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Dozen recruits finish fire academy; two new full-time firefighters hired

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FORT LUPTON — A total of a dozen recruits earlier this month completed 16 weeks of training at the Fort Lupton Fire Academy, with four of the grads now serving as volunteer probationary firefighters for the Fort Lupton department.

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The Fort Lupton Fire Protection District also recently added two new full-time firefighters to their roster.

Lt. Taw Tamlin said the latest training session was the 11th Firefighter Academy held at the Fort Lupton Training Center on Ninth Street since 2005, and included recruits from Fort Lupton, Platteville-Gilcrest, Mountain View, Hudson and South East Weld fire protection districts.

“We are honored that the surrounding fire departments entrusted us with their new recruits to educate them in firefighter safety, basic firefighting skills and hazardous materials operations,” Tamlin said.

Tamlin said new recruits, at least the ones from Fort Lupton, will receive a “probation book” with requirements they must fulfill over the next year before taking the final step to professional firefighter.

“It basically starts with touring our facilities, getting to know the station, the trucks and the equipment,” Tamlin said. “They can start running calls, but they can’t really do a lot until they complete the (additional requirements).”

In the meantime, Tamlin said the department added two new full-time firefighters to their roster, both of whom began their stint with the department June 18, as well as three new volunteers. The two new full-timers, Randon Grimes and Jeremiah Johnson, were hired as a result of the departure of the former Fire Prevention Captain. That position will be filled July 1 by firefighter Capt. Chris Cross, who has been with the department since 2004.

Grimes comes to Fort Lupton from the Northwest Fire Protection District near Fairplay, and is currently a volunteer with Wellington Fire Department and an intern with the Englewood Fire Department. He is a fire instructor, EMT and is trained in hazardous material operations. Grimes is slated to earn his bachelor’s degree in science this fall from Colorado State University.

Johnson comes to Fort Lupton from Clear Creek Fire Department, where he was a volunteer, and Metro Ambulance, where he served as EMT. He is a certified firefighter and EMT also trained in hazardous material operations.

“Each of these individuals comes to us with their own individual qualities ranging from previous firefighting experience, both volunteer and career, physical fitness training, computer skills and just an overall excitement for the job,” Tamlin said.

As for the promotion of Cross, Tamlin said “We are excited to have Mr. Cross in this position as well.”

The four Fort Lupton recruits are Gino Palillian, Josh Osler, Cody Grein and Matt Gonzales. Joining them at this year’s academy were Chad Greene, of Platteville-Gilcrest; Eric Schumacher, of Mountain View; Ben Kreutzer and Aaron Howland, of Hudson; and Neicoli Palizzi, Ryan Alexander, Jeremy Sandoval and Steven Walton, of South East Weld.

The new volunteers are Jesse Tallent, David Sanchez and Andrew Sampsel.

The Fort Lupton Fire Department has seen a steady increase in calls since 2007, with the exception of 2010, when those numbers dipped ever-so-slightly. The 1,161 calls responded to in 2013 were 227 more than in 2007 and 68 more than in 2012, according to the department’s annual 2013 report.