Terry Keller looks back at 2018, forward to 2019 for Copper Canyon
VERDE VALLEY – In addition to the merger of the Camp Verde and Montezuma-Rimrock fire districts into the Copper Canyon Fire and Medical District, the following are things that Copper Canyon Fire Chief Terry Keller counts as successes in 2018, and things he looks forward to accomplishing in 2019.
I am proud of the partnerships that we continue to cultivate, develop and maintain with all of our partner agencies and entities, which help to keep us relevant and engaged as a supportive government in our area,” Keller said.
“This includes Yavapai County, the Town of Camp Verde, the Yavapai-Apache Nation, Yavapai College, the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Forest Service, the other Verde Valley/Yavapai County/statewide fire and EMS agencies, the local water companies, local media outlets, local property owners associations, and the Montezuma-Rimrock and Camp Verde fire district auxiliaries that continue to support us with contributions for the benefit of our operations and our employees.
“This list should also include and any other entities that I have failed to specifically mention. Thank you to you all.”
“I am proud of the work we were able to accomplish in the Verde Lakes community to reduce the threat of wildfire in that neighborhood,” Keller said. “This was accomplished via the utilization of the Forest Fees Grant funding from Yavapai County to employ Vets for Hire as well as to conduct two separate clean-up weekends via community outreach which ultimately resulted in this community becoming recognized as a FireWise Community by the National Fire Protection Association.”
New fire station
“With the merger behind us, I look forward to focusing on our efforts to finally acquire real estate for a future fire station and setting that project in motion for design and eventual construction,” Keller said.
“This project has long been delayed in the Camp Verde area, but with benefit all of our communities by allowing us to employ additional staffing and apparatus for the delivery of services to all of our residents. This will not only improve the health, welfare and safety of all of our residents, but will also improve the same for our employees, who at times are taxed to keep up with all of the calls for service we receive.”
“I look forward to observing the communities continue to grow with the improvement of the local economy,” Keller said.
“My hope is that we will be able to continue to grow in order to keep up with this growth, and that any future recession is mild and does not impact us the way the great recession did nearly a decade ago, and from which we seem to just be barely recovering.”
“I hope to be able to pursue spending more time with potential candidates for future positions within our organization,” Keller said.
“We are only as good as the people we employ, and while we have great people, we need to ensure that we replace those who retire with quality people. This can be ensured by reaching out students in the Yavapai College system and recruiting them to work for us as part-time reserve firefighters so that we can groom them for future full-time positions and paramedic slots.”
Quality of life
“I look forward to slowing down a bit more, and focusing on things that offer more in the vein of quality-of-life as opposed to quantity-of accomplishment,” Keller said.