VIDEO: Behind the wheel of a fire engine is the last place Chase Vaughn ever thought he'd be.
"It's a whole different level of responsibility, and a lot more math involved," he said with a laugh.
It's a job he's grown to love. He just didn't think a guy like him could actually be a firefighter.
"As a kid, you see firefighters, but as a young Black kid, I didn't see Black firefighters," Vaughn told CBS Colorado's Kelly Werthmann. "So, for me at least, it didn't click that was an obtainable job for me to do."
So, growing up, he chased down a different dream. Vaughn followed his love of football from Smoky Hill High School in Aurora to Colorado State University in Pueblo. Eventually, he made it to the ultimate hometown team.
"I grew up around the Broncos and Broncos fans. For that to be the team that gave me my shot, that was awesome," Vaughn said.
KCNC-TV CBS 4 Denver
On Monday morning, firefighters, experts, and professionals from around the country gathered in Colorado Springs for a forum on creating wildfire-resilient communities.
Experts on the panel say that the 5 biggest wildfires in Colorado have happened over the last 12 years. That number does not include the Waldo Canyon fire.
Director of the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control Mike Morgan spoke at the panel today.
"It's about getting the groups together from local governments, from state governments, to talk about what are the things we can do collaboratively what are the things that are easy to accomplish to make sure we're all pulling in the same direction," said Morgan.
KOAA-TV NBC 5 Pueblo
The Colorado Springs Mayor's office has presented the proposed 2023 budget to city council with a continued emphasis on increasing public safety.
Of the total $420 million in planned expenditures, more than $2.5 million is set aside for more police officers, police vehicles and firefighters. Suthers also proposed an additional $11.3 million for salary increases for all civilian and sworn employees, which includes police and fire.
In his annual state of the city address last month, Suthers said that as the city continues to grow in both population and geography, it will be "daunting" for public safety resources to keep up.
The city currently has 803 authorized positions for police officers. Next year's proposed allocation would allow for 15 more. Citing a recent study by the city, Suthers said the force will need to exceed 1,000 officers by 2035.
Colorado Public Radio
VIDEO: With colder weather coming soon, concerns about fire danger in homeless encampments are on the rise.
FOX31 has reported that by the end of fall 2021, the Denver Fire Department received more than 500 emergency fire calls for encampments. Crews discovered more than 15,000 pounds of propane and 462 gallons of gasoline.
The fire department said it conducts regular sweeps to monitor the use of potentially dangerous fuel sources to keep those living in tents and adjacent neighborhoods safe.
While conducting sweeps lowers the risk of fire, Denver Fire Capt. J.D. Chism said that informing and helping those living on the streets is also a top priority.
KDVR-TV FOX 31 Denver