by Terri Wiebold
As Castle Pines North (CPN) welcomes the potential addition of a new fire station in the community, questions have surfaced about what services and capabilities are currently provided by the existing fire station.
Fire station 36, located at 421 Castle Pines Parkway, is home to one of two “paramedic engines” operated by South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR). A paramedic engine is identical to a regular fire engine except that it is always staffed with at least one state-certified paramedic.
Also on-board is a full compliment of paramedic tools and medications, including an advanced cardiac monitor. This means a firefighter/paramedic trained in advanced life support procedures can be on the scene of any emergency in the community in minutes and can begin advanced procedures immediately.
The paramedic is assisted by the three firefighter/EMT’s (Emergency Medical Technicians) who are also part of the station 36 team, while an ambulance and additional paramedic help is dispatched and en route. Advanced life support within the first few minutes of an emergency can be critical for the patient’s outcome.
Station 36 is also home to two pieces of specialty apparatus. One is a “brush truck” and the other is a water tanker (called a “tender” by firefighters.) The brush truck is a highly-modified Ford F550 four-wheel-drive truck, designed to go off-road to fight grass and wildland fires. The tender, carrying 3000 gallons of water and a portable water tank, is designed for use in areas without fire hydrants like Happy Canyon and McArthur Ranch.
Which piece of equipment is used depends on the nature of the call. For most calls, the paramedic engine with a crew of four responds. However, on a grass or brush fire, the crew may split with two members taking the brush truck and two taking the tender, or two in the paramedic engine and two in the brush truck.
As always, the firefighters of Station 36 are backed up by the nine other SMFR stations, as well as by resources from neighboring departments. For more information about the services provided by SMFR, visit www.southmetro.org.