Meet Fire Chief Kevin Ratzmann of the Grand Lake Fire Protection District

 

 

MISSION STATEMENT

The Grand Lake Fire Protection District is a small combination fire and rescue agency serving the greater Grand Lake area from County Road 4 North to Rocky Mountain National Park. We respond to structure or wildland fires, motor vehicle accidents, technical rope rescue, medical requests for help and everything in between. We are actively involved in emergency response pre-planning and in providing the best free public education programs possible.

 

The History of Grand Lake Fire Protection District
The Grand Lake Fire Protection District (GLFPD) was formed in 1952 as a result of a devastating fire at the Pine Cone Restaurant in the Town of Grand Lake.  In the early days, folks could tell who was on the fire department by the bent front bumpers on their personal pickup trucks, which they would use to push the fire engine to get to the fire faster. The fire engine had a big bumper on the back so members could drive their own trucks up behind the fire engine and push it. When a member’s personal truck would start to overheat, a different member would take a turn pushing the fire truck. All in the effort to get to the fire faster!
In 1998 GLFPD hired its first employee, a District Administrator. This position was important to provide a contact to the community during business hours and keep track of training and certification of the volunteers.  Additionally, the position maintained all the vehicles, kept records for the state, etc.
In 1999, GLFPD went to the voters to ask for monies to build a new firehouse and acquire apparatus and equipment.  The voters passed the Bond issue which enabled us to build the new town station and acquire 9 new apparatus.  The new station was finished in 2002 and the final apparatus was acquired in 2003.
In 2003 we hired our first paid fire chief.  Additionally, the exhaustive 3-day ISO audit was completed which led to our ISO Class 4 designation, district wide, no limitations.
Grand Lake Fire Today
As of January 1, 2005, Grand Lake Fire has five employed staff members in support of 20 volunteer firefighters. As of 2020 Grand Lake Fire has grown into a paid career fire department. Currently we have 5 Administration positions which include the Fire Chief, Kevin Ratzmann, Asst. Fire Chief, Seth St. Germain, Fire Marshal, Dan Mayer, Administrative Manager, Krystal Steward, and a Public Relations Specialist, Melissa Ratzmann. The Fire Chief focuses on administrative duties while Asst. Chief focuses on operations and training. Fire Marshal duties not only include the fire marshal duties but also Public Education and the Short Term Rental Fire Inspection Program that is offered by Grand Lake Fire. Administrative manager focuses mainly on administrative duties and bookkeeping. Public Relations coordinates events and social media outlets. The Officers like lieutenants have operational readiness and day to day duties within the organization and community.  In support of the Officers, are Technicians who assist with apparatus and facilities maintenance, and emergency response.
In April 2017, Grand Lake Fire changed duty staff shifts to 48/96 shifts.  The crews work two 24-hour shifts and then are off four days.  The 48/96 shift means that the firehouse is staffed seven days a week, 24 hours a day with full time staff members.
Firefighter residents and department members are available via pager to respond to emergency calls 24/7.  Evening coverage includes staff members, firefighter residents, volunteer firefighters, and volunteer technical specialists such as EMT’s and Wildland Firefighters.  Our volunteers average 260 hours per year training, responding to calls and performing a multitude of work projects around the station and in the community.
Administrative hours are 8:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. M-F.
Station 1 in Grand Lake, CO
Grand Lake Fire Protection District has made a commitment to the community to provide a level of service second to none.  We offer free CPR, workplace safety, and First Aid classes to folks who live in our district.  Our firehouse is available for public use by various civil and non-profit groups.  The Fire Chief is deeply committed to providing the best service at the most economical price to our community and encourages input, whether good, bad or ugly from anyone, anytime.