Our History

West Metro Professional Firefighters – I.A.F.F. Local 1309

Old photo of two firetrucks and station

Local 1309 is affiliated with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the Colorado Professional Fire Fighters (CPFF).

The West Metro Professional Firefighters is a proud and storied union that is recognized throughout Colorado and the IAFF 9th District. Its reputation is one of a firefighter's labor union that works hard to ensure the health and safety of our Members. Additionally, the West Metro Firefighters have influenced positive changes through community involvement, charitable philanthropy, and service to the Citizens of the West Metro Fire Rescue Community.

The present-day construction of West Metro Fire Rescue was born from the mergers and consolidations that are highlights of our history.

The Lakewood Fire Department served Lakewood, Colorado. Their firefighters unionized their members and became IAFF Local 1309 on July 10, 1958.

The Bancroft Fire Protection District served south Lakewood, Morrison, and areas of Littleton, Colorado. Their members were unionized on November 5, 1964 as IAFF Local 1528.

Vintage photo of seven firefighters and fire trucks
Vintage photo of firefighters battling a structure fire
Vintage photo of group of firefighters sitting on truck
Old photo of firefighter on car roof in water
Old photo of firefighter with hose
Old photo of two firefighters with one on a fire phone

A merger of the two departments occurred in the early 1990s to become the Lakewood-Bancroft Fire Authority. Lakewood and Bancroft firefighters officially consolidated on February 23, 1992, and as the department re-branded to become West Metro Fire Rescue, the firefighters union became the West Metro Fire Fighters IAFF Local 3430.

On January 21, 1999, in an effort to preserve the history of the Fire Department and its proud union-backed membership, a request was made to the IAFF to return to the earliest of the three Local designations: Local 1309. Not long after, the West Metro Mechanics that keep the apparatus rubber on the road as Fleet Maintenance professionals were brought into the Local. This unique and innovative relationship highlights the inclusive nature of the West Metro Firefighters Union.

As the evolution and development of both West Metro Fire Rescue and its Union continued, an opportunity to merge with the Wheat Ridge Fire Department presented itself in 2016. Soon, the Wheat Ridge Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 4881 would consolidate under the banner of Local 1309.

Over the years Local 1309 Members have formed a myriad of professional and political relationships with neighboring firefighter unions and elected officials on the local, state, and federal levels, respectively. These relationships span both West Metro administration changes, as well as the ebb and flow of Colorado and national politics. And these relationships are fostered daily by our Executive Board and through the work of our Members. This effort has shaped the Fire District and helped grow West Metro into the professional, accredited fire department it is today. All of this work is done to ensure that each and every firefighter and mechanic is treated fairly, provided with a safe and equitable working environment, receives state-of-the-art equipment and apparatus, and are compensated for the sacrifices that they and their families make each and every day.

Vintage photo of fire truck with fire prevention sign

Since its inception, many Members have served this Union on the Executive Board. Working closely with the District Board of Directors and the West Metro Administration, they have sought to maintain a positive and constructive collaboration through good times and bad, through lean budgets and challenging economic times, and difficult moments that have involved discipline and member loss. Some Local 1309 Members have gone on to become officers with the CPFF, as well as the IAFF 9th District, expanding our influence to the state and national level.

That tradition continues as countless Members give their time in other capacities; whether on Strategic Planning Teams, Hiring Boards, Public Relations Projects, Fundraising, or Political Action. Each and every dues-paying Member deserves thanks and gratitude for their Union service.

No matter what challenges lie ahead for this strong and proud union, the West Metro Professional Firefighters will continue to fight for the health and safety of our Members. And as we strive to evolve and progress, the legacy of where we came from and the sacrifices we've made to get here will never be far from our minds.