How a retiring Denver firefighter changed the industry

DENVER – After spending 34 years with the Denver Fire Department, Mark Trujillo is retiring from his firefighting job at Station 30. You might not know who Trujillo is, but he actually created a device that's used in fire stations around the world.

Trujillo said he's excited about his retirement, but he get even more excited when he looks back on the last three and a half decades working with Denver fire.

"It turned out to be what I was born to do," Trujillo said.

Both of Trujillo's brothers are firefighters. Over the years, he's made hundreds of other brothers while fighting fires.

"We're a family. We're brothers," Trujillo said in regards to his co-workers.

Perhaps no co-worker is as close to Trujillo as his old partner, Bob Terry. Trujillo brought Terry up while discussing a memorable fire he covered where a mother and child were trapped in a home.

"We were able to get the window open, and my partner at the time, Bob Terry, he got the kid out and knowing [the kid] made it [was relieving]," Trujillo said.

Some calls are a double-edged sword, but from them Trujillo and Terry created their own sword. A tool that's used to battle fires across the world.

"It's called the TNT tool. It stands for 'Trujillo n' Terry'," he said.

It's a five-in-one tool that features an axe, sledge hammer, pry bar, d-handle pole and claw. It has saved countless lives and changed the lives of some firefighters who used them.

"One was a guy who wanted to be buried with his tool, which is kind of flattering," Trujillo said.

While there's a lot to remember over his 34 years, Trujillo said it's the people he will remember most.

"I'm going to miss the guys. We've had a lot of fun together. A lot of good times and bad times, but the good outweighs the bad by bar," he said.

Trujillo plans to spend a lot of time with his wife, traveling the world during his retirement.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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