Community supports Fun with 911 event


Photo by Diane Drekmann After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Fun with 911 event held on Saturday, Sept. 24, in La Jara.

LA JARA — After a two-year absence because of COVID-19, Conejos County showed strong support for the Fun with 911 event on Saturday, Sept. 24, in La Jara.

Firefighters, county law enforcement, Colorado State Patrol, EMS, helicopter service, and public health workers were all there to meet the community and let people know what they do.

“It is a chance to see the officers when they are not working. We are people too with families," said Chief of La Jara Police Jerry Lujan.

Smokey the Bear was there, representing the Forest Service. Smokey the Bear was an actual bear that was badly burned in a New Mexico forest fire in 1950 and then became the agency’s mascot and symbol.

Children climbed inside the Eagle Air Med helicopter and saw the inside of a fire truck. The helicopter is based in the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center in Alamosa. Similar to Flight for Life, they will respond to any 911 scene call or hospital to hospital call anywhere in the Valley or beyond.

Colorado State Patrol had demonstrations using goggles showing different levels of intoxication.

“People drink a little and make it home safely, drink more next time, make it home safely, and people develop an overconfidence, and... Everything can change in the blink of an eye,” CSP stated.

Some booths held a coloring contest. There was a ring toss and jumpy castles.

Garrett Storm, one of the organizers of the event, held a silent auction with railroad trips and signed sports memorabilia.

Nadia Flores, victim advocate coordinator for Conejos County, did face painting.

EMTs Brandon Sowards and Derrick Garcia gave CPR demonstrations.

La Jara showed off its new fire truck. The state COVID vaccination bus was at the event.