Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Address: GJ Fire Department Station 1: 620 Pitkin Ave., Grand Junction, 81501
U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program provided an award of $433,000 in federal funding to purchase a mobile live-fire training unit for the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC). These federal funds will help the state fire training program acquire this new resource to allow firefighters access to a safe, controlled live-fire training environment.
“Colorado firefighters put their lives on the line every day,” said Director Morgan. “It is up to us to ensure they have the appropriate training they need to do their job. I’m glad to see our local firefighters will be better trained to utilize this equipment.”
The trailer is a 53-foot semi-trailer with a telescoping second story. This unit allows students the ability to develop the fundamentals for fire attack while under the careful control of an instructor and safety officer. DFPC Director Mike Morgan said, “This federal funding will help ensure the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control has the tools and equipment necessary to fulfill their training needs. It will make the training more effective and realistic and teach new firefighters how to properly enter and control a structure fire. I appreciate the great work that all our firefighters do to keep our communities safe.”
“The majority of the larger metropolitan cities have these types of facilities available to them but there are very few organizations in rural Colorado that have this type of trainer available.” said Director Morgan. “Colorado is fortunate to have some of the best public safety officials in the country, and this grant award will further support their efforts to keep our cities and towns safe.” On January 7, 1985, the State of Colorado, Department of Public Safety hired one man to run the Colorado Division of Fire Safety. The first employee and Director of the Division was Dean Smith. During the early years, Director Dean Smith would administer Firefighter Certification exams all around the state and then bring the exams home where he and his wife would hand grade the
exams at the kitchen table and generate certificates.
“Without the right person in the very humble beginnings of this Division, we would not have succeeded or grown in the 100+ person Division of Fire Prevention and Control with firefighting aircraft, wildland firefighting personnel and fire training and prevention staff. In his honor, we dedicate this West Slope Based training unit to our first director, Dean Smith. This unit will forever bear his name for all to see as it travels throughout Colorado.” said Director Morgan. Dean is now retired and he and Joyce live in Grand Junction.