What’s your history in Glen Haven?
I moved from Greeley to Glen Haven in 1976, just in time for the Big Thompson Flood.
How long were you a volunteer with the fire department?
I joined the GHAVFD in July 1976 and retired in January 2019.
What’s changed during that time within the department?
The Department has grown from a few volunteers with a couple of old, old trucks and a Jeep into a very viable volunteer group of around 24 active members, several reserve troops, structural firefighting equipment, water tender, wildland firefighting vehicles, a UTV, and lots of equipment. The firefighters undergo wildland, and structural firefighting training, specialty training for other types of emergencies, and extensive EMS training.
What prompted you to volunteer?
The Big Thompson Flood was the community’s first major disaster. It was all hands on deck in the aftermath and being new to the community, I felt it was the only responsible thing to do to try and help out.
What do you differently around your home as a result of your experience with the department?
We are more aware of the hazards that can precipitate increased danger in wild land fire situations. We take more precautions around the property.
What advice do you have for residents?
Try to practice situational awareness. Be conscious of the many mountain things that can surprise you, not only the critters but loose rocks, goofy drivers on curvy roads, and symptoms of illness. Support the Fire Department! This is a group of dedicated men and women that give freely of their time to try and protect you and help in times of crisis.
You were part of the department for a long time. Is there a story you always tell people about from your time with the group?
I have way too many stories after 40 years to choose just one. I will say that being a firefighter in a small community like Glen Haven has certain challenges that most of you don’t realize. Friends and acquaintances with whom you may have had dinner with last night become your patient tonight. I have been with many close friends during the worst moment in their life. Some survived the ordeal, others passed. Those moments never go away.