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Colorado Springs Fire Department announces new Special Operations Unit

Posted at 3:44 PM, Aug 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-16 20:46:13-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Springs Fire Department is launching a new Special Operations Unit that will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Special Operations Unit will be made up of a team of three, one captain and two lieutenants, that will each be staffed for 24 hours over the course of three shifts. These positions will carry out several duties, including:

  • drone operations
  • public information officer (PIO) support
  • incident safety officer
  • health and wellness officer

Implementing these positions will provide the resources for a drone to be deployed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to monitor for incidents throughout the Pikes Peak Region. Potential drone missions could include:

  • finding lost or missing hikers/climbers
  • investigating smoke
  • investigating structure/wildland fires
  • navigating high-angle rescues
  • navigating swift water rescues

Special Operations personnel will also act as PIO support by working with civilian PIOs to cover and provide information on emergent incidents.
Special Operations employees will also be trained as incident safety officers. The Colorado Springs Fire Department already has two companies that provide safety officer duties on working fire scenes, but Special Operations will help to cover all calls that require safety officers. Duties that the Special Operations team might encounter as safety officers include:

  • lessening any hazards firefighters might face while operating
  • responding to traffic accidents with trapped parties
  • responding to wildland fires
  • responding to high-angle rescues
  • responding to technical issues

The types of situations Special Operations would encounter while working as health and wellness officers have yet to be developed.
The Special Operations Unit will go into service on Wednesday, August 16 and will respond out of Station 8.


Type 6 Strike Team a first of its kind

The announcement of this team comes just after Colorado Springs Fire Department and 24 other agencies in El Paso County announced a new widlfire task force, the Type 6 Strike Force.

The strike force will consist of a daily roster of 15 - 17 firefighters and five brush trucks to be able to respond in 90-seconds.


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