SOUTH FORK— During the monthly meeting of the South Fork Town Board on July 25, board members were asked by Town Manager Tom Acre to approve a request for a letter of support from South Fork Fire Department Chief Tyler Off for a grant to help with costs associated with further training for his crew. The board listened as Acre explained that the letter would help with efforts for the department to receive funding for qualified EMTs and fire personnel to attend a training workshop in the fall.
Like many of the surrounding communities, South Fork Fire Department is participating in an annual grant for EMT training throughout Colorado. According to the website for the CREATE grant it states, “The Colorado Rural Health Center (CRHC) is Colorado’s nonprofit State Office of Rural Health. CRHC works with federal, state and local partners to offer services and resources to rural healthcare providers, facilities and communities. We have a diverse and inclusive statewide constituency of over 3,500 people and organizations.
Established in 1991 by members of the Colorado Rural Health Consortium, Colorado Rural Health Center (CRHC) was created with start-up support from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy and several other public and private organizations around the state. CRHC was developed as a nonprofit organization and is one of only three nonprofit offices of rural health in the country.
Our mission is to enhance healthcare services in the state by providing information, education, linkages, tools, and energy toward addressing rural health issues. Our vision is to improve healthcare services available in rural communities to ensure that all rural Coloradans have access to comprehensive, affordable, high quality healthcare.”
The department is on its way to being one of a kind for the western end of the Valley, offering services that other departments are unable or unqualified to offer. Off and his crew have already formed a dive team and began to offer transportation services for people who cannot afford some of the more expensive medical transportation options available.
If the grant is approved, a majority of the crew will be able to attend the training and will be bringing their skills even further up to date, not only making the community and those they serve safer, but making sure the crew themselves are ready for anything an emergency situation might throw their way.
The board approved the letter of support, stating that they were happy to help with anything that had to do with having a trained and readily available emergency crew at their disposal. Acre continued to explain that Off was also working with new Rio Grande County Emergency Manager Chris Ortiz on their current emergency plan.
One of the goals Ortiz had when beginning as emergency manager in the spring was to make sure all of the current emergency plans were up to date. “Tyler is working with Chris to go over the emergency plan and make any adjustments that may need to be made,” said Acre. The board agreed that it was time to have the plan reviewed and again voiced their appreciation for a job well done.