Kiowa Fire District says it needs more volunteer firefighters

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ELBERT COUNTY, Colo. -- The small Kiowa Fire District in Elbert County says it is in "severe" need of volunteer firefighters.

"They are severely needed. We don’t have a big budget that we can have a lot of paid firefighters, so we really do rely heavily on getting volunteers to help us cover those calls that come in any time of day," said Kiowa Assistant Fire Chief Don Ogborn.

KFD covers nearly 350 square miles of countryside with nearly 3,000.

More people are moving to the area; there are plans to possibly build another 300 homes in this part of Elbert County.

"I’ve had to drive upwards of 30 miles to get to a call, sometimes even further," said KFD Lt. Austin Garza.

The community came together to help build and furnish a new $500,000 wing at the station. The living spaces are a significant improvement compared to the previous ones.

The hope is the improvements will help bring in more volunteers like Alex Burton, who says he’s always wanted to be a firefighter.

“Even in high school, I kind of wanted to do (fight fires). Growing up, I’d hear Grandpa talking about it, so I saw the banner so I decided to apply," Burton said.

KFD currently has 10 volunteer firefighters. It says another 10 are needed.

"That means we are going to get there faster. That means that we can provide a higher level of care," Ogborn said.

KFD said people of all ages can apply to become a volunteer firefighter.

If you’d like to learn more about volunteering, call 303-621-2233 or visit KFD's website.

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