This website is maintained by the SLV Regional Emergency Coordination Committee to support emergency preparedness and response in the six counties of the San Luis Valley. When we are supporting an emergency or disaster situation, we will post updates on this page.
David Frees awarded San Luis Valley’s
“Emergency Manager of the Year”
by the Colorado Emergency Management Association.
Saguache, Colorado, Feb. 21, 2023 – The Saguache County Board of Commissioners, on behalf of the Colorado Emergency Management Association (CEMA), presented David Frees the 2022 “Emergency Manager of the Year Award” for the San Luis Valley region. This award and acknowledgment are important as support came from all of his peers and others that have worked with David.
David Frees has served as the Saguache County Office of Emergency Management’s Deputy Director since 2020. In that time, Mr. Frees drastically improved the emergency management program for Saguache County and helped coordinate one of the most robust emergency management programs in the region.
The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s Field Manager, David Osborn, commented; “Mr. Frees is a team player and robust community advocate. Saguache County was the new host for the Live Nation Multi-day Music Festival which included Headline Music Performers. This event was the single largest pre-planned incident ever experienced within the six-county San Luis Valley Region. Because of Mr. Frees’ intimate involvement in the planning and operational response to this event, we enjoyed excellent situational awareness that contributed significantly to the lessons learned and accomplishments. We would like to thank Mr. Frees for his professionalism, leadership, and strong emergency management support.”
Last year, David was also awarded the Colorado state-wide “Mike Gelski Award for Outstanding Volunteer Achievement” by CEMA.
Mr. Frees joined the Villa Grove/Bonanza Volunteer Fire Department in 2009 and currently serves as Captain and Department Training Officer. Mr. Frees has been a Team Leader and Technical Rope Rescue Technician with the Saguache County Search and Rescue Team since 2015. He has also been an Emergency Medical Technician, with the Northern Saguache County Ambulance District, since 2016. David graduated cum laude from Regis University of Denver with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology/Chemistry. He also holds a Master of Science in Zoology; Lake and Stream Ecology from Arizona State University.
When David is not in a helicopter, an ambulance, or a firetruck, you can find him tending to the land at Thirsty Peak Ranch.
David Frees’ contributions to his community and the field of emergency management have become a model for preparedness, response, and recovery efforts throughout Saguache County and the entire San Luis Valley region.
Congratulations to David Frees, San Luis Valley Emergency Manager of the Year!
By slveadmin on 02/22/2023 04:02 PM
NOTICE OF PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
REGARDING THE DRAFT OF THESAN LUIS VALLEY HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN UPDATE
January 30th, 2023
The San Luis Valley Region and its six participating counties (Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache) are in the final stages of a planning effort to assess risks from natural, human-health, and human-caused hazards and to identify ways to reduce those risks. A planning process that began in February 2022 has resulted in a draft update to each county’s existing Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) in one cohesive, regional plan. A HMP is required under the Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 to be eligible to receive certain federal disaster assistance and grants for hazard mitigation projects. The plan will is being made available for public review and comment between January 30th to February 14th. Following the public comment period the Plan will be submitted for final approvals and ultimately adoption by all involved jurisdictions.
VIDEO: Public Workshop on the Hazard Mitigation Plan Update 01/04/2023
This virtual public workshop was held to introduce our draft of the Hazard Mitigation Plan, its hazards, and highlights of the mitigation strategy. It included a presentation followed by a question-and-answer period.
The updated Hazard Mitigation Plan will be available for public review and comment soon….
By slveadmin on 01/04/2023 09:01 PM
December 22, 2022 News Release: Submitted by Larry Brown, CSU Extension, SLV Area Director 719-852-7381; L.Brown@colostate.edu
Avian Flu: Be Aware but Not Alarmed
By Larry Brown, CSU Extension
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, HPAI for short, has now been detected in the SLV according to a recent article by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), and more wild bird mortalities have been reported since the announcement. This is a sad situation, and we want the public to be aware but not alarmed. Unless you are a commercial or backyard poultry producer, or a waterfowl hunter, this will most likely have no effect on you. Transfer of the virus to humans is extremely rare.
If you are a poultry producer, now is the time to take extra precautions to ensure your flock remains safe. The most effective way to protect your flock is to modify your coop and runs so that no wild birds can mingle with your flock, enter their area, or share feed or watering equipment. Keep a separate pair of boots or shoes to wear only into your poultry pens and disinfect them regularly with something like bleach or Lysol. It is highly advised to keep your flock closed, meaning do not bring new domestic birds in right now. If you have recently brought new birds into your flock, it is advised to separate and quarantine the new birds for 21 days.
The Colorado Department of Ag has a great webpage dedicated to information on HPAI and gives excellent and specific recommendations on how to control the spread of the disease for producers, hunters, and for citizens who might come across a wild bird carcass. In general, if you are a hunter, you should not take birds that appear to be ill, you are advised to wear gloves while cleaning and handling your harvested birds, and to wash your hands and hunting clothes when finished. If any citizen should see wild bird carcasses on public ground, you are advised not to touch them and to call our CPW office to report them. If a citizen were to find a wild bird carcass on your own property and want to dispose of it, you can use this link to the CDA website and read the specific recommendations: CDA: Avian Flu You can also call the Extension Office at 719-852-7381, or your county Emergency Manager for more specific recommendations.
Also, remember this is a reportable disease. This means if you are a producer and have sick or dying birds, you are to call your veterinarian or the Colorado Department of Agriculture immediately. If you see three or more wild birds sick or dead in a two-week period, call the Colorado Parks and Wildlife office. Other numbers you can call to report sick or dead birds include the CDA State Veterinarian at 303-869-9130 or the CSU Avian Health Team at 970-297-4008
By slveadmin on 12/23/2022 07:12 PM
NOTICE OF PUBLIC WORKSHOP
REGARDING THE DRAFT OFTHE SAN LUIS VALLEY HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN UPDATE January 4th, 2023 9:00 – 10:00 am
The San Luis Valley Region and its six participating counties (Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache) are in the final stages of a planning effort to assess risks from natural, human health, and human-caused hazards and to identify ways to reduce those risks. The planning process that began in February 2022 has resulted in a draft update to each county’s existing Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) in one cohesive, regional plan.
An up-to-date Hazard Mitigation Plan is required under the Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 to be eligible to receive certain federal disaster assistance and grants for hazard mitigation projects.
A virtual public workshop will be held to introduce the draft plan, its hazards, and highlights of the mitigation strategy and will include a presentation followed by a question-and-answer period. The plan will also be made available for public review and comment in January. Following the public workshop and comment period, the Plan will be submitted for final approvals and ultimately adoption by all involved jurisdictions.