximately 12,000 residents that swells to nearly 50,000 citizens and guests during the tourism seasons.
Yesterday & Today
Initially, the District provided emergency response services with a combination of volunteer and career personnel responding from three, strategically located fire stations. Today, the District serves and protects life and property with a career staff of 57 full-time personnel. Of the nearly 1,400 emergency responses in 2010, over 48% were trauma or medical emergency incidents. The District has enhanced emergency medical services through an ambulance services mutual aid agreement with Summit County Ambulance Service. This collaborative integration of resources provides for a quicker, more efficient response of advanced life support personnel, equipment and patient transport capability. The District remains dedicated to expanding this mutual aid agreement in the future to continue providing the most effective service with the resources available.
The District utilizes the 911 dispatching services of the regional Summit County Communications Center. This additional multi-agency collaboration is governed by a representative policy board of the public safety users and is funded by an annually calculated assessment. The District, as a primary user and policy board representative, continues to provide and support suggested improvements for the dispatching services.
Assistance Requests for Service
The District also provides equipment, trains and responds to wildland fires, hazardous materials-related emergencies and a variety of technical rescue and public assistance requests for service. Community risk management is addressed via a multilateral approach involving education, engineering, enforcement, planning, preparedness and response. All divisions and personnel understand and actively serve in their roles toward mitigating and managing community risks.
In the past, the District has enjoyed a stable economic environment in relation to the assessed valuation of properties protected. Recently, new construction permits have slowed; consequently new growth will slow. Currently, assessed valuation projections from the Summit County Assessor’s Office indicate a significant downturn averaging around 20% across the County. Likewise, the District closely monitors overall economic conditions for potential repercussions as property values are lagging several years behind benchmark economic indicators.
Strategic Plan Development
This Strategic Plan has been developed through a collaborative effort of both internal and external stakeholders. A SW.O.T. (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis was conducted with the majority of the District staff early in 2010. The external community and business stakeholders gathered in October 2010 and were asked for input and feedback on service level, community expectations and evolving function areas. The Fire Chief held a work session with the Board of Directors for the District in February 2011 to share and seek input on fiscal philosophy, management and investment as well as fleet and facility management/capital replacement and personnel succession planning. A strategic planning committee was appointed following the community meetings and consisted of the fire chief, several chief officers, captains and a board member. The reader will see the results of these collaborative efforts which led to the development and recommendations for the overall strategic initiatives, organizational goals and objectives.
As stated previously, the future holds many financial uncertainties and there could be significant changes in direction as we progress through the planning process over the next several years. We have written this plan with the “best-case” financial future scenario including such goals as building a new fire station, capital facility improvements and fleet replacement goals. Additionally, the board of directors supports every effort in seeking functional consolidation efforts with the neighboring fire district. It is the direction of this District to continually examine all programs, processes and practices for improvement. The strategic plan is meant to be flexible and will be revised as circumstances dictate.