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Official Site for the Crystal Park Volunteer Fire Department
and the Crystal Park Metropolitan District

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Annual Communication to Residents
2012 Results and 2013 Outlook

2012 was a busy year for both the Metro District and the Crystal Park Fire Department.  In the May, 2012, election, two new Directors, Joan Powers and Derek Strickler, were elected and Mike Doughty was re-elected, all to four year terms expiring in 2016.  Directors Mike Young and Tim Britton did not run for re-election.  They are greatly thanked for their service for 4 years, during a trying yet productive time for the District.

2012 Highlights

The District continues to operate under an Automatic Aid Agreement with the Manitou Springs Fire Department, insuring timely response to all incidents in the District, regardless of location.

The Crystal Park Fire Department had 32 dispatched calls in 2012, including smoke investigations, medical calls, vehicle accidents, gas odor investigations, mutual aid requests, and more. 

The Waldo Canyon Fire resulted in Department and Auxiliary volunteers being on duty 24/7 for a week. 

Volunteers, especially EMT’s, spent significant time responding to calls in Manitou Springs to maintain proficiency. 

The CPFD High Angle Rescue Team members were an integral part of a rescue at Rainbow Falls in Manitou Springs and a medical evacuation on a trail near the Park. 

On a number of occasions the CPFD manned the Manitou Springs station, covering both districts, while the MSFD responded to other calls.  CPFD volunteers deployed on MSFD apparatus to several fires in Colorado, Wyoming and Minnesota, providing them with invaluable experience in wildland fire operations.  Volunteers supported numerous community events in Crystal Park and in Manitou Springs, such as the CPFD Open House, the Crystal Park Annual Picnic, the Department’s Pancake Breakfast, Channel 9 Health Fair, Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon, Emma Crawford Coffin Races, MDA Fill the Boot, and more.

Although the District applied for a number of grants, none were awarded (although one is still undetermined at this time). 

The District purchased a Water Tender in June.  This is an 1,800 gallon Tender (designated as Tender 961) that has been reconfigured to fully meet the needs of the CPFD fire operations in the Park.  It will significantly add to the Department’s ability to move water to the scene of a fire, along with Tender 960.  Engine 910 passed its annual pump test with excellent results.  Although old, it continues to function well and hopefully will continue to do so.  Brush 940 is also an old apparatus, and one that is not best-suited for structure fire response service in terrain like Crystal Park.  Brush 940 will most likely be the next vehicle that the District will look to replace. 

Waldo Canyon Fire
All residents are well aware of this fire and the tremendous damage and the loss of life that it caused.  The Park was extremely fortunate that winds were such that we escaped the fire itself.  The Park was evacuated during the early morning hours of June 24.  The evacuation plan already in place was a great help, and Department and Auxiliary volunteers did excellent work to bring off a safe and efficient evacuation.  It went better than could have been expected, but there were some issues regarding the evacuation termination notice that later required clarification.  This was accomplished in post-fire discussions with the County.  The fire has concentrated the attention of many residents on mitigation of fuels, “hardening” their residences, and other fire protection measures.  Approximately 50 residents have purchased fire gel through a Fire Department sponsored effort that provided both information on the effectiveness of this type of product, and shipping discounts arranged with the vendor.  Over 50 Firewise assessments of homes have been conducted in the past year.  Over 80 assessments have been done over the past several years, meaning that there remain over 140 homes that have not had an assessment done.  Residents are encouraged to request an assessment from the Department if they have not already done so: contact Chief John Hennessey. 

The CPFD and the Auxiliary continue to maintain a good number of members, with the numbers increasing over the past year.  Additional dedicated volunteers are always welcome.  If you are interested in joining either the Fire Department or the Auxiliary, please contact John Hennessey or Michele Angelo, respectively, to learn more.

The District and Fire Department wish to sincerely thank the residents of Crystal Park for all the generous donations and fundraising support in 2012.  These funds enable the Department to purchase much needed supplies and equipment, update old equipment and perform needed maintenance/repairs.  In addition, the Department received great support, once again, from Borriello Brothers Pizza, who gave the Department discount coupons to sell, resulting in $3,750 in fundraising monies.  Also Flying Eagle, a retail business in Manitou Springs, sold Waldo Canyon Fire tee shirts and split the proceeds between the CPFD and the MSVFD, resulting in a donation of $1113.69 to the Department.  It is difficult to adequately express our appreciation to all those involved. 

2013 Outlook

There are several issues and concerns for 2013.

  • Weather – Precipitation levels continue to be extremely low.  The longer term outlook (next several months) does not appear to be much better.  Lack of snow and rain, should it continue means more extreme fire weather.  Many fire personnel throughout the region are very concerned about the upcoming “fire season”.  Please be vigilant and report any suspicious smoke by calling 911.

  • ISO Rating – The District’s ISO rating, used by some insurance companies to set rates, is currently a 9.  Because of the purchase of the additional Tender, numerous tools and many pieces of equipment, the Fire Department is hopeful that a lower rating (8b) may be obtained, and therefore a new ISO review has been requested  Further information will be forthcoming after the ISO review.

  • Longer Term Needs – The District will begin a process to determine and prioritize the longer term needs of the District and Fire Department.  Items such as apparatus replacement, station expansion and equipment acquisition, replacement and update will be included. 

Once again, we would encourage all residents and Crystal Park members to familiarize themselves with the workings of the Metropolitan District and the Fire Department. Informed residents are less likely to fall prey to unfounded rumors and misinformation that occasionally circulate in the Park. Much information, including financial information such as budgets and monthly Treasurer’s Reports, can be accessed at , by clicking on the links on the right hand side of the page. You can also contact any of the Metro Board members or CPFD Chief.

We would also once again like to thank you, the residents, as well as the Board of Directors of the Crystal Park HOA and the Park staff for supporting the Crystal Park Fire Department and its members, and the Fire Department Auxiliary. These volunteers, as a group, spend thousands of hours involved in training and Department activities in order to be prepared to respond to emergencies.

Crystal Park Metropolitan District Board of Directors
Mike Doughty, Chairman
Clint Schneider, Treasurer
Joan Powers, Secretary
Dick O’Brien
Derek Strickler