History

 

CELEBRATING OVER 120 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE PLATTEVILLE/GILCREST COMMUNITIES

Vision, Ingenuity, Compassion, Dedication and Tradition

These words can be used to describe the men who founded the Platteville Volunteer Fire Department.

Vision

Recognizing the need to answer people's call for help

Ingenuity

In the beginning they started with buckets, then a hose cart and a ladder. They made due with what they had to help people in need.

Compassion

A desire to alleviate others' distress

Dedication

Self-sacrificing devotion to help others

These men brought all of these feelings together to lay the foundation of this organization. Maybe unknowingly these men started a Tradition of the brotherhood of fire fighters which has withstood the test of time. The standards were set many years ago and hopefully we have maintained the level of service which has been passed on by our founding fathers. 

We pause to say thank you to those who had the Vision, Ingenuity, Compassion, and Dedication which started the Tradition of this Fire District. 

Platteville – 1895
L. Benoy, Dee Birkle, Lou Birkle, J.T. Bohlander, C.E. Bruce, L.C. Camp, Fred Dudley, Carl Hammitt, Pier Hogue, Ben Holvorsen, Lou Johnson, Harry Knowlton, Frank Koykendall, Jim Koykendall, Charles Mayfield, Ivan Morgan, Jim Peters, Sig Solemen, R. Richart, R. Stanton and Frank Vollman.            

Gilcrest – 1960
Carlos Alvidrez, Lorenzo Alvarez, Bud Borchers, Oliver Belcher, Alfonso Chacon, Richard Chacon, Larry Cogburn, Norm Cogburn, Jim Drewer, Nick Garcia, A.F. Huerter, D.R. Kline, B.H. Lohrey, Oliver Lorenz, Fred Magnuson, Buck Magnuson,

Arch McKay, R.E. McLeod, Tom Redman, Fred Rexus, Artenio Sanchez, Harry Schmidt, D. Soto and Joe Stockton

Platteville/Gilcrest Fire District – July 9, 1951
First Board of Directors -- Robert Peters (Pres), Russell Johnson (V.P.) E.S. Linden (Sec/Treas), Charles Kunzman and Charles Leitz      

1895 A group of men organized the Platteville Fire Department.

1916 Hose Cart was purchased.

1918-20 Second Hose Cart was purchased.

1919 On September 26th a dance was held to raise funds to purchase wrenches and gaskets for the hose wagon. The accounting for the dance was – Hall Rent $11.55, Music $25.00, War Tax $7.70, Advertising $5.25, Ticket Fasteners $ .25 – Total Expenses = $49.75 Receipts = $88.00 Total Revenue = $38.25

1920 Fire Fighters H.C. Dennis, J.C. Ottesen and Baylis completed repairs on the fire bell tower.

1930 On December 11th voted to donate $5.00 to the Community Christmas Tree Fund.

1933 On January 12th Fire Fighters - Louis, Lloyd, John and Melvin Camp were all in attendance. On October 4th Mayor Mason was in attendance and asked about placing the fire siren on top of the Platteville National Bank as suggested by the State Board of Fire Underwriters.

1935 On August 1st discussed getting new carts with rubber tires for more speed.

1938 Rusty Hyde built a four wheeled cart with rubber tires – it is stored at Gilcrest Station 2 today.

1941 New equipment was suggested – one dozen fire buckets with round bottoms, two gas masks, 100 feet of half inch rope, 100 feet of inch and one half fire hose with a nozzle.

1946-47 Members held various fund raisers – scrap metal drives and dances to raise money for a fire truck.

1947-1948 Ford was purchased and the fire fighters assembled it at the old Starr’s Garage. The Town of Platteville agreed to maintain the truck.

1948 The first type written minutes appeared – On October 25th
of this year fire fighters Ivan, Bryan, Don, Reyburn, Gerold and Ralph Morgan were present.

July 9, 1951 The Fire District was formed – Civil Action #11868.

Nov 1951 The District built a new building located at 410 Goodrich Ave. in Platteville.

1952 The second fire truck, a 1952 Reo pumper was purchased.

October 11, 1960 A group of men organized the Gilcrest Fire Department.

1962 Bud Bethke donated a building, which was moved to the back of the Town of Gilcrest’s lot to house the hose cart received from the Platteville Fire Department.

1965 Purchased two lots in Gilcrest, 215 Main Street.

1966 Construction of a station at Gilcrest was completed.

1967 Purchased a 1951 Jeep.

1968 Platteville received their new 1968 GMC/Howe pumper truck and they also received a 1963 Ford Econoline rescue
unit donated by Public Service Company. The 1952 Reo was moved from Platteville to Gilcrest.

1970 A 1935 75 foot ladder truck was purchased for Platteville.

1971 A 1952 Chevrolet Van (equipment truck) was purchased from Kersey Fire Department to be placed at Gilcrest.

1972 Successful bond election was held.

1973 New station was built at 303 Main Street in Platteville. A 1973 Ford/American LaFrance pumper truck was purchased for Gilcrest. At this time the 1952 Reo was moved back to Platteville and the 1948 Ford was placed in Gilcrest.

1975 Great Western Sugar Company donated a 1975 Dodge Van which was built as a rescue unit.

1977 Pagers were purchased for all active fire fighters. A 1948 Willys and a new 1977 GMC/Emergency One mini pumper were purchased for Platteville. The 1951 Jeep and the 1963 Ford Econoline were sold. An addition was put on the Gilcrest Fire Station.

1979 A 1975, 3,500 gallon, International tanker was purchased from Western Hills Fire Department and housed at Platteville and the 1948 Willys was sold.

1980 Successful bond election was held. Two trucks were purchased - a 1981 GMC/Emergency One mini pumper for Gilcrest and a 1981 Ford/Emergency One pumper for Platteville. After these two trucks were put into service the 1948 Ford pumper, 1952 Reo pumper and the 1952 Chevrolet van were sold.

1984 Part time fire fighter was hired, Glenn Miller, and a 1976 Chevrolet 2,000 gallon tanker was purchased for Gilcrest.

1985 Full time Fire Marshal was hired, Glenn Miller, and the 1935 ladder truck was sold.

1986 A 1986 Ford rescue unit was purchased for Platteville and a 1986 Chevrolet cab & chassis was purchased to replace the 1976 cab & chassis for the Gilcrest tanker.

1987 The 1975 Dodge rescue was sold.

1988 A new 1989 Chevrolet pickup was purchased for the Fire Marshal.

1989 A 1989 Ford/FMC pumper was purchased for Platteville and the 1968 GMC/Howe was sold.

1990 A meeting room and kitchen addition was built onto the Gilcrest Station and a 1990 Ford/Super Vac rescue was purchased for Platteville.

1992 New two story addition was built onto the Platteville Station.

1993 New 1993 Ford/Pierce pumper purchased for Gilcrest and the 1973 Ford/American La France was sold to Morning Fresh Farms.

1994 New 1995 Kenworth tanker purchased for Platteville.

1995 Purchased building and property from Weld County, located at 207 Main Street in Gilcrest. It is now known as Gilcrest Station Two. Sold the 1975 International tanker.

1996 Purchased a 1996 Ford F-350, set up as a rescue truck for Gilcrest (SV-1).

1997 Purchased a 1998 International/E-One brush truck for Platteville.

1998 Sold the 1977 GMC/E-One brush truck.

2000 District Chief, Wes Scott, was hired to replace Glenn Miller.

2001 Purchased an International/SVI medium duty rescue truck for Gilcrest and moved the 1996 (SV-1) to Platteville. Also purchased a 1994 Ford cab & chassis and put a new 3,000 gallon tank on it for Gilcrest and sold the 1986 Chevrolet tanker. Ops Chief Brian Bostron was hired.

2002 Purchased a new H-1 Hummer, brush truck for Gilcrest.

2003 Sold the 1980 GMC/E-One brush truck. Fire Prevention Tech, Russ Kissler was hired.

2004 Purchased a Spartan/SVI heavy duty rescue truck for Platteville and sold the 1986 Ford rescue and 1990 Ford rescue. Administrative Assistant, Gary Sandau was hired.

2005 Purchased a 2006 Ford Explorer command vehicle.

2006 Sold the 1989 Chevrolet pickup. Training Officer, Ryan Fuller was hired. Wes Scott resigned as Chief and Wendy Mast was hired as Secretary. The Platteville Station was remodeled; four offices were built, the front of the building was squared off and a new floor was poured in the bays with a drain the full length of the station.

2007 Began construction on new station at Gilcrest. Removed the grass area east of the Platteville Station and poured cement
for additional parking and training area. Storage building donated and moved to the south side of the Platteville Station. Wendy Mast resigned.

2008 Cassie Selmer was hired as Secretary. Ryan Fuller resigned. Dedication held for the new Gilcrest Station. Bill Evans was hired as Training Officer.

2009 New Rosenbauer engine put into service. Andy Hein & Tony Riofrio hired as full time Fire Fighters and began shifting 24 hours per day Monday through Friday. Gary Sandau promoted to Chief. Cassie Sellmer resigned and Erin Medina was hired as Secretary. Randy Rutheford, Daniel Bass and James Myers were hired as Fire Fighters and will begin shifting 24/7/365. New Kenworth cab & chassis purchased for the tender at Gilcrest.

2010 Our Reserve program was up and running, we brought on 8 new reserves, purchased a new engine, another Rosenbauer (a sister engine). Travis Homyak, Adam Mitchell and Keith Heater were hired as TFTs and were later hired as full time. Tony Riofrio moved to the floater position and Jeff Duran was hired.

2011 Daniel Leonardo was hired full time; we brought on 7 new reserves. Purchased a swift water rescue boat and trailer and started working on the training grounds at the Gilcrest Station. With the addition of the new engine, the conversion of the Gilcrest Rescue (3622) into a Light and Air truck (3653) began.

2012 Asst. Chief Durkee, Lt. Ward Watson, FF Dwight Kilpack, and FF Nick Loper were all hired full time. 

2013 Tyler Austin was hired full time.  The Gilcrest station began 24/7 operation with a minimum of 2 full-time members.  Banner Health also began housing an ambulance at the station to meet the needs of the community.  Nine part-time firefighters were brought on to fill a 3rd seat at the Platteville Station.  Jolene Schneider was hired as Office Manager. Chief Sandau retired and Asst. Chief Durkee was promoted to District Chief. Two natural gas pickup trucks were purchased through the CMAW Grant.

2014 Travis Homyak transitioned to Fire Prevention Technician and Andy Wazny was hired full time.  A promotional process was held and Adam Mitchell, Russ Kissler, and Dan Bass were promoted to Captains.  Andy Hein, Randy Rutheford, and Tony Riofrio were promoted to Lieutenants. Training grounds construction was completed and dedicated on September 6, 2014.  Land was purchased in Platteville to design and build a new future headquarter station. Brush truck 3633 was designed and built by GFE.

2015 Erin Christensen resigned and Vanessa Wader was hired full time as an Administrative Assistant.  The PGFPD Wildland program was jumpstarted with our department going out on several local, regional, and national deployments.  Our members gained valuable experience and our department gained positive recognition as a valuable resource.  Mutual Aid and Auto Aid Agreements were put into place with Front Range Fire to enhance our services.

2016 Chad Green, Randy Greenbaum, Joe Bechina, and Dante Frascona were hired full time to fully staff the 3rd seat in Platteville.  Adam Mitchell resigned.  Ward Watson transitioned to Fleet Manager Captain and Herb George was hired as the new Training Captain.  Andy Hein was promoted to Captain, Andy Wazny was promoted to Lieutenant, and Tyler Austin and Toby Wheeler were promoted to Engineers.  A new front line fire engine was designed and started construction for delivery in 2017.