The volunteers of the Kiowa Fire Protection District lost one of their own a year ago when firefighter Colton Mason died at age 34 after a car accident. Despite Mason’s tragic death, his …
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The volunteers of the Kiowa Fire Protection District lost one of their own a year ago when firefighter Colton Mason died at age 34 after a car accident. Despite Mason’s tragic death, his contributions to the department continue in a critical way. The district received nearly $8,500 in donations to a memorial fund for Mason, which his family requested be earmarked for training of firefighters in the future.
Donations will be used to expand the existing fire training center in Kiowa, and when completed it will be the only one of its kind in the county. Agencies from seven surrounding districts will have access to the training ground, eliminating the need for firefighters to travel to Aurora or Parker for advanced training.
“The response from the community has been amazing,” said Don Ogborn, deputy fire chief. “This has really been a group effort, with people donating not just through his memorial fund, but also in the form of donated time and equipment. This wouldn’t be possible without everyone who has helped.”
Expansion to the facility, located at 731 Comanche St. in Kiowa, will include four Cones boxes, which are like shipping containers, each one 10 to 40 feet in length and nine feet high. The containers will be arranged to resemble a one-story home with a walk-out basement. The finished training site will include a designated forcible entry site, a wildland fire training area, an auto extrication pad and a vehicle fire site.
Firefighters will be able to train in a variety of scenarios, including dragging hoses through a live fire, rescuing people from a smoke-filled home, fighting woodland fires and rescuing drivers who are trapped inside of their vehicles after an accident.
“This training prop will be the only one of its kind in the county,” said Ogborn. “It will also be available for local law enforcement agencies for training purposes.”
Ogborn said the district will hold an open house for the community to visit the new training center when it’s completed, hopefully in the spring. Donations are always welcome, and can be dropped at the station at 403 County Road 45 or mailed to P.O. Box 321, Kiowa, CO 80117.
A video featuring Colton Mason can be found on the district’s Facebook page at Kiowa Fire Protection District.
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