The Grand Fire Protection District No. 1 (“District”) Board of Directors fully supports and complies with all Federal and State laws relating to the retention, protection and disclosure of District records including, but not limited to, the Colorado Open Records Act, C.R.S. 24-72-101, et seq. (“CORA”), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), and the Privacy Rule promulgated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which interprets and implements HIPAA.
It is the policy of the District that all public records shall be open for inspection by any person at reasonable times, except as otherwise provided by law. Public records are defined by CORA as all writings made or maintained by the District, regardless of the format or medium of the records, and expressly includes e-mail communications.
The Fire Chief/District Administrator is designated as the official Custodian of Records responsible for the maintenance, care and keeping of all records of the District. The official Custodian of Records has the authority to designate such agents as he/she determines appropriate to perform any and all acts necessary to enforce and execute the provisions of this policy. Upon receipt, requests by a citizen, entity, Federal or State agency, District employee or volunteer, subpoena, Administrative or Court Order, or other legal process, to inspect and/or copy any District record (collectively referred to as a “Records Request”) should be immediately sent to the Custodian of Records.
The following are general policies concerning the release of records:
- Every Records Request shall be submitted to the District’s Custodian of Records, be specific as to the information desired and is required to be a written request.
- Upon receiving a Records Request, the Custodian of Records shall review the request and fulfill it in a timely fashion if it is straightforward or forward it to the District’s legal counsel for further consideration.
- If forwarded to the District’s legal counsel, they shall determine the District’s obligations under the applicable Federal and/or State law(s). If the District is permitted to comply with the Records Request, the District’s legal counsel will so notify the District’s Custodian of Records, who will assemble the requested documents for inspection and/or copying in accordance with applicable Federal or State law.
- If the District’s legal counsel determines the District is not permitted by Federal or State law to comply with the Records Request, legal counsel shall provide a written response to the party submitting the Records Request stating the legal basis upon which the Records Request is being denied.
- The Custodian of Records may set the time during normal office hours and the place for records to be inspected and require that the Custodian of Records or a delegated employee be present while the records are examined. Pursuant to CORA, all records must be made available for inspection within three (3) working days, unless extenuating circumstances exist. The deadline may be extended by seven (7) working days if extenuating circumstances exist and the requesting party is notified of the delay within the statutory period.
- A person granted the right to inspect District records will also be furnished copies requested, up to ten standard pages at no charge, with any amount over ten standard pages at a cost of $.25 per standard page. The charge for providing a copy, printout or photograph of a public record in a format other than a standard page will be assessed at the actual cost of production. Additionally, in those cases where the location or existence of specific documents must be researched and the documents must be retrieved, sorted or reviewed for applicability to the request, and such process requires one or more hours of staff time, the District may charge a reasonable research and retrieval fee of $20.00 per hour.
- When practical, the copy, printout, or photograph of the requested record will be made in the place where the record is kept, but if it is impractical to do so, the Custodian of Records may allow arrangements to be made for the copy, printout, or photograph to be made at other facilities. If other facilities are necessary, the cost of providing requested records will be paid by the person making the request.