Accessibility Statement

2009 Badge Ceremony

ROCK SPRINGS FIRE DEPARTMENT BADGE CEREMONY

October 22, 2009
Newly promoted RSFD personnel

The career of firefighting dates to the Roman times when Roman Vigiles protected the Romans from the hazards of fire. The American fire service dates to the time of Peter Stuyvesant from New Amsterdam who developed regulations on fire safety in 1647. The first volunteer fire company is credited to Benjamin Franklin who established the Union Fire Company in Philadelphia in 1736.

The original firefighters were definitely s were definitely "of the people, by the people, and for the people." They made themselves a prominent, indispensable, and vital part of the community life by making fire fighting merely one facet of their service.

In as much as a fire company was a civic responsibility it was also a social club, an energy outlet, and a place where much time was spent. Firefighters regarded their group with prejudiced eyes. They viewed their company with pride as the best in the entire community and their fellow firefighters as the noblest, swiftest, and toughest beings on earth. Their engine was the most beautiful and the most efficient; let anyone who said to the contrary be prepared to prove it!

The Rock Springs Fire Department (RSFD) began as the Clark Hose Company in 1888. The company was formed for the protection of the population of the Town of Rock Springs and the surrounding Union Pacific coal camps. The Clark Hose Company consisted of 24 members each paid $25 annually plus $1.50 per call.

In August 1897 the Town of Rock Springs replaced the paid fire company with a volunteer company. The company was known as the W. K. Lee Volunteer Fire Company. The volunteer fire system lasted seven years until on August 4, 1904 Rock Springs passed Ordinance #46 creating the full time RSFD.

The operations and makeup of the RSFD has changed immensely over the past 105 years. The levels and types of services that the department currently delivers are based on local needs, state, and national trends. Over the years, several changes and paradigm shifts have been made to increase the levels of service provided to the citizens of Rock Springs. In 2008, the RSFD responded to 1,724 emergency responses. Answering these calls were 35 personnel, working three 24 hour shifts, responding from three stations. The members of the RSFD respond to any inquiry or request for help to the citizens of Rock Springs with a "can do" approach.

It is a privilege to be a member of the RSFD. On the RSFD you are not just an employee - you are a member, part of a family and a team. You become a member the day you join the organization and put on the RSFD uniform. We are a family in the sense that we spend a considerable amount of time together and must get along. We are a team in the sense that we must always pull together to get the job done.

The RSFD Way is based on the fundamental principle that our members are the foundation of this organization; therefore, the organization can be no better or stronger than its membership. Being a member of the RSFD is more than an occupation; it includes a commitment and responsibility to the public and to the other members of our family and team. This commitment must be backed with individual responsibility and accountability, and a commitment to the organizational goals and values.

We are committed to excellence internally and externally. We avoid doing "just good enough to get by," and avoid actions that are destructive to each other. Our pride in the organization and our positive commitment to quality and to each other have made us what we are today and through constant assessment and change, will sustain us in the future.

The RSFD is not perfect, and nobody said it was. However, it will only be as good as we commit to making it. Organizational imperfections will always exist and can provide the clues needed to direct change and create improvement in the system. If we dwell on these imperfections and place them above all the exceptional things occurring in the organization, we will wallow in the downside of living, whether at work or in other aspects of our lives. But if we recognize imperfections as opportunities to improve, then we can keep them in perspective and continue to move the organization forward.

I am a member of the Rock Springs Fire Department. My duty is to serve mankind. I recognize my badge as a symbol of public trust. To honor this trust I will maintain the highest standards of my profession and perform to the best of my abilities.

I will serve with courage and compassion.

I will safeguard and preserve life and property.

I will uphold the traditions and bravery of the fire service set forth by my fellow firefighters.

I will never allow personal feelings to deter me from my responsibilities as a professional firefighter.

I will conduct myself in a manner that creates respect for my peers, my fire department, and the citizens of Rock Springs.

However, you must pass your one year probation to get that badge and Lance East has done just that.

FIREFIGHTER LANCE EAST

Firefighter East

Lance East started his career on the RSFD on July 7, 2008. Firefighter East is intelligent, dedicated, and a hard worker. Over the past year Lance has risen to the challenge of learning several of the skills that are necessary to provide the services that the RSFD provides.

Firefighter East is currently Wyoming certified/ Pro Board Accredited as:

Fire Fighter II

Hazardous Materials Awareness

Hazardous Materials Operations

Emergency Medical Technician - Basic

Firefighter East has completed the following FEMA Incident Command System training:

IS-700

IS-100

IS-200

Firefighter East has also been active on the RSFD and in the Fire Service. He is one of our Safe Kids - Child Safety Seat Technicians. These personnel assist in the RSFD's comprehensive injury and accident prevention program by assisting citizens in the proper way of installing and adjusting child safety seats.

Firefighter East is also active in our community. He has been RSFD United Way fundraising representative for the past two years.

I am proud of Firefighter East's accomplishments and honored to have him as a member of the RSFD.

                                                                                                                                               

It is a privilege to be a Supervisor on the RSFD. Whether it is the Fire Chief, Battalion Chief, or Captain, supervisors play an important role in the overall scheme of things in the RSFD. Their effectiveness is based solely upon the way they carry out their responsibilities and their style of managing others. In supervision, you deal with individuals and tasks. No matter what level you are in the RSFD, you have some supervision work to do. You will have people directly responsible to you and you will talk directly about what they are going to do and how they are going to do it. That's supervision.

All Supervisors, no matter what their letter what their level on the Department, are expected to carry out their supervision work in a considerate, respectful manner. Positive motivation is the preferred method of guiding members to be effective and more productive. Positive reinforcement, "catching members doing something right," and citing positive performance as an example for others to follow, has proven to be much more effective than identifying negative behavior or performance, punishing it, and expecting that to serve as the example from which others are to learn. Positive, or in some cases improved behavior and performance, should be rewarded in some way at every opportunity. Unacceptable behavior or performance should never be rewarded nor overlooked. This approach can be a powerful motivating force. It is much more powerful than simply guarding the workforce and punishing the perceived non-conformists. There is documented evidence that structured, positive programs designed to improve the performance of one or more members of the organization are usually effective.

It is difficult, if not impossible, for a person to out-perform their self-image. A member's self-image (positive or negative) has a direct impact on productivity, and supervisors are responsible for improving productivity within the Department. Supervisors must share the responsibility for helping members maintain positive self-images, and by doing so, help the members remain positive, productive, and healthy contributors in the organization.

Supervision is critical in maintaining the high standards of performance and the positive image of the Department within the community and the fire service in general. The supervisor's style is a determining factor in the overall effectiveness and well-being of the Department and our members. All of our supervisors must share their expectations up front with people for whom they are responsible, in a success oriented manner and stress the individual accountability of each member. Those expectations need to be realistic and in concert with the overall expectations and philosophy of the Department. It is an inherent responsibility of all RSFD supervisors to develop a capable cadre of members for the future that live and practice the "RSFD Way". The following new officers exemplify that philosophy.

BATTALION CHIEF RICHARD COZAD
Battalion Chief Cozad

Battalion Chief Richard Cozad started his career with the RSFD on September 3, 1991. He rapidly applied himself to the Department and the Community. Rick was appointed a Captain on the RSFD in February, 2000 and was appointed to his new position of Battalion Chief on August 27, 2009.

Battalion Chief Cozad is currently Wyoming certified as:

Fire Officer II

Fire Apparatus Operator

Fire Instructor II

Fire Investigator I

Fire Inspector I

Hazardous Materials Technician

Emergency Medical Technician - Intermediate: Full Mod

Battalion Chief Cozad has been active on the RSFD and in the Fire Service.

Active in the Rock Springs Firefighters Local #1499 Union

Core Team Member for Wyoming Regional Emergency Response Team #4

Member of RSFD Health and Safety Committee since 2000

Member of RSFD Wellness/Fitness Committee since 2007

FEMA Group Supervisor assigned to lead hurricane support efforts in Galveston County, Texas after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005

Battalion Chief Cozad is also active in our community. Since August of 1991 he has been actively involved in Young American Football League. He has also served as a T- ball, baseball, and basketball coach. Rick is also a trainer for industry providing training on fire, EMS, hazmat, and technical rope rescue skills.

I am proud of Battalion Chief Cozad's accomplishments, privileged to have him as a member of the RSFD, and honored to have him as part of my administrative staff.

CAPTAIN SCOTT PAULSON
Capatain Paulson

Captain Scott Paulson started his career on the RSFD on October 29, 2001. Scott has a noticeable drive to improve himself, his department, and his community. Scott is also a confidant and mentor for other members of the RSFD. Scott was appointed as a Captain on the RSFD on August 27, 2009.

Captain Paulson is currently Wyoming certified as:

Fire Officer I

Apparatus Driver/Operator, Pumper and Aerial

Fire Instructor I

Fire Inspector I

Origin and Cause Technician

Hazardous Materials Technician

CAMEO, MARPLOT, and ALOHA certified

Emergency Medical Technician - Intermediate: Full Mod

Captain Paulson has been active on the RSFD and in the Fire Service.

Active in the Rock Springs Firefighters Local #1499 Union, currently serving as VP

Core Team Member for Wyoming Regional Emergency Response Team #4

Member of RSFD Health and Safety Committee

Member of RSFD Wellness/Fitness Committee since 2007

Attended several National Fire Academy classes Chemistry for Emergency Response, received Certificate of Excellence as top student in his class

Captain Paulson is also active in our community. He has assisted with the RSFD Toys for Tots program and enjoys assisting with the RSFD safety presentations at the Young at Heart Senior Citizen's Center.

Captain Paulson is an upwardly mobile person in our organization. I am proud of Captain Paulson's accomplishments, privileged to have him as a member of the RSFD, and honored to have him as part of my operational staff.

CAPTAIN TONY COLBERT
Captain Colbert

Captain Tony Colbert started his career in the fire service in Utah obtaining his Utah Firefighter I and EMT - Basic certifications. Tony started on the RSFD on April 1, 1996. Tony is known for his fun personality. His first day on the job was lots of fun as we arranged to have him "arrested" as an April fool's joke. I was afraid we were going to lose Tony that day as what started out as a prank started turning into a confessional on what the "outstanding warrant" could be.

Captain Colbert has a drive for professionalism. He has a very strong work ethic that he has used to lead by example. Tony was appointed as a Captain on the RSFD on September 8, 2009.

Captain Colbert is currently Wyoming certified as:

Fire Officer I

Fire Apparatus Operator

Fire Instructor I

Hazardous Materials Technician

Emergency Medical Technician - Intermediate: Full Mod

Captain Colbert has been active on the RSFD and in the Fire Service.

American Heart Association CPR Instructor assisting the RSFD in providing CPR training to the public

Member of RSFD Juvenile Fire Setter Intervention Team

Captain Colbert is one of three members of the department that pursued outside training on technical rope rescue and confined space rescue. These personnel then developed a program and trained the members of the RSFD. This program has drastically enhanced the service outputs that the RSFD provides our community. Tens of thousands of dollars were also saved by the creation of this program and the in house training that these personnel provided.

Captain Colbert is also known to most children as "Firefighter Tony". He has been an active member of the RSFD Fire Prevention Team that takes the fire prevention message to thousands of children in the elementary schools each year.

Captain Colbert is also active in our community. He has spent countless days volunteering his time at the local schools. In the guise of volunteering he has been able to be involved with his daughter's education and development. Several of the kids at the schools know Tony as "The Cat in the Hat".

Captain Colbert is also an active member of the International Mountain Bicycling Association. He is active in identifying, providing public awareness, and development of mountain bike trails in the Rock Springs and regional area.

Captain Colbert is a leader in our Prevention Division. I am proud of Captain Colbert's accomplishments, privileged to have him as a member of the RSFD, and honored to have him as part of my operational staff.

CAPTAIN SHAWN WELLS
Captain Wells

Captain Shawn Wells started on the RSFD on September 27, 1989. Shawn is a person with the uncontested morals and integrity. Shawn has a desire to share his knowledge and to help others succeed. Shawn was appointed as a Captain on the RSFD on October 8, 2009.

Captain Wells is currently Wyoming certified as:

Fire Officer II

Fire Apparatus Operator

Fire Instructor I

Hazardous Materials Technician

Emergency Medical Technician - Basic

Radiological Monitor

Captain Wells has been active on the RSFD and in the Fire Service.

ISO Audit Preparation Team

Core Team Member for Wyoming Regional Emergency Response Team #4

RSFD Activity Data Base Creator

Captain Wells is one of three members of the department that pursued outside training on technical rope rescue and confined space rescue. These personnel then developed a program and trained the members of the RSFD. This program has drastically enhanced the service outputs that the RSFD provides our community. Tens of thousands of dollars were also saved by the creation of this program and the in house training that these personnel provided.

Captain Wells is also active in our community. Shawn is a trainer for local industry providing training on fire, EMS, hazmat, and technical rope rescue skills. He is also active in both his church and in the Boy Scouts. Shawn says that his participation in the Boy Scouts "allows him to give back to his community". I am sure that he must also be proud in assisting four of his sons in attaining their Eagle Scout award which is the highest rank in the Boy Scout program.

Captain Wells is a leader in the hazardous materials response and technical rescue response training for our department. His dedication to these "low frequency - high maintenance skills" is imperative to the RSFD's mission. I am proud of Captain Wells' accomplishments, privileged to have him as a member of the RSFD, and honored to have him as part of my operational staff.


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