LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4)– The Littleton Fire Department officially disbanded on New Year’s Day 2019 after 128 years. Now, South Metro Fire Rescue will take over the department’s duties.
“Tradition and honor are really big in the fire service and certainly at South Metro Fire we wanted to make sure we honored the 128 years of tradition that Littleton Fire Rescue had established,” South Metro spokesmanEric Hurst said.
Firefighters gathered for the handing off ceremony at Fire Station 11 in Littleton on Tuesday morning. A flag ceremony officially marked the end of the Littleton Fire Department which was founded in 1890.
“It’s a great history we’ve been really the innovators of the fire service for many years,” said Littleton Fire Department Interim Chief Jeff Tasker.
Littleton Fire Rescue was one of the first fire districts in the state, owned one of the first engines and in the 1970’s they were the first in Colorado to make EMT’s part of their day-to-day operation.
“Littleton Fire Rescue had one of the very first paramedic programs which is a huge accomplishment. Today about 70 percent of the calls they go on are actually medical emergencies,” Hurst said.
Adding Littleton’s forces to South Metro means the department will serve more than 500,000 people. That makes it the second largest fire district in Colorado.
“It’s bittersweet for sure. We have a culture and a lifestyle we have been accustomed to in Littleton but it’s better, too. So we’re going to a more sustainable fire department, a bigger brotherhood and sisterhood,” said Littleton Fire Department Interim Chief Jeff Tasker.
While the name on the trucks may no longer read the same, the work they say will not change.
“Really for decades Littleton and South Metro have been great neighbors with each other and helped each other out on all kinds of emergencies, the goal being that it’s the community that needs help it doesn’t matter what the truck says on it,” Hurst said.