— It’s been five years since a wildfire ravaged the Colorado city of Boulder, and it’s one that has forced Mayor John R. Guglielmi to make major decisions about the future.
The town, which was left without power after a wildfire swept through the area in January, is rebuilding its infrastructure, and the city has hired a new, full-time emergency services chief, according to Guglisi.
But it’s the firefighting equipment that has made a big difference.
Gugliilmi says the firefighters’ equipment saved his town and his family, and that’s what has made the mayor so optimistic about the job that he wants to keep.
“It’s an amazing blessing to have a piece of equipment that I can trust to keep me safe,” he said.
“It gives me confidence that we will get through this and get back to business as usual.”
Firefighters from the Bureau of Fire Protection’s Boulder Division use advanced hydrology equipment to measure and document water levels on fire hydrants and other infrastructure during the Big Dipper wildfire in Boulder, Colo., on Jan. 27, 2018.
Randy Kroll/APGuglias wife, Valerie, says the equipment saves lives.
She is a volunteer firefighter for the city, and she says the new equipment has saved her life.
One of the first things she noticed after returning from the wildfire was how quickly the water was falling out of the fire hyriges, and how quickly it got dark, Valerie said.
“I remember seeing the water coming out of a pipe in the house,” she said.
As Valerie was taking a bath, she saw a fire hydrant on fire and started getting scared.
“We all started running away,” Valerie said, “and then I remember that the hydrant had fallen on top of a tree and started falling off of the tree.”
It was like, Oh my God, the tree is falling on top off, Valerie thought.
I’m like, What are we going to do, Valerie remembers thinking.
She says the fire hydrants were in a safe place, so she jumped into her car and sped off, but the hydrants fell into a ditch and hit a nearby creek.
Valerie said she didn’t want to be the one to make the decision, so Valerie’s husband, Randy, jumped in to help, too.
They raced to the nearby home of a local resident, who ran out to the home to help them.
Randy, Valerie and Randy’s daughter, Sarah, took over, Valerie recalled.
They were able to rescue the hydriety from the fire and use the equipment to restore power to their home, and to save lives.
Guglisis wife, Valorie, says her husband, who’s a firefighter, saves lives by making sure his equipment is properly equipped and maintained.
When I was a young lady, my dad used to take me to the local grocery store when I was hungry, Valerie added.
Now I have a husband who’s willing to go out and help me in a fire situation, Valerie noted.
Valerie, who is in her mid-40s, has been volunteering at the Boulder Fire Department since she was 14, and is now a full-fledged firefighter.
She said she had been doing the job for about five years when the Big Drip was reported.
During the Big Disaster, firefighters were sent to help communities in the western Colorado mountains where the fire was raging.
Valerie said she wanted to be a part of the recovery effort, but that was when she was in her early 20s and was in the midst of her senior year at Colorado State University.
Her husband was there with her at the time, and they decided to try to help the town of Boulder.
Gugs family moved into the Boulder home where Valerie worked and started taking classes at CSU.
He also taught classes at the Colorado State Fairgrounds, and Valerie is proud of her husband for helping to restore order to Boulder.
At the fairgrounds, Valerie worked at the booth selling the Big Soda and the Big Hot Beverage machines, and Randy worked at several booths selling snacks.
Valerie remembers that when the flames burned out, Randy told her that the only thing that was left of the town was the Big Beverage booths.
“He said, ‘Well, what’s left are the Big Bottles,'” Valerie said with a laugh.
He told Valerie that it was an honor to work in Boulder and that she would be very proud of him for what he did there.
After that, Valerie was very proud to work for her husband and her husband’s friends.
She was also happy that Randy was still working with them and helping with the recovery efforts, Valerie recalls.