History

fire_badgeIn the early days of the Town of Fort Lupton, fires were fought by various residents of the community. Fire buckets and ladders were situated around the town near community pumps. A bucket brigade was used to combat fires. As the town developed a water system, two-wheeled hose carts were purchased to fire_bucketreplace the fire buckets. The first report of a fire was reported in the Rocky Mountain News on November 8, 1867 when a fire destroyed 75 tons of hay, 240 bushels of grain, 9 pigs, and 30 chickens.

In 1898, the town saw a need for a fire protection and a small group started the fire department. A meeting was held on December 1, 1898 with a large community attendance. H. Burton was elected the first Fire Chief, V. A. Simons was named Captain, and E. K. Smith was appointed Secretary. A committee was formed to consider fundraising and purchase of apparatus. In 1908, the department was formally named the Fort Lupton Fire Department. Following a large early_fire_enginefire at the St. Johns building (4th and Denver), a bell was installed to summon the firefighters. From 1908 until 1920’s the phone operator would notify the one Town Marshal of an emergency call by turning on a light bulb that hung over the street at Fourth and Denver Avenue. He would then notify the fire department by ringing the bell atop the fire station. The Fire Chief at the time was John McKissick. In 1912, the Department Constitution and By-Laws were adopted.

The first truck was Ford Model “T” purchased in 1916. This unit served the community until it was replaced with a Model “A” in 1930. In 1936, a front mount pump was installed on the Model “A”. This truck is still in the department and was refurbished in 2001. The number of trucks and equipment for the department has continued to grow since 1943. In the 1940s, the siren was used to notify the department of calls. The firefighters would call the phone operator when they heard the siren and tell her the color of the month and they would get the information of the call.

In April 1950, the fire department purchased a lot at the corner of Fourth Street and Park Avenue for the construction of a new firehouse. Funds to build the station were generated through the Firemen’s Ball as well as borrowing money from the pension fund and construction was expected to cost about $8000.00. Ground was broken on June 7, 1950. In 1951, the Fort Lupton Fire Protection District was formed under a Special District. This included the surrounding area of the Town of Fort Lupton. The District Board of Directors was George Friertag, Everett Hogelin, Fred Whitney, Sr. Bill Scott, and Orvin Bennett. With this formation, a new fire station was built by the firefighters at Fourth Street and Park Avenue. A rescue truck was added in 1960. In 1955, radio communications were installed in the all of the fire units. In the late 1950s Vetter Mortuary had a 24-hour answering service and they would set off the fire siren for the next four years. Eloise Ware was then hired by the Fort Lupton Answering Service and took emergency calls dispatching the firefighters to the calls until the late 1980’s. On March 1, 1988, the fire siren was no longer used to signify an emergency call due to the new technology of voice pagers. The siren during the 1970s and 1980s was used to notify residents of curfew and water shortages.

In 1977, the Fire Protection District purchased the Whitney Building located at 1121 Denver Avenue. This became the new home for the fire department. It was remodeled to house the expanding department.

In 1982, there was an arson fire at the Ben Franklin store in the 300 hundred block of Denver Avenue. The Gambles Store was also received minor damage. The case was never prosecuted as the evidence was tainted when someone broke into Colorado Bureau of Investigations.

In 1985, Larry Richardson was hired as the Fire Marshal. In 1987, Nona Schaefer was hired as Administrative Secretary to the Board. In 1988, Brad Brown was hired as the maintenance person. In the late 1980’s, the development of Computer Aided Dispatch came into the works the dispatching service was transferred to the Fort Lupton Fire Department.

On June 30, 1992, another large fire and explosion occurred at Super S Market 230 Denver Avenue, the fire burned for 12 hours. The fire, of suspicious origin, was never prosecuted.

In August 1998, American La France Engine 2 was sold to Bill Salmon of Poudre Fire for donation to Cozumel, Mexico Fire Department.

In 1999, the new Fort Lupton Fire Protection District Patch that was designed by Firefighter Ben Ibarra was accepted by the membership.

Mintle_Denny_JrOn May 20, 2001, the Department and the Community mourns the loss of 24-year-old Captain Denny Mintle Jr. He was a three-year veteran of the department and passed away suddenly from an apparent medical condition. In 2004, the statue of Denny was placed at the front entry of Station #1. The statue was a donation by his mother Dort Mintle.

In 2002, ADCOM took over dispatch as the City of Fort Lupton could no longer fund the required staffing and costs of equipment for the dispatch center. On September 11, 2002, the Fire Department honored those lives lost during the 9/11/01 tragedy. The 1907 fire bell above the station rang for the first time in many memories.

On October 23, 2003, the Fire District broke ground for Station 2 and Training Center located at 2999 9th Street. This project included a five bay station, six dorm style-sleeping quarters, weight room, training center with a lecture hall, and five-story burn tower. This 8 million dollar bond was well received by the community as evidenced by a vote of the community. The open house was completed on September 18, 2004. Approximately four hundred community members came out to the program and dedication ceremony. On December 28, 2004, the department officially began running calls from this location.

platform_truckIn 2004, as part of the bond, a 100-foot Pierce Platform truck was also purchased to be placed at Station 2. This city was now in a time of growth and the Fire District wants to prepare for the future.

Tiffany_Paul_ChiefOn December 1, 2004, the District’s first career Fire Chief, Phil Tiffany, started duty. This day also identified as the first day of dispatching through Weld County Regional Communications Center on the new 800 MHz radio system. The Santiago’s Mexican Restaurant caught fire and the inside was totally destroyed.

On July 21, 2005, the District Board approved the hiring of the District’s first two career Firefighters and Training Captain.

On September 24, 2005, Joe Hogelin retires after 28 years of service.

On November 1, 2005, Captain Taw Tamlin and Firefighters Christopher Cross and Adam Sarazen begin employment as the District’s first career firefighters.

On February 20, 2006, Ben Ibarra was hired to complete a day crew of three firefighters. On March 7, 2006, eight reserves were sworn in to begin help with the Reserve Shift Program.

In September 2006, the Fire District purchased a flashover simulator from Loveland Fire to assist in training firefighter for the signs and conditions of flashover.

On March 31, 2007, the District loses 385 acres of the District along WCR 19 between WCR 14 and WCR 16 to Frederick Firestone as it was annexed into the city limits of Frederick after the completion of a demand energy facility.

In April 2007, Union Pacific looks to develop a large portion of property from WCR 10 to WCR 4.5 for a rail switchyard and intermodal facility. This project ultimately was abandoned by RTD.

On January 7, 2008, four additional firefighters, Troy Norby, Staughton McCann, Corey Ceretto, and Ken Rosales begin covering the District 24 hours per day seven days a week. They are assigned to Station 2 and run two person crews. In this same month, RTD decides against placing the Union Pacific intermodal and switch rail yard in the Ft. Lupton area.

On December 16, 2008, a fire and explosion rocked the Spindle/DCP Midstream gas plant on WCR 19. The fire was extinguished after several hours. One employee was injured in the blast that caused over one million in damages.

On January 16, 2009, Fire Marshal Larry Richardson retires from the Fire District after a combined 45 years of volunteer and career service. Federal Heights Firefighter Greg McGinn was hired as the Fire Prevention Captain to over see the Fire Prevention Activities.

In February 2009, a 20 year Master Plan and comprehensive Plan was completed by Emergency Services Consulting Inc. Many recommendations were made to guide the future development of the Fire District.

In July 2009, Maintenance Technician Ron Rabas retires from the District after 13 years and back up generator were installed at the Training Center as part of a Regional Grant.

In November 2009, Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) were installed in six trucks and the call totals exceeded 1000 for a total of 1005 calls for the year.

In February 2010, the District began using social media to help deliver the message by using Facebook. In May 2010, the District had a open house showing the historical documentary Fort Lupton Fire about the men and women who protect the District.

On July 27, 2010, the Fire District honors past Chief and Board President Don McPherson who passed away.

In October 2010, crews go to a 48/96 schedule and In November 2010 the District moves to a new badge as designed by Captains Shaun Austin and Chris Ceretto.

In August 2011, the District re finances the 2012 Bond which saves the taxpayers approximately $250,000.00 over a 10-year period.

December 27, 2011, Peggy Hull, a part time District Employee of over 21 years passes away after a short battle with a brain tumor and lung cancer.

February 12, 2012 the District Board of Directors announces that they would propose a 3.25 mill levy increase to the community at the May 8, 2012 election and request that the De Brucing that will expire at the end of 2014 be extended indefinitely without a cost to taxpayers. The tax impact of the mill levy measure would be approximately $2.16 per month for a home with a taxable value of $100,000.00.

April 30, 2012, assisted Southeast Weld Fire Protection District with a large fire involving three large chicken barns. Estimated losses were close to $14 million dollars and 500,000 chickens.

May 14, 2012, the Fort Lupton Fire Protection District was awarded a $33,000.00 grant by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment-Waste Tire Prevention Funding to purchase 6 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), masks and spare bottles, at a cost of $5,500.00 each.

July 2012, the Fire District Board inspects the new Engine 2602 and approves the Station 1 Renovation plan. This includes a remodel of Station 1 to include sleeping quarters for 10 firefighters and new community room.

November 2, 2012, Executive Secretary Nona Schaefer retires after 25 years of a service and honored at a community gathering for her dedicated service by family and friends. Administrative Assistant Allyson was promoted to the position of Executive Secretary. Rayna Martinez was hired for the Administrative Assistant position.

December 27, 2012, the District Board of Directors selected TC 2 as the General Contractor for the Station 1 remodel and renovation project. Their bid came in the lowest at $1,270,393.00.

February 16, 2013, Firefighter Ken Rosales was presented with his 20 years of service ring for his years of service to the community as a volunteer firefighter and Assistant Chief Gordon Alexander was recognized for his 29 years of service to the community as a volunteer firefighter. Past Chief Ron Ceretto, Chris Ceretto, and Dee Tamlin were recognized for their service to the Citizens for FLFD citizen group.

In April 2013, Firefighters Staughton McCann and Troy Norby promoted to Lieutenants.

August 12, 2013, Five new Career Firefighters begin employment for the staffing of Fire Station 1; Mark Williams, Kevin Reed, Nick Spendlow, Brian VanBeber, and Walt Adams begin four weeks of training.

August 24, 2013,grand Re-Opening Ceremony for Station 1. Over 300 citizens attend the ceremony and on September 9, 2013 begins a new era of Emergency Services for the fire district as Station 1 was staffed with two firefighting personnel to reduce response times and increased coverage for multiple calls.

On September 12, 2013, a major rainfall occurs for three days causing a significant flood throughout Weld County. Firefighters are forced to rescue several people from flood waters and deal with over 25 incidents during the day. The swift water trailer is deployed to Frederick, Milliken, Johnstown, Evans, and Greeley to perform boat rescues of over 12 people stranded due to flood waters.

On January 31, 2014, the new LED sign is officially turned on at Station 1.

February 15, 2014, Firefighter Jim Coursey was recognized for his 20 years of service to the community as a volunteer firefighter and presented with a leather helmet. Firefighter Jerry Andrews was recognized for his 17 years of service to the community as a volunteer firefighter and presented with a leather helmet.

May 2014 Captain Greg McGinn resigns to pursue other career interests.

June 2, 2014, new Career Firefighters Randon Grimes from North West Fire and Jeremiah Johnson from Clear Creek Fire were hired.

September 19, 2014, swearing in ceremony for Firefighters James May, Randon Grimes, and Jeremiah Johnson. Also sworn in are promoted Engineer Corey Ceretto and Fire Prevention Captain Chris Cross. The Honorable Judge Charles Unfug completed the oath with over 50 people in attendance.

November 1, 2014, Implemented the 2012 International Fire Code for the fire district.

December 31, 2014, The total calls increased by 9.22% for the year with 1268 responses, the highest total recorded in District history.

January 12, 2015, Three new firefighters Wendy Spronk (Hudson Fire), Kyle Kerstiens (North West Fire), and Jesse Tallent (Fort Lupton Volunteer) all begin orientation training as new career firefighters.

January 29, 2015,The District Board approved the purchase at a cost of $438,000.00 of 55 Scott X3 5500 psi Air Packs to replace the previous outdated units that were 12 years old to meet the 2013 NFPA Guidelines.

January 29, 2015, The District Board approves the request for $50,000.00 to purchase a 2015 Chem Guard Flammable Liquid Foam Trailer capable of carrying 660 gallons of foam for extinguishing flammable liquid fires. The trailer will be on display at the annual Fire Department Instructor’s Conference (FDIC) in Indiana.

February 21, 2015, District Board Members Arlen Engbarth 25 total years (20 department and 5 board), Mark Grajeda 25 total years (20 department and 5 board), Larry Leinweber 23 total years (5 department and 18 board), Don Patton 28 total years (22 department and 10 board) and Gordon Alexander 30 years (28 department and 5 board) recognized for their service to the community and the District.

April 24, 2015, Announced the hiring of Randall Weigum as the Fire Marshal. He will begin employment on May 4, 2015.

April 29 and 30, 2015, Assisted with the “Every 15 Minutes” Program at Fort Lupton High School to educate students on the dangers of texting and drunk driving.

July 28, 2015, Attended meeting at the State Capital on proposed changes to the annexation procedures for municipalities and how this affects the fire districts.

September 4, 2015, Lieutenant Staughton McCann organized the MDA Fill the Boot Campaign and the department members collected $9,511.44 for MDA

September 18, 2015, Assisted Southeast Weld Fire on a 12,000 acre grass fire that spread from Kersey to Roggen. Multiple agencies responded and assisted to extinguish the fire.

September 19, 2015, Assisted Brighton Fire on the Tavern Fire on South Main.

November 19, 2015, Fire Chief Phil Tiffany re appointed by Governor Hickenlooper for a second term serving on the State Appointed Committee for the Fire and Training Certifications Board

November 19, 2015, Fire Chief Phil Tiffany re appointed by Governor Hickenlooper for a second term serving on the State Appointed Committee for the Fire and Training Certifications Board

January 11, 2016,Two new firefighters Jesse Schleiger (Winsor and Loveland Fire) and Nathan Smith (Stratmoor Hills Fire) begin orientation training as new career firefighters.

January 28, 2016,The District Board approved the purchase of two 3000 gallon water tenders from Midwest Fire to replace two units that are over 30 years old. The cost was not to exceed $500,000.00.

February 20, 2016, District Board President Larry Leinweber recognized for 20 years of service as a Board Member and Shaun Austin as a Volunteer Firefighter.

February 28, 2016, Cabling for the Opticom at 14th Street and Denver Avenue moved underground.

March 23, 2016, Major snowstorm closes Fire District Offices.

April 4, 2016, Lt. Staughton McCann is promoted to Captain.

May 26, 2016, Board President Larry Leinweber and Director Mark Grajeda were sworn into their next term and District Fire Board Directors.

June 3, 2016, Conducted a badge presentation ceremony for newly hired Firefighters David Sanchez, Chris Schissler, Jesse Schleiger, Nate Smith, A.J. Villegas, and Promotion from Lieutenant to Captain for Staughton McCann. The oath was administered by Weld County Court Judge Charles Unfug.

June 13, 2016, Administration staff relocated to the Training Center for the remodel project.

June 17, 2016, Engineer Kenny Rosales and Firefighter Walt Adams are promoted to Lieutenant effective July 2, 2016.

June 22, 2016, A microburst causes damages throughout the City of Fort Lupton including down lines, roof damage, and light poles down

July 17, 2016, Captain Shaun Austin retires from Volunteer Service with 20 years of service to the Fort Lupton Community.

July 18, 2016, Captain McCann, Lt. Tapia, Firefighters May and Smith received a Lifesaving Award for their actions at a cardiac arrest that resulted in a saved life

September 5, 2016, Lieutenant Staughton McCann organized the MDA Fill the Boot Campaign and the department members collected $10,016.07 for MDA

September 13, 2016, Donated the 1990 Chevrolet 3500 Squad/Brush Truck to Ellicott Fire Protection District.

September 14, 2016, Escorted the Vietnam Memorial Wall through Fort Lupton Fire Protection District as it traveled to Dacono.

September 17, 2016, Firefighters James Mayor and Brian Vanbeber promoted to Engineer.

September 17, 2016, Lt. Taw Tamlin was promoted to Captain.

October 1, 2016, New Insurance Service Organization (ISO) rating of Class 2 for all properties within 5 miles of a Fort Lupton Fire Station becomes effective. Outside of 5 miles, it remains an unchanged Class 10. This is an improvement from a Class 5 and 8B.

October 6, 2016, Fire Chief Phil Tiffany completed the Special District’s Association 2016 Leadership Academy.

October 10, 2016, New career firefighters Wade Seely, Adam Valentin, Will Watts, Anthony Sparpana, and Jim McDonald started their duty.

December 21, 2016, Two new Kenworth 3000 gallon water tenders delivered by Midwest Fire. They replaced a 33 and 32 year old water tender

December 31, 2016, The total calls increased by 15.29% from 2015 with 1508 responses, the highest total recorded in District history.

January 1, 2017, Throughout the school year, firefighters assist the church and program coordinators by delivering backpacks with food to the schools to help with snack items for kids in the community. The program is known as Blessings In a Bag.

January 6, 2017, Donated two water tenders to Ellicott Fire.

January 30, 2017, Purchased a 2015 ½ ton used pickup from Purifoy Chevrolet to be outfitted as a Fire Marshal Unit with a topper, pull out tray, emergency equipment, and lettering.

February 21, 2017, New Career Firefighter Alex Bodnar, Tayler Sykes, and Justin Erbstoesser hired and begin training.

March 7, 2017, District promotes Captain Taw Tamlin to Fire Marshal.

March 22, 2017, Firefighters assist at the Anadarko Safety Matters Event at the Fort Lupton High School to educate teens on safety issues that students face such as texting and driving, alcohol, and substance abuse.

May 11, 2017, Fire District purchases six acres of property located at 13350 CR 8 for the potential location of Station 3. The property is served by a water and sewer line.

May 13, 2017, Maintenance Lead Andy Rutkosky and Lt. Walt Adams become certified Fireworks Display Operators.

May 15, 2017, New Maintenance Person Jacob Margheim starts with the District.

May 17, 2017, Firefighters Spronk, McDonald, and Watanabe receive a lifesaving award for their actions in resuscitating a person who suffered from a cardiac event and involved in a traffic accident. Fort Lupton Police Officer Paul Grossman was also recognized for his actions.

May 22, 2017, Training Captain Antonio Riofrio starts his position at the District.

June 19, 2017, Fire Academy Graduation for the fourteenth fire academy with new recruits from Fort Lupton and Southeast Weld Fire Districts. The oath was administered by Weld County Court Judge Charles Unfug.

August 13, 2017, Purchased a 2017 ½-ton pickup for the maintenance division.

August 28, 2017, New Firefighters Sarah Cooper, Nico Elliott, Ben Akers, and Antony Melendez begin their career.

September 5, 2017, Lieutenant Staughton McCann organized the MDA Fill the Boot Campaign and the department members collected $9,511.44 for MDA.

September 11, 2017, Twelve firefighters from Fort Lupton participated in the September 11 Memorial Stair Climb of 110 stories at the Qwest building in Denver to honor those who lost their lives in the twin towers on September 11, 2001.

October 21, 2017, Donated weight station equipment from Station 1 to Stratmoor Hills Fire Department. Purchased new weight room equipment for both station workout areas.

December 9, 2017, Hired 9 new volunteer members, which brings our total, volunteer positions to 26.

December 18, 2017, Promoted firefighters, James May, Wade Seely, Nick Spendlow, and Mark Williams to the position of Engineer.

December 28, 2017, Ordered a 2018 Pierce PUC Engine to replace 2603 for a total cost of $630,000.00.

December 31, 2017, The total calls increased by 4.31% for the year with 1573 responses, the highest total recorded in District history.