It has come to my attention that during a Segway tour a guide told his group in front of the Telluride Fire House on Columbia Street that if you have a fire in Telluride make sure it’s before 10 p.m. because after that the firemen will be drunk. (Yes, I too find it troubling that a guy like this is “educating” visitors about Telluride).
Here is what both visitors to Telluride and its citizens should know about the men and women who make up the Telluride Volunteer Fire Department.
It has been many years since any alcohol has even been allowed in the firehouse. While some people may wax anecdotal about how in the old days firemen would run out of the Sheridan or Senate bars to respond to a fire, I can assure you that those days are overstated and long past, as the Fire Service in Telluride has evolved over the years. In no way should this be construed to suggest anything but the most honorable service of my predecessors and the fine quality of service that they gave to this community.
TVFD responds to over 700 calls each year for fire and ambulance services. Every new firefighter must complete Fighter 1, a six-month course that is also required of every big city fire department in the US. In addition the firefighters are each on call 2,000-plus hours in a calendar year, ready to respond 24/7. They train and meet over 60 hours each year as well as travel to national and regional training facilities to learn from other firefighters about strategies and techniques. Moreover, many have taken courses that took many additional hours and full weekends to qualify for the Federal Government Red Card, which allows them to fight wildfires on any federally held land. In other words, our backyard
The men and woman who proudly serve this community as members of the Telluride Fire Department are some of the most dedicated and hardworking civic-minded people I have ever met. They all understand the huge responsibility that they are charged with and appreciate that the community expects that when they dial 911 a professional, well-trained, caring group of fire firefighters will show up in a timely manner to help them with whatever their need is. Whether it is due to a pot being left on the stove or they need to be extricated from there vehicle due to a car accident or even if they need someone to work to remove furniture and water from there homes until 1 a.m. due to a flood, when the call comes, the TVFD responds.