Statewide Fire Restrictions go into place.
The earliest departments in San Juan County were started in the 1950s. San Juan County first recognized these departments in 1962. The volunteer fire departments, along with the County Fire Marshal, were consolidated in 2001 to create the San Juan County Fire Department. The Fire Department now has a Fire Chief, a Deputy Fire Chief, a Fire Marshal, and 4 Captains.
San Juan County Fire Department consists of an Administration Office and 14 volunteer fire districts operating out of 23 stations with approximately 250 ACTIVE volunteers. They provide First Response Fire/Medical Services in conjunction with Paramedic Ambulances, first response hazardous materials, fire suppression, wild-land firefighting and rescue services including water, high angle, search and rescue and vehicle extrication. All new recruits are trained to IFSAC Firefighter I level in the first year.
The San Juan County Fire Department covers 5,520 square miles in San Juan County PLUS 1,200 square miles of neighboring counties, Colorado, and Arizona.
San Juan County Fire Department responded to over 9500 calls in 2012, a definite increase from 8000 in 2011. On average 48% were Emergency Medical related, 32% were good intention false alarms, 7% were fire assists, 11% were fires, and 2% were other calls(i.e., Severe Weather/Natural Disaster and Special Incident Type).
Volunteers devote many hours to their communities and save an estimated $10,000,000 a year in salaries, labor costs and taxes that would be required to staff each station 24/7/365 with 3 firefighters. The services they provide are beyond value to their communities.
The Quarter Percent Fire Excise Tax money is used to operate the San Juan County Fire Department and the Ambulance Service. We are very fortunate to have the citizens of San Juan County support the volunteer efforts with their passing of the Quarter Percent Fire Excise tax when asked to do so. Annual budget for the SJCFD: $1.2M from County General Fund, $80K from State EMS Fund, $2.5M from County Fire Protection GRT, $2.5M from State Fire Fund.
The San Juan County Fire Department Wildland Firefighting Team earns over $250,000 a year to support the nominal fee paid to volunteers.
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