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Chaffee County Fire Protection District celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony on March 7 for the addition and renovation of Fire Station Number Four in Poncha Springs. The new station is located at 50 La Plata Street, Poncha Springs CO 81242.

The addition will expand the resident firefighter program to Poncha Springs with individual living quarters. The resident firefighter program is similar to a two-year internship. During shifts, crew members live in the residential quarters and respond to all emergency calls, essentially staffing the fire station 24/7. Currently, CCFPD has five resident firefighter positions at Station Number Two in Nathrop and six more positions will be added to the new Poncha Springs location.

Over the past few years calls for service has grown along with the level of tourism within the county, as well as the threat of wildfire. Creating this new shift with residential space is expected to improve response times.

Plans of Station Number Four. Image Courtesy of CCFPD.

Firefighters have a nine percent higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer and a 14 percent higher risk of dying from cancer than the general U.S. population, according to research by the CDC and National Institute for occupational Health and Safety. The design of the station incorporates hot, warm, and cold zones to protect firefighters.

The crew will have a dedicated decontamination room, fire gear storage, and dressing room separate from apparatus bays to reduce exposure to diesel exhaust. Crew members must pass through two doors in a pressurized vestibule to move between living areas and fire truck/gear storage to reduce chances of cross-contamination between zones.

The existing station will remain operational throughout construction staffed with volunteers. CCFPD says that it is always looking for volunteers and interested parties are asked to contact 719-395-6545 or click here.