Boulder County, Colorado, has initiated a significant boost to its emergency services capabilities with the allocation of $1.6 million in grants.
The funds, derived from the Emergency Services Sales & Use Tax approved by voters in 2022, are intended to enhance the resources and effectiveness of local fire protection agencies, particularly in rural and mountain areas.
The Boulder County Commissioners, in collaboration with the Sheriff’s office, have sanctioned the disbursement of $1,663,320 as part of the first tranche of the grant program.
These awards will primarily focus on improving radio communications across the county, a need identified in the aftermath of the 2021 Marshall Fire, and providing essential equipment to fire districts in less urbanized regions.
Boulder County Commissioner Marta Loachamin emphasized the community’s role in this initiative: “We are pleased to award this new source of funding to our first responders and firefighters who perform critical, life- and property-saving work—all year round, all around the county—with very limited resources.”
She further highlighted that the funding is a direct result of voter decision and advisory group recommendations, aimed at bridging resource gaps in emergency preparedness and response.
The grant program, overseen by an advisory committee composed of Boulder County residents with extensive emergency service experience, has selected six beneficiaries for this round:
Boulder County plans a second round of grants in the spring, targeting search and rescue and trail safety organizations.
The county encourages residents to sign up for Boulder County Everbridge alerts for timely information on imminent threats and other hazards, as well as updates on the Emergency Services Grant Program.
The allocation of $1.6 million in emergency services grants by Boulder County represents a proactive step towards strengthening the region’s response capabilities, particularly in rural and mountain areas.
The focus on enhancing radio communications and equipping first responders with essential gear addresses crucial needs identified in the wake of the Marshall Fire.
This initiative reflects a strategic approach to resource allocation, guided by experienced advisory committees.
As Boulder County prepares for future rounds of funding, the commitment to improving safety and preparedness across diverse landscapes sets a precedent for other regions facing similar challenges.