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CRIPPLE CREEK • The Cripple Creek Fire Department celebrated its new $171,451 rescue truck with a block party March 8 at the station.
Funded in part by a $75,000 grant from the Department of Local Affairs and a donation of $25,000 from Newmont Mining Corp., the new vehicle was built by BFX Fire Apparatus in Weatherford, Texas. It replaces the department’s 1998 Ford light rescue truck.
Per a city news release, the vehicle body was built with fiber composite technology and includes LED scene lighting. Lighting features include an 80,000-lumen light tower with 7.5 feet of lift. The vehicle will carry extrication tools and vehicle stabilization struts and air bags for auto accidents. Equipment of for high and low angle rescue operations are also included in the vehicle. There will be medical equipment for responding to both trauma and medical EMS calls. Additional equipment includes hazmat monitoring and response equipment.
Former fire chief Dean O’Nale introduced the ceremony, held at the 147 E. Bennett Ave. firehouse, and gave credit to former city manager Mark Campbell, who wrote the DOLA grant. Campbell was at the party that day.
Cripple Creek Mayor Milford Ashworth thanked the Newmont employees in attendance for being good neighbors.
Ray White, interim city manager, highlighted the significance of the new vehicle. “Every time this truck rolls out, it’s probably going to have an impact on somebody’s life,” White said, addressing Newmont employees. “That’s what your contributions have done for this community.”
First responders hold a special place in the hearts of Newmont employees, said Melissa Harmon, chief executive officer of Newmont’s Cripple Creek & Victor Mining Co. “In fact we have our own team of 25 first responders in our mine rescue team. Many of Newmont’s miners work as volunteer firefighters on their days off.”
Newmont’s contribution to the truck’s purchase reflects the company’s values of safety and sustainability, she added. “We are honored to be a part of this and being in service to our neighbors.”
Harmon explained that the purple attire worn by the Newport employees at the party was in recognition of International Women’s Day March 8. The purple signifies justice and dignity and enhances the 2021 theme, “Choose to Challenge.”
“Celebration of the international event is a reminder to all CC&V employees to be more gender inclusive,” she said. “And to strive for more gender diversity and choose to challenge to make a more gender-inclusive world.”
Harmon said that Newmont’s CC&V workforce is only 11% female, despite the fact that the overall working adult population is about 50% female. “If we want to achieve the best business results, we need a diverse workforce,” she said.
“From challenge comes change … the way we continue to change how women and girls are perceived in this world is that we start challenging gender stereotypes and general biases and celebrating the achievements of women in the work world and outside of work,” she said. “And that’s what International Women’s Day is all about.”
Harmon and her crew went all out that day in Victor, where the mine offices are. “We lit the Ajax star over Victor with purple lights,” she said. ”And we turned the sidewalks in Victor purple with our sidewalk-chalk art skills. And learned that we most of us should probably stick to our day jobs.”
For his part, Dennis Peck, pastor of Cripple Creek Baptist Church, was on board with the international celebration. After the blessing of the truck he added, “God was the first one to show equity because in the Garden of Eden when he created Adam and Eve, there was 50/50,” he said.
After the ceremony, the city played host with sandwiches and cupcakes from Gold Camp Bakery in Victor – with purple icing.
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