It's a big deal

Photos by Becky Justice-Hemmann – New Battalion Chief’s (left to right) Lyle Fenderson, Andrew Kuiken, Scott Lindschmidt and Nico Romero.

By Becky Hemmann

The Surveyor

Last Saturday evening the Berthoud Fire Protection District held a promotional ceremony and handed out awards. Over 100 attended what Chief Steve Charles called “A big deal.”

Receiving promotions to Battalion Chief rank were Captain Scott Lindschmidt, Captain Nico Romero, Captain Andrew Kuiken and Lieutenant Lyle Fenderson. These firefighters have served in Berthoud for a total of 77 combined years of service.

Receiving promotions to Lieutenant were Firefighters Jesse Treat, Monty Kitzman, Andy Berger and Nick Ireland.

Five firefighters received the Chief’s Citation award: Lt. Dan Forbis, Lt. Nick Ireland, Firefighters Emery Lee, Brad Novell and Don Patterson.

Two firefighters received the Life-Saving award: Jourdon Mazur and Brad Novell.

New Lieutenants (L-R) Monty Kitzman, Nick Ireland, Jesse Treat and Andy Berger.

The district had 11 existing volunteer firefighters and Chief Charles prefers to promote new employees from that group since they have experience with the district. The district was able to hire seven new firefighters from the volunteer group and were also sworn in Saturday. They are: Jasmine Crane, Jake Everhart, Haylee McCullough, Chris Robinson, Tori Schneider, Sam Tokar and Cory Tovar.

Career Firefighters (L-R) Cory Tovar, Haylee McCollugh, Jasmine Crane, Chris Robinson, Tori Schneider and Sam Tokar (not pictured: Jacob Everhart)

A few years ago the fire district was experiencing budget shortfalls but now because of the growth in Berthoud and revenues from the oil and gas industry they are able to expand and bring the staffing numbers up, in order to comply with the Insurance Services Office (ISO) regulations they are required to meet in order to keep their fire score at ISO2. Property insurers then use the ISO rating to help set homeowner’s insurance rates. The more well-equipped your fire department is to put out a fire, the less likely your house is to burn. That makes your property less risky to insure, and therefore less expensive to insure. In the ISO rating scale, a lower number is better: A rating of one is the best possible rating, while a 10 indicates the fire department did not meet the ISO’s minimum requirements.

In addition to hiring new personnel the district was able to purchase a newer, more economical vehicle for the dive rescue team, new ballistics vests for the firefighters, a water tender, and expanded their training area in the district office and updated the community meeting rooms.

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