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Fighting Fire With Fire

Cody Baldridge, Editor

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“I didn’t know,” Catherine Convery (12) said. It comes as a surprise to Convery and several other students that Englewood doesn’t operate its own fire department. “Are the facilities here still active? When you think about it practically, we need a fire department it doesn’t matter which city runs it, as long as someone is able to fund it,” Convery said.
It has been two years since the City of Englewood made the decision to pay Denver $148 million over 20 years to provide fire service.
 “It was a political decision. We were able to provide fire protection at cost savings to the Englewood city government. When we are able to provide cost savings we were able to incorporate Englewood into our coverage and it was more efficient,” says Captain Greg Pixley who is in charge of Recruiting, Public Information and Outreach for the Denver Fire Department.
He says the Denver Fire Department had more resources then Englewood did so it made sense to let Denver take control, “What they were doing with 45 fire firefighters we can do with 30. We had a cost savings of 15 firefighters.” So after 108 years of serving the community, Englewood decided that Denver had surrounding fire departments that were capable of providing services. Captain Pixley says they do not compromise on service and response times, “It takes no more than 4 minutes to get to a scene.”
Saving money and resources is important, says Pixley, but he says the most important transition was the firefighters moving from Englewood to Denver, “The biggest thing is the Englewood Fire Department was a long-standing historic fire department and for us, to incorporate those firefighters, there was a degree of remorse as those transitioned into another historic and proud department.” He says several things have happened in the two years since the transition, “Over a period of time, they have realized, there is a sisterhood and brotherhood that makes them part of a larger organization with the same goal to save people and protect property.”
Existing Englewood firefighters had to go through a shortened fire academy so they understand language and procedures in Denver departments.
Captain Pixley said Englewood still has a claim to fame, “The oldest firefighter to make the transition from Englewood to Denver was a 60-year-old firefighter. He now becomes the oldest ever to make it through the academy.”
All but one Englewood firefighter made it on to the Denver fire department. This individual apparently had issues in his background that kept him from being on the department.
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Fighting Fire With Fire