Since 1932, the Norwood Fire Department Norwood has been serving the community. Now, the organization has joined the Norwood Chamber of Commerce.
Just months ago, EMS Chief and Assistant Fire Chief John Bockrath decided to help serve as a chamber board member. He’s been attending chamber meetings and helping the board with its decision making processes.
He said Norwood Fire and EMS wants to be more involved in what is happening in the town.
“We wanted to see if there is anything we can do for the people of town, the businesses of town and to share ideas, share resources,” Bockrath said. “We have been the building at the end of the street with the doors closed, and we want to change that. Our doors are open. We want people to know we are here.”
There are approximately 40 volunteers of Norwood Fire and EMS. That doesn’t include Bockrath or Chief Joe Conway.
Besides fighting fires and responding to emergencies, the department does other things too: community service, public education, education in the schools, fire inspections and more. Bockrath said the Norwood Fire Station’s doors are open for assemblies, meetings and other events. Already, the fire station is helping the Lone Cone Library meet its growing need for space by hosting some youth programming through the week.
“Basically we just wanted to be more involved in the community, just more involved here with the town itself,” Bockrath said. “We’re not just the people you call when you dial 911.”
Recently to support citizens as well as businesses, Bockrath applied for a grant from the Telluride Foundation. That grant, in the amount of $15,000 would support 12 AED devices being implemented throughout the Norwood area. Recently, Bockrath completed an in-person interview, and he will know about the grant at the end of December.
He said the AEDs will support not only Norwood, but the surrounding areas, like Redvale. That includes the locals that live and work in Norwood, but visitors too.
Also for the public, Bockrath has an EMT training class planned for Jan. 8. More details will soon be announced through local media outlets. The EMS chief said Norwood is the only education center between Delta and Durango, and he’s proud of that.
Already, Norwood Fire has worked to be present at town events, like parades or other celebrations. Bockrath recently began attending the newly established community leadership meetings. He and Conway also make it a point to attend other meetings, such as Norwood Town Board, school board meetings and others.
“One of us tries to make an appearance,” he said. “We are trying to be more progressive in the town.”
Now, joining the chamber is just another way that Norwood Fire is showing up for the town.
Community is something that Bockrath has stated he deeply values.
“Coming from a large community, it was more individualized and people minded their own business. Here, there’s a sense of family, of being, and everyone knows and cares about each other. That’s what we love about this town.”