On February 19, 1953, builder Sam Hoffman began development of a new community which some considered too far north of town (Denver). The new community would be called Thornton, named after then current Colorado State Governor Dan Thornton. Three new model homes opened in April of 1953 off of Washington Street, and soon families began buying homes in the development and accepted the commute of 10 miles back to town. On May 26th, 1956 an election was held and Thornton was incorporated as a Colorado city. At that time, Thornton had a population of 8,640 and was one square mile is size.
Soon afterward, the new city realized its needs for a fire department and the Thornton Fire Department was formed. At that time, the department was all volunteer and responded out of a Quonset hut set on a hill in Thornton next to where the present Fire Station 1 is located on Dorothy Blvd. Any smoke from a fire could be easily spotted from the Quonset hut door.
Numerous firehouse stories have been told of how the location on the hill was also useful when the starter in the Seagrave would periodically fail. Several volunteer firefighters would push the engine out the door of the Quonset hut and down the hill so the clutch could be “popped” and the Seagrave would roar to life. Understandably, the first paid firefighter came shortly there after. Hired as a mechanic to keep the 1926 Seagrave in running condition, he also had to set down his wrenches and drive the engine to fire calls to meet responding volunteers coming from their homes and jobs.
As the city grew, so did the fire department. On September 25th 1974 a Certificate of Affiliation was granted from the International Association of Firefighters. The new charter displayed the 15 new charter members signatures. The certificate, issued by the IAFF to Local 2376 still hangs on the wall at fire station 1.
In early 1978, firefighters began walking the streets to talk to citizens about an upcoming special election. If the ballot issue would pass, Local 2376 would be recognized by the city and obtain collective bargaining rights. Their goal was to achieve and maintain harmonious relations between the city and the firefighters. They also felt that that a recognized local would provide for equitable and peaceful procedures for the resolutions of differences, maintain a spirit of cooperation and willingness to work together to best serve the community, and to establish proper standards of wages, and other conditions of employment. On July 10th1978, the citizens of Thornton agreed with the firefighters and the recognition of Local 2376 and collective bargaining rights where won in the election.
Local 2376 has grown to 90 members and still maintains active in the community. In its nearly 40 years of existence, the local maintains great pride in its special relationship with the city, community, and citizens of the City of Thornton.
Today, Thornton Professional Firefighters local 2376 proudly protect in excess of 121,000 citizens within the 36 square miles of the City of Thornton Colorado.
Thornton, just 10 miles north of downtown Denver, is adjacent to Interstate 25 and predominately residential. Thornton Fire Department is a full career department with 90 union personnel. Each of the cities 5 fire stations operate 1 ALS engine or truck. The department also staffs 4 ALS medic units. In 2013 Thornton Professional Firefighters responded to over 8300 calls.
Local 2376 takes pride in serving the citizens of Thornton and the
community with the highest level of firefighting professionalism.
Page Last Updated: Feb 01, 2014 (11:45:21)