Our History

The Bennett Firefighters L5090 is made up of 28 members of the Bennett-Watkins Fire Rescue, a combination department established in 1951 as the Bennett Community Volunteer Fire Department. This foundation occurred after the Town of Bennett elected to dissolve the Town Fire Department that had been in place since World War II. The town was looking to decrease the costs of fighting large wheat field fires and found that putting a Community Volunteer Department in place was the best option. The original Firemen in 1951 paid 25¢ a month to belong to the Department, eventually increasing to 50¢ per month, with this money being used to equip and outfit the department. In the early 70s, the District built and placed a second station into service located on Highway 36 just east of Watkins to better serve the west side of the District. However, while this building still stands today, the district no longer owns it. In 1988 what is now known as Station 92 was built to provide these services and still does to this day. In 1981, a few determined citizens collected enough money in donations to form the Bennett Rescue Squad. Prior to this time, the Strasburg Fire Department provided all ambulance services to the I-70 corridor.

The Bennett Fire Department and The Bennett Rescue Squad would merge in 1986 into the Bennett Fire Protection District. In 1991, the District hired its first full-time career Firefighter, Joseph Bruce, to the position of Fire Chief. After Chief Bruce moved on, Bennett Fire Protection District hired Fire Technician Greg Kauffman and EMS Technician Jodi Kozel. Over the years, the District has grown in services provided by obtaining new equipment and the hiring of career staff to assist in supporting our Mission. This includes a full-time career Fire Chief, Assistant Chief, Battalion Chief, EMS Supervisor, 27 full-time career Firefighters, EMT's and Paramedics, two full-time certified emergency vehicle technicians, 2 full-time administrative assistants, and 1 certified fire prevention employee. The remainder of the membership is filled by our certified reserve and volunteer Firefighters, EMT's and Paramedics. These dedicated members generously give their time for the benefit of others and the District could not function without them.

Bennett-Watkins Fire Rescue continues to grow today, covering a district of over 325 square miles and responding to roughly 1250+ calls per year. With this growth, BWFR continues to expand, with plans for a new fire station to open late 2023 - early 2024 at the Sky Ranch subdivision to help expand coverage on the west side of the district.

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