Small but mighty is the story of Crawford. In just a few weeks, the community has raised matching funds to help the Crawford Fire Department remodel the fire station and add upgraded restroom and wash facilities.
The fire station currently has very rustic facilities, consisting of just one toilet and sink, said Crawford Fire Department Auxiliary member Cathy Cheatam. The firefighters need a place where they can wash up after a fire, as well as clean their equipment and bunker gear. The remodel project will include the installation of shower facilities and a commercial washer and dryer.
The project is estimated to cost $25,000. The fire department will pay $15,000, and the Auxiliary has committed to raising $10,000. An anonymous donor gave $5,000 to the Auxiliary in order to leverage matching funds. Auxiliary members mailed out a letter a couple of weeks ago seeking matching funds.
The letter reads in part, "It is a privilege to support the men and women who protect us. Most of these volunteers have full time jobs, families and other commitments. We are grateful that they answer the call when the fire bell rings."
Auxiliary treasurer Donna Cochran said donations have been pouring in, some small and some large. "It's just unbelievable how the community has jumped on this and committed to our firemen," she said. "It's amazing to see."
Bids are currently being sought for the addition, and Cochran said they hope work will begin as soon as the weather warms up.
The Auxiliary is still accepting donations, which are tax-deductible and can be mailed to PO Box 405, Crawford, CO 81415. If more funds are raised than needed for the addition, the funds will be saved to help with ongoing relief for the department, Cochran said. The Auxiliary helps with things like equipment and gear purchases, help for families impacted by devastating fires and help with logistical support for the volunteer firefighters during major events or fires.
Two fatal accidents occurred in Delta County within a two-day span last week.
Casey Gillenwater, 25, of Delta was killed the afternoon of Wednesday, Sept. 13, in a single-vehicle rollover on Highway 133 outside of Hotchkiss.