Our legal responsibilities:
to OSR Directive 478.260, a fire protection district must follow
the same rules and regulations as any other fire agency within the
State of Oregon.
As a fire protection district within the State of Oregon, we are
responsible and answerable to: The Office of the State Fire Marshall;
Jackson County's Board of Commissioners; the Office of the Oregon
Secretary of State and its Dept. of Annual Audits; the Oregon Department
of Justice; the Charitable Organizations Department of the State
of Oregon; the Oregon Dept. of Revenue; two separate branches of
the Internal Revenue Service: the federal Charitable Organizations
Division, and the Financial Division; and the Articles of Incorporation
Division of the State of Oregon.
We are directed by State law to prioritize fire protection in this
Protecting our residents and their homes is our primary purpose. CRFD
legally is responsible for protecting structures and up to five acres
surrounding a structure.
Oregon law delineates that the Oregon Dept. of Forestry does not fight
structure fires. In a structure fire situation, the ODF addresses
the adjacent wildland, while protecting the structure itself belongs
solely to CRFD.
We are limited in our capabilities to fight structure fire, due to
structure fire equipment needs and professional training requirements.
Therefore, our present services do not include entry into a burning
structure unless it is "a matter of life and death." However, it is
statistically true that most home fires must strategically be fought
from the exterior of the building.
The ODF has the primary legal responsibility to protect wildlands,
in which we are directed by our Jackson County charter to back them
up. In actual practice, we respond to any and all wildland fires within
our district, and in the surrounding area.
Our response time is usually faster than ODF or other agencies, and
we often do not require their assistance in local situations.
CRFD cannot respond to exclusively vehicle fires in the I-5 corridor
unless the adjacent wildland is threatened. We do, however, respond
to medical calls along I-5 and to other calls outside of our district
as part of our mutual and automatic aid agreements with surrounding
Our current fire protection and medical services:
We now protect 143 homes
within the district.
have 20 trained individuals available (including Chief & Assistants)
for wildland fire fighting, with limited structure fire training and
equipment capabilities. All firefighters are equipped with basic firefighting
turnout gear. CRFD has two breathing apparatuses (and the Hilt VFD
now has 7). All engines are equipped with radios and handtools. Support
equipment is limited (e.g., hand-held two-way radios for use in the
CRFD's firefighters are dispatched by a pager system. They can be
contacted for emergency response to a call 24 hours a day.
and rescue services:
The fire district is required
by law to provide emergency in-field medical care and treatment.
The Fire District operates
medical response vehicles for transporting medical personnel and equipment
on fire and medical emergency calls. CRFD has two Basic Life Support
rescue vehicles: one at Colestin / Station One (44-40) and one in
We have numerous Basic Life Support First Responders and several Emergency
Medical Technicians (Level 1-A) available full-time.
We offer limited in-field first aid and trauma care, accident extrication,
and Basic Life Support services. This includes "anything from bandaging
scratches to CPR and heart attack treatment."
We cannot diagnose medical conditions, perform invasive or surgical
procedures, or administer drugs. We can give oxygen, if needed.
The Fire District does not offer Advanced Life Support, with the exception
of the Automated External Defibrillator. We also have trauma kits,
and other first responder supplies. The Hilt VFD now has a Jaws of
Life rescue unit.
CRFD is not equipped, licensed or insured, or legally permitted, to
transport the public in medical emergencies. We can assist in arranging
for appropriately qualified transport, if necessary.
We "stabilize and secure the scene, and prepare injuries for transport,"
and if necessary, will contact appropriate full-service emergency
medical units. Those units assume responsibility on arrival, and can
transport to medical facilities if necessary.
Our base station operates
full time, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. We are equipped with radios
that have State Forestry channels as well as our own frequency, CBs,
and 911 scanners. Our base communications are also coordinated with
911's Emergency Response Dispatch System.
We now have three experienced, well-trained base dispatch operators,
and back-up assistance. Hilt VFD member Christina Lehman, who has
frequently served as dispatch operator over the past 15 years, continues
to assist us. Andrea Morgan assists also.
Cheri Avgeris and Sharron Halvorson have both completed CDF's 911
- Emergency Dispatch Communications Systems Training Intensive. Sharron
has worked dispatch for the last several years, and Cheri, for the
past 21 years, since the initial inception of the fire district.
We maintain a central
firehouse at Colestin, in the center of the valley, directly opposite
our main base station. This fire house was funded and built in 1990
by district member contributions and low-interest private loans. It
is fully equipped for use year round, and has heated storage for our
trucks through the winter, and storage for other district tools and
By arrangement with the Fruit Growers Supply Company, which owns it,
we also have the use of the Hilt Schoolhouse as a south-end fire house
and equipment storage facility, It is winter-heated, and trucks housed
there are in service year round also.
The District has: a rescue
rig (44-41), a 400-gallon 4 X4 pumper (44-11), and the "Quick-Attack"
150-gallon 4 X 4 wildland squad truck (44-20) stationed in Hilt, at
the schoolhouse building loaned to us by Fruit Growers.
At Station One (at Colestin), we have a 4 X 4 500-gallon pumper (44-13),
a 200-gallon 4 X 4 pumper (44-10), and a rescue unit (44-40). 44-12,
a 200-gallon 4 X 4, is up on the top road.
In spring, 2002, we acquired a new 4-wheel all-terrain-vehicle, to
reach remote fires and transport hand-tools.
In mid-September, 2002, we were awarded a $58,500 FEMA (Federal Emergency
Management Agency) grant to purchase a new structure-fire engine.
Photos of a few of our
current (and past) vehicles including the FEMA engine are available
Fire patrols during fire
season; controlled burn oversight in hazardous areas (on a limited
/ resource availability basis); tools on loan for stove / chimney
cleaning, on an availability basis.
The Colestin Rural Fire
District has automatic aid or mutual aid agreements with the following
other fire agencies: CDF, ODF, Hornbrook Volunteer Fire Department,
and the Hilt Volunteer Fire Department.
As above, the ODF does not respond to structure fires, or provide
in-field medical service. CDF will assist with both wildland and structure
fires, and medical emergencies.
Interagency aid agreements function with a "two-way street" policy:
CRFD can be called to assist these agencies, as well. We are reimbursed
for any expenses incurred, in assisting other agencies or districts.
Our availability prioritizes our own district's needs, as is also
the case with other agencies.
Class 9 Fire Insurance Rates:
Your ISO Rating partly
determines your insurance rates. An ISO rating is a national standard:
any residence that is five miles or more from the nearest fire station
of any fire district will be classified as a Class 10. Some insurance
companies will not insure residents that are in a Class 10.
Our fire house in the center of the valley (Station One) allows us
to remain in service year-round. Because of this, residences within
our district qualify for the upgraded ISO Class 9 rating. The cost
difference benefit to you is about 15 %.
Check your fire insurance policy to be sure that you are being assessed
for a Class 9 ISO rating!
Our legal relationship
to the Hilt VFD:
The Hilt company
and CRFD operate as one agency, because of geographic necessity. Legally,
they are two separate entities. The legal division between the agencies
is necessary because it enables the Hilt company to receive direct
support from the California Department of Forestry, which CRFD cannot.
The Hilt VFD
has an automatic aid agreement with CDF, and with the Hornbrook VFD.
Hilt and CRFD have an automatic aid reciprocity agreement. Through
our agreement with Hilt, we are able to maintain an automatic aid
agreement with CDF.
Hilt area firefighters
operate in conjunction with several professional firefighters associated
with the Fruit Growers Supply Company in Hilt, who volunteer when
assisting the Hilt VFD. Hilt firefighters can operate under CRFD's
authority in both Oregon and California.
The Hilt VFD's jurisdiction
includes the California side of the Colestin valley, and also covers
part of northern Siskiyou County, down to the Hornbrook boundary.
The two agencies are financially separate: Hilt receives no funding
from CRFD or CRFD's tax base. It must fund its own operations, pay
its own insurance, and have its own Board of Directors, with separate
The Hilt VFD has no tax
base, and relies upon donations. California residents are encouraged
to make donations and should make their checks out to Hilt Volunteer
Fire Dept. These monies are deposited in a separate Hilt bank account
and are used for Hilt's operating expenses.
Firefighter Training Program consisted of training that were held
bi-monthly, from March 22nd through June 21st. A one-time Special
Training for Engineers was held on July 12. Those who participated
have received wildland firefighting training, structure fire training,
personal emergency response safety training, and First Aid and First
TRAINED FIREFIGHTERS WILL BE ALLOWED TO WORK ON A FIRE WITH THE
you show up to fight a fire but are not a trained, certified firefighter
and/or did not participate in CRFD's seasonal firefighter training
program, we will be forced to ask you to leave.
insurance does not cover community members or other members of the
public who are not CRFD trained firefighters, and you can become
a liability to yourself and to us because of safety issues without
There are, however, other ways you can assist under our direction
in the event of a fire, such as helping to direct traffic, providing
additional transportation or back-up supplies, participating in
a phone tree, or filling water trucks or bladder bags. Please respect
these safety and legal considerations.
For those of you who feel compelled to do your part, please consider
contributing to the district with a donation. Our budget does not
cover all of our special item needs, or even all of our standard
operating expenses. Buy one of our fundraising T-shirts, or send
in a little extra money for truck fuel - this support allows the
purchase of non-budgeted equipment needs that we cannot otherwise
afford. We appreciate everyone's cooperation and support.