Muster will be last for Littleton Fire Rescue

As absorption by South Metro approaches, event is victory lap for historic department


When Littleton's annual Fire Truck Parade & Muster rolls down Main Street at 9 a.m. on June 16, it will be the last parade where trucks that say "Littleton" on the side won't be antiques.

The parade features trucks big, small, high-tech and vintage, from fire departments around the Denver metro area. The parade winds up at Arapahoe Community College for a day of live demonstrations and a chance to check out some of the area's coolest firefighting gear.

The procession will “muster” at ACC at 10 a.m., where Littleton Fire Rescue will demonstrate a mock car wreck rescue, ripping open a car with the Jaws of Life. Kids can participate in bucket brigade races, try on firefighters' bunker gear, and aim high-pressure hoses.

South Metro Fire Rescue, a large regional district slated to take over firefighting duties for Littleton in 2019, will have a bigger presence than in years prior to show its investment in the community, said South Metro Chief Bob Baker.

“This will be Littleton Fire's last muster as an organization, but the 170 or so employees that make up Littleton Fire will be part of our family, so they'll still be actively participating in the muster in years to come,” Baker said.

Being part of Littleton Fire's final muster is bittersweet considering Littleton's legendary firefighting legacy, Baker said.

“I've got pretty mixed emotions,” Baker said. “Littleton Fire was formed in 1890 so it's a loss. But at the same time it's a new chapter, and our hope is to continue the traditions that made LFR a premier organization in Colorado.”

Littleton Fire's history includes a number of firsts, said Mark Gorman, who retired from LFR in 2015 after 36 years with the department.

“Littleton was the first in Colorado to staff paramedics,” Gorman said. “We were the first to onboard five-inch hose for supply lines, up from the old two and a half inchers, which really improved our capabilities. Swedish Hospital selected us to train their paramedics.”

Gorman spearheaded the restoration of Littleton's 1914-vintage truck, which will lead the parade. The parade's antique trucks are pretty special, Gorman said, because of the difficulty and expense of keeping vehicles that old and rare running.

The parade and muster are a great way to connect with the community, Gorman said.

“I hope people take away that these are people who really care about your safety,” Gorman said. “People are critical of government, as they should be, but a lot of time and preparation goes into keeping citizens safe. We're proud to get a chance to demonstrate that.”

Baker said he intends for South Metro and Littleton's firefighters to keep the parade and muster going.

“I want to reassure people that we'll continue to support and expand on what they've enjoyed in the past,” Baker said. “The same brave men and women who have cared for them and their families will still be there in the future. They might just have a different T-shirt on.”

Littleton Fire Rescue Chief Chris Armstrong and department spokeswoman Jackie Erwin did not respond to requests for comment.

Organizers stressed that active-duty fire equipment is subject to being called out on emergencies during the event, and reminded parents to pack sunscreen, hats and a change of clothes in case kids get soaked.

The event, now in its 33rd year, is hosted by Mile High Hook & Ladder — an antique fire truck club — and Schomp Automotive. The Children's Hospital Colorado's Burn Center, which has long had a relationship with Schomp and the muster, will have a booth at the event.


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