It was 50 years ago on Feb. 9, 1964 that a young firefighter by the name of Robert Babcock was tragically killed in the line of duty. Babcock, who joined the Golden Fire Department in 1960, was on his way to a fire when he accidentally fell off the …
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It was 50 years ago on Feb. 9, 1964 that a young firefighter by the name of Robert Babcock was tragically killed in the line of duty. Babcock, who joined the Golden Fire Department in 1960, was on his way to a fire when he accidentally fell off the back of the fire truck just a few blocks from fire station 1, hitting his head on the pavement. He was 30 years old.
After serving in the U.S. Navy, Babcock began working for the Colorado Power Company, now known as Xcel Energy. He was born March 6, 1933 and left behind a wife and two children ages 2 and 3.
“It is rare for a fire department to have a line of duty death (LODD), especially in a small town. While we read the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports and learn from other LODDs and near misses, we should also pause to remember our own and the lessons learned,” Administrative Capt. Tom Young for the Golden Fire Department wrote in an email sent to GFD personnel.
In the 135-year history of the Golden Fire Department only two firefighters have been killed in the line of duty including John Brown who was killed during a training exercise on Aug. 8, 1919.
A bell inscribed with Babcock’s and Brown’s name hangs on the bumper of Engine 21.
Dan Richards, former fire chief at GFD gave an interview in 2004 with Captain Young and Matt Finely, engineer, in which he recalled the day that Babcock passed. Richards died of lung disease on March 18, 2008.
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