2016 Colorado Revised Statutes
Title 24 - Government - State
Principal Departments
Article 33.5 - Public Safety
Part 12 - Division of Fire Prevention and Control
§ 24-33.5-1228. Colorado firefighting air corps - creation - powers - aircraft acquisitions required - center of excellence - Colorado firefighting air corps fund - creation - report - rules

CO Rev Stat ยง 24-33.5-1228 (2016) What's This?

(1) There is hereby created in the division the Colorado firefighting air corps, also referred to in this section as the "C-FAC".

(2) (a) The division may:

(I) Purchase, acquire, lease, or contract for the provision of firefighting aircraft, facilities, equipment, and supplies for aerial firefighting; and

(II) Retrofit, maintain, staff, operate, and support the firefighting aircraft or contract for the provision of those services.

(b) (I) The director may enter into agreements with federal agencies or other states for the provision of the C-FAC's firefighting aircraft when the aircraft are not being utilized for fires or other emergencies in Colorado.

(II) The director shall establish reimbursement rates for the direct and indirect costs of providing aircraft from the C-FAC that are requested through the interagency dispatch system or pursuant to an agreement described in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b). All reimbursements shall be credited to the Colorado firefighting air corps fund created in subsection (3) of this section.

(c) The director may fulfill any of the duties contained in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) through the use of public-private partnerships with one or more private or public entities.

(2.5) (a) Within eighteen months after May 12, 2014, the division shall operate a center of excellence for advanced technology aerial firefighting, also referred to in this section as the "center of excellence", based on the innovations proposed, analyzed, reviewed, evaluated, or implemented by the C-FAC in the technology, tactics, and economics of aerial resources, particularly in connection with the activities described in subparagraphs (I) and (II) of paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of this section. The executive director shall include in his or her annual report required under section 2-7-203, C.R.S., an update regarding the center of excellence, including the center's activities, findings, and needs.

(b) The center of excellence shall perform, but is not limited to, the following functions:

(I) Serve as an integrated repository for science-based evaluation of the three fundamental contributing factors to successful aerial firefighting: Effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability;

(II) Review current regular research and assessment projects to evaluate:

(A) New and existing technologies for integration into tactical fire scenarios in a variety of settings, such as initial attack, night operations, and operations in wildland urban interface areas; and

(B) Sustainable contracting and value propositions to determine which technologies and contract vehicles are most advantageous and cost-effective to entities performing or providing aerial firefighting;

(III) Review current data and documentation on science and technology relevant to aerial firefighting and make the results of the center of excellence's research and assessment projects available to persons interested in aerial firefighting effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability, including fire managers, policy decision-makers, scientists, students, and any other requesting persons; and

(IV) Establish and support a Colorado wildland fire prediction and decision support system in accordance with section 24-33.5-1232.

(3) (a) The division shall administer the Colorado firefighting air corps fund, which fund is hereby created in the state treasury. The division is authorized to seek and accept gifts, grants, reimbursements, investments, bond revenues, sales proceeds, commissions for services, sponsorships, advertising fees, licensing fees, profits, or donations from private or public sources for the purposes of this section. The fund consists of all moneys that may be appropriated to the fund by the general assembly, and all private and public funds received through gifts, grants, reimbursements, investments, bond revenues, sales proceeds, commissions for services, sponsorships, advertising fees, licensing fees, profits, or donations that are transmitted to the state treasurer and credited to the fund. All interest earned from the investment of moneys in the fund are credited to the fund. The moneys in the fund are hereby continuously appropriated for the purposes indicated in paragraph (c) of this subsection (3). Any moneys not expended at the end of the fiscal year remain in the fund.

(b) The general assembly finds that the implementation of this section does not rely entirely or in any part on the receipt of adequate funding through gifts, grants, or donations. Therefore, the division is not subject to the notice requirements specified in section 24-75-1303 (3).

(c) The division shall use the moneys in the Colorado firefighting air corps fund for the direct and indirect costs of maintaining the Colorado firefighting air corps, including expenses associated with acquisition, retrofitting, labor, equipment, supply, transportation, air, mobilization, repair, maintenance, and demobilization.

(4) The director shall include, in his or her annual report to the wildfire matters review committee required under section 24-33.5-1203.5 (3), an update regarding the division's activities under this section, including the number and type of aerial firefighting resources acquired or contracted for during the fire season in which the committee meets, an assessment of the effectiveness of the aerial firefighting program, an estimate of anticipated budget and other resource needs to sustain or improve the C-FAC's operations, and other information related to aerial firefighting that the director deems pertinent.

(5) (a) As soon as practicable after May 12, 2014, the division shall acquire or contract for firefighting aircraft for use during the 2014 fire season. In making such acquisitions or contracts, the division shall adhere, as nearly as feasible and appropriate and within available appropriations, to the recommendations made in the division's "special report: Colorado firefighting air corps, report to the governor and general assembly on strategies to enhance the state's aerial firefighting capabilities", dated March 28, 2014; except that nothing in this subsection (5):

(I) Requires the director to contract for exclusive use of any aircraft; or

(II) Limits the director's ability to determine the actual number, kind, type, and location of aviation assets based on preparedness levels, wildfire risk and activity, weather, location of other aerial assets, available appropriations, and other appropriate criteria.

(b) Nothing in this subsection (5) abrogates, reduces, or otherwise affects the division's powers under subsection (2) of this section with regard to subsequent fire seasons, including the authority to obtain or arrange for suitable aircraft and associated resources.

(c) In addition to the acquisitions or contracts made pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (5), the division may use any appropriations for the Colorado firefighting air corps for the center of excellence described in subsection (2) of this section.

(6) The division shall seek to maximize its aerial firefighting capacity consistent with the recommendations of the director and within the division's available budget.

(7) The director may establish general statements of policy or promulgate rules as he or she deems necessary or convenient to implement this section, including specifying additional functions to be performed by, or methods of operation of, the center of excellence created in subsection (2) of this section. Rules shall be adopted in accordance with article 4 of this title.

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