In April, Central County Fire & Rescue celebrated 20 years of serving the community. CCFR was founded after the community voted to consolidate the St. Charles and St. Peters fire protection districts, eliminating duplicated services and allowing for the sharing of financial resources, personnel, equipment, and purchasing.
“When the districts consolidated there was also a shift from a volunteer fire service to a professionally staffed fire protection district,” CCFR Chief Dan Aubuchon explains. This led to better emergency responses, an ability to handle more types of emergency situations and a more robust fire prevention program.
“After 9/11 our role in keeping the community safe expanded even more,” Aubuchon says. “We saw an increase in the need for weapons of mass destruction training, advanced rescue skills and being a part of the homeland security program.”
The community has continued to grow, and CCFR has grown with it. In 2008, the District launched the SAFE-T (Securing A Future of Excellence – Together) program to involve the community in planning for the future of emergency services in the area. Since then, the District has added firefighters, updated facilities and equipment, increased training programs, and enhanced its emergency medical services to paramedic-level care.
The community is not the only thing that has changed.
“Cars are made with stronger materials and more electronics than ever before, making it harder to access crash victims. Buildings, furnishings and household decor are made from materials that burn faster and hotter than they used to. And our community is getting older, presenting new needs in the the field of emergency medicine,” Aubuchon says. “Our team embraces these challenges and spends lots of time training to handle these new challenges.
“The role of the fire service has changed a lot since 1998. As we look ahead to the next 20 years, we want to continue working with our community to provide the highest quality emergency services to keep our entire community safe.”
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