The Town of Rico has had a Fire Department since the 1880’s. The Department functioned solely on cash contributions and donated equipment until the Rico Fire Protection District was established in 1992. Fire Department members respond to structure and wildland fires, medical emergencies, Search and Rescues, and Hazmat incidents within the District and on CO Highway 145 as well as the rest of eastern Dolores County.
Rico Fire Department’s original base was out of the Town-owned building (now home to Alacran Woodworks) on Glasgow Avenue. The ’52 Ford Pumper (originally donated by the Rico Argentine mining company) was the sole piece of firefighting equipment.
With the formation of the Rico Protection Fire District in 1992, the District gained mill levy revenue as a regular source of income, as well as the ability to bond for the construction of a multi-bay fire station, which was completed in 1997.
RFPD used Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) funding and Fire Department labor to construct an addition in 2006.
Due to the upgraded fire protection fleet, as well as improvements that the Town has made to its water system, the Fire District’s Public Protection Classification improved from a “9” rating to a “6”in 2002; after the most recent evaluation in 2014, RFPD’s Protection class further improved to “5” for properties within town. These improvements have benefited District residents through savings on their homeowner’s insurance premiums. For more on the PPC, look here.
However, the strength of a Fire Department goes far beyond buildings and nice trucks: ultimately, it is measured by the dedication of its volunteers.
The Rico Fire Department trains every Tuesday night at 7:00 P.M. at the Rico Firehouse.