Where we came from...

Birth of a Fire Department and First Alarm

In March of 1963 a determined band of soldiers from Lowry Air Force Base, Buckley (then a Colorado Air National Guard Base), and local residents joined with the intent of forming a fire district in east Aurora. On their third attempt in the ensuing months, and after significant hardships and trials, the Sable-Altura Volunteer Fire Department was born. It was a non-tax-supported fire unit, and existed on a few donations and sheer determination. On July 29, 1963 at 2:45 am, the Sable Altura Volunteer Fire Department answered its very first alarm.
The department had acquired a used 1,000 gallon pumper that it had to make operational, and were using loaned axes, hose, and extinguishers.

Formation of a Special District (1970’s)

Prior to this time, the Sable Altura Volunteer Fire Department existed on donations of equipment and money, and subscription services to residents. Knowing that this was an unstable source of income and equipment, the department made a move to form the Sable Altura Fire Protection District effectively creating a tax-supported district. This provided a stable and consistent source of funds for yearly operations.

Change of Direction (1980’s and early 90’s)

In the 1980’s the department moved its headquarters from 17th and Jasper to a new station at its present location. The department also built a second station at 56th and Buckley. In the early 90’s, the Board of Directors for the district asked the Cunningham Fire Protection District (a longtime friend of Sable Altura Fire Rescue) to assume primary response duties within the Sable Altura Fire Protection District. The volunteers of Sable Altura still responded in a cooperative manner with Cunningham but were not the primary contracted fire agency. It was during this time that Denver International Airport entered service and Cunningham sold Station No. 2 to the city of Denver to make room for Pena Boulevard. Once the Cunningham contract had expired, the Board of Directors decided to return the responsibilities of emergency response back over to Sable Altura Fire Rescue. We have proudly been the primary provider of fire services for the district ever since.

Progression (Late 90’s to Current)

A historic ballot initiative in 2006 secured a major bond for the District to purchase updated apparatus and equipment. In 2007, a paradigm shift in operations occurred within the department as it became increasingly focused on education and training. The Sable Altura Fire Academy evolved considerably and its curriculum reached its present length of nearly 5 months, and exceeding NFPA requirements. EMS training has also expanded exponentially as Sable Altura became an accredited Training Group under the State of Colorado. Due to the residents of our District voting to support a new mill levy measure in 2017, our agency took a leap forward in its EMS capabilities by beginning to provide 24/7 Advanced Life Support care provided by “FireMedics” (paramedics who also hold firefighter qualifications). Since 2021, Sable Altura has added more career staff to meet the increasing call volume of the I-70 Corridor.
Sable Altura  continues to reshape itself on a new foundation with a passion for education and implementing new strategies for emergency response.
Our agency is not without its challenges. As a “combination” department, we rely heavily on our Reserves, a dedicated group of disciplined and highly trained individuals who serve without pay. Volunteerism nationally is decreasing and it can be difficult to find individuals willing to make the significant sacrifices that we ask of our staff. However, we take tremendous pride in the level of service we provide to the residents of our District and continue to seek out motivated individuals who want to share in that pride.
Sable continues to look at its current and future challenges with the same determination that began over sixty years ago, when a rugged group of men and women from the community took out their own hammers and built our first fire station.  We honor their commitment to community, to service, to personal sacrifice.  It’s why we refuse to be anything but “typical”.

Want to get to know us better?

Whether you’re curious about about the fire service, joining our department, the courses we offer to the public or other responders, or anything else, we’re happy to talk with you!

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