Frequently Asked Questions

Organization

How is the Falcon Fire Protection District organized?

The Department is governed by a five-member, publicly-elected Board of Directors who serve up to two consecutive four-year terms. The Department is managed by a career Fire Chief and a Deputy Chief of Operations. The Department is a combination department, meaning it is staffed by career (paid) firefighter/emergency medical technicians (EMTs) as well as reserve (volunteer) firefighter/EMTs. 

JURISDICTION

What is the Falcon Fire Department’s area of responsibility?

The Department responds to calls within 113 square miles of unincorporated El Paso County. It serves more than 30,000 residents and protects more than 15,500 structures with a 2014 market value of $3.1 billion.

Call VOLUME

How many calls does the Department respond to each year?

The Department responds to more than 2,000 calls a year.

How many firefighters respond to a typical medical call?

When responding to a call, each engine carries a minimum of two firefighters. Since most responses are related to medical issues, we respond with one Falcon Fire apparatus and the American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance. 

Why is the American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance always at Fire Station 1?

The AMR ambulance is located at Fire Station 1 to minimize response times for advanced life support to the busiest area of the fire district. The ambulance is staffed 24/7 by an AMR Paramedic and an AMR Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).

How many calls involve responses to fires?

About 3 percent of calls each year are responses to fires.

How many firefighters respond to fire calls?

A minimum of four career firefighters and a chief officer respond to fire calls. 

FIRE Stations

How many stations does the Department have?

The Department operates from five stations for the protection of our citizens and businesses.

  • Station 1, at Meridian Ranch Boulevard and Stapleton Road, is staffed 24/7.
  • Station 2, on North Meridian Road in the north end of the District, is not staffed.
  • Station 3/Headquarters, on Old Meridian Road and Highway 24, is staffed 24/7.
  • Station 4, on Capital Drive north of Constitution Avenue, is staffed 24/7.
  • Station 6, on Jones Road in the east end of the District, is not staffed.
  •  
With the rapid growth of the community, what are the Department’s future goals for stations?

The District continuously assesses operational needs to support growth in the Falcon area. Part of this assessment involves Future goals under consideration include adding living quarters at Station 2 to facilitate 24/7 staffing, with the intent to reduce response times in the north end of the fire district. 

Station 4 Highlights

Why was the new station necessary?

Station 4 is the primary response station for the portions of the Falcon Fire Protection District located near Marksheffel Road and Constitution Avenue, which consistently has one of the highest call volumes in the entire fire district. Since Station 4 went into service in May 2017, response times to this area have been reduced by about half. 

How was the new Fire Station 4 financed?

Construction was financed by Farmers State Bank on a ten-year lease/purchase agreement.

The District previously paid off a similar lease/purchase agreement for Station 1 in January 2015, five years early, saving taxpayers $192,541 in interest.

How long did it take to complete construction of the new Fire Station 4?

Groundbreaking for the new fire station took place June 15, 2016, and the station became operational on May 14, 2017.

 

Firefighting apparatus

How many firefighting apparatus are in the Falcon F.D. fleet?
  • 3 fire engines
  • 1 four-wheel-drive engine
  • 1 pumper/tender
  • 4 water tenders
  • 4 brush trucks
  • 2 Quick Response Vehicles (QRVs)
  • 2 utility trucks
  • 1 command vehicle

What’s the average life span of a fire truck?

The average life span of firefighting equipment is 10-15 years.

How much does it cost to replace firefighting apparatus?

The current cost of replacing a fire engine is between $525,000 - $500,000 just for the vehicle. Additional equipment (hose, nozzles, self-contained breathing apparatus, hand tools, power tools, medical equipment, etc.) adds about $100,000 to the cost.

A brush truck, which is designed and used specifically for fighting wildland fires, costs about $100,000 fully equipped.

A water tender runs about $225,000 - $250,000 including equipment.

How old are the Department’s newest and oldest apparatus?

We took delivery of our newest firefighting vehicle, a Rosenbauer General fire engine, in July 2017. Our oldest apparatus, a tender, was delivered in 2002.

Challenges

What are the Department’s most significant future challenges?

Funding remains one of the biggest challenges for the Falcon Fire Protection District, which serves one of the fastest growing areas in El Paso County. FFPD has one of the lowest mill levies of any county fire district, which impacts our ability to hire staff, replace aging equipment, build new fire stations, and invest in current firefighting technology in order to better serve District residents. In 2018, district revenues will be further affected by a reduction in the residential property assessment rate as mandated by the Gallagher Amendment.  

When was the last mill levy increase for the District?

The last mill levy increase, from 5.7 mills to 8.612 mills, was approved by voters in 2011.  

Where does the Department get its funding?

The Department’s funding comes primarily from property tax income and fees charged for new construction, plan reviews, and inspection permits. Additional funding comes from the contract with American Medical Response.

The District receives no funding from El Paso County or the State of Colorado.

ISO (INSURANCE) RATINGS 

What is the District’s ISO rating?

Effective February 01, 2017, the Falcon Fire Protection District’s ISO (Insurance Services Office) grading schedule has beeen updated to a Class 3/10 Fire Department. 

Class 3: Applies to all residential properties within five road miles of any Falcon FPD fire station or any of our neighboring Automatic Aid fire district stations, whether or not these areas are supplied with fire hydrants. 

Class 10: Applies to all properties that are not within five road miles of a Falcon FPD fire station or one of our neighboring Automatic Aid fire district stations, regardless of fire hydrant protection.

Full information about ISO ratings can be found here.

What are ISO ratings and how are they determined?

ISO ratings help determine the cost of homeowners insurance. (Note: Not all insurance companies use ISO ratings.) Ratings are based on evaluations of several categories, including:

  • Personnel
  • Water supply
  • Equipment
  • Training
  • Call volume

Ratings are on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the best rating. Higher protection class ratings translate to more expensive homeowner’s insurance premiums. 

Community RISK REDUCTION AND SAFETY Education 

What community risk reduction and education services does the Department provide?

The Department offers a number of programs, which include:

  • Fire prevention and education information via social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) and in local news media.
  • Presentations to local public schools, homeowner associations, and local civic and service organizations.
  • An extensive Community Resources page on this website.

Recruitment and Training

How can I become a firefighter for the Department?

The District continually recruits new reserve (volunteer) firefighters. Most career firefighters are hired from the District’s reservist ranks. 

Applicants for reserve (volunteer) firefighter positions must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Possess a High School Diploma or GED
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Have a clean criminal record

For complete information, visit our Recruitment page.