Before Golden Fire Station 24’s ribbon-cutting and open house on Oct. 11, the Golden firefighters posted there had already been called out twice that morning. And, as the open house was winding down, they were called out again to a situation on West Colfax Avenue.
That’s exactly why the Golden Fire Department wanted to celebrate Station 24’s rededication — it’s now fully staffed 24/7, allowing GFD to respond to calls faster and more efficiently.
The station along Heritage Road near Colfax Avenue, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this fall, has been staffed sporadically with volunteers since it opened. However, GFD and city officials saw the need to have it staffed full-time with a mix of volunteer and career firefighters, Chief Kasey Beal explained.
The city recently remodeled the station to improve the bedrooms, bathrooms and other amenities for $300,000 total; and the department received federal grants to hire additional firefighters. Beal said the SAFER grants expire in March 2026, but it gives Golden time to find its own funding mechanism to maintain the staffing levels if it wishes to do so.
Beal and Mayor Laura Weinberg said they were excited to have 24/7/365 staffing at the south Golden station, which officially started on Oct. 1. They said the nearby residents, businesses and visitors will see faster response times.
Calls in city limits are about 50-50 between the northern half and the southern half, Beal stated, adding that the dividing line is around 24th Street.
The southern half of Golden includes a stretch of Interstate 70, the West Colfax Avenue corridor, the aggregate quarry, several city and county parks, shopping centers, office parks, and residential areas. It’s also considered part of the wildland-urban interface.
Weinberg remarked how much south Golden has changed since Station 24 first opened in 1983, including recent and ongoing developments. So, having a fully staffed fire station there means GFD can respond to more calls more quickly.
Beal estimated that, within city limits, about 30% of GFD’s calls happen simultaneously. With fully staffed stations in downtown and south Golden, the department can respond to simultaneous calls much better now, he said.
Golden also has a dual-response agreement with Pleasant View Fire Department for I-70 calls, Beal and Lt. Alan Johnson described. With Station 24 fully staffed, Golden can back up Pleasant View and reciprocate on calls much more now, they said.
Johnson described how when firefighters are called out to a scene that’s very spread out, such as a large business, or to a situation that can escalate quickly, it’s safer to have more than one crew respond.
‘Here to help’
Johnson, who’s now posted at Station 24, said having it fully staffed sooner would’ve been helpful on several major calls, such as the 2019 structure fire in Golden Terrace Mobile Home Park and last October’s incident at The Rock Rest Lodge.
He even pointed out how, the night before the rededication ceremony, the crew responded to a cardiac arrest call very close to Station 24. The response time was much faster than it would’ve been responding from Station 21 in downtown Golden, which can make all the difference in life-and-death situations, Johnson continued.
Matt Murphy, a volunteer firefighter who lives in the adjacent Heritage Dells neighborhood, hoped these staffing levels would help make Golden safer and its community members healthier.
“We’re always here to help when someone’s having probably the worst day of their lives,” Murphy said.
He described how there’s a strong sense of community pride for the department, its volunteers and its staff; and GFD’s personnel reciprocate that pride in their community. He encouraged his fellow Goldenites to consider volunteering for the fire department, saying, “It’s a great way to show you love the community.”
Whether people want to learn more about the department or just want to see the newly rededicated station, Johnson said Goldenites are more than welcome to stop by Station 24 anytime. Its doors are always open to the public, and the firefighters are happy to give tours to people of all ages.
“This is (Golden’s) station,” Johnson continued, “and we’re excited to show it off.”