Falcon firefighters helping victims in new ways
Help on the Black Forest Fire in the Falcon area won't stop at putting out the flames and checking for hot spots.
Division Chief Glenn Levy is hoping victims lean on firefighters for questions about the fire and recovery.
"We wanted them to have one single contact that, if they needed something they could call," said Levy. "There were hundreds of notes that were put out all over our district."
On Saturday, Levy believed it was so important to talk with fire victims who lost their homes that he gave his personal cell phone on live TV.
"When I gave my phone number out on national TV everybody I knew said I was crazy," said Levy.
The funny thing though is that it worked. Levy said he personally received more than 50 calls from fire victims who lost everything.
"We treated every fire victim like we were their family," said Levy.
Levy has had firefighters leave a card or letter at each home they visit, from completely destroyed homes to those in which there is just scorched earth.
"Our job is now just beginning and we're going to be working with all of our citizens, those that lost a home, those where the fire burned right to it and those who sustained some damage, to do everything we can to lessen the impact," said Levy.
Whit Otis doesn't think he'll take advantage of the department's attempt to pair a firefighter with everyone who wants one but applauds the move.
"I think it's wonderful," said Otis. "These guys have done a yeoman's task."
Otis considers himself fortunate that all he sees on his land is some burnt underbrush and trees.
"We've been really fortunate," said Otis. "The fire was mostly a ground fire. It's good to have a ground fire in a forest every once in a while because it cleanses everything."
Levy said if Otis or anyone reconsiders and wants to ask firefighters questions, his department is going to be open. The department's phone number is (719) 495-4050.
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