FORT CARSON, Colo. – Ben Robinett lost everything when, two hours after the Black Forest fire started, his house burned to the ground.
Even with all of Ben Robinett’s possessions gone and his family now homeless, he continues to help anyone that he can.
Ben Robinett, a firefighter and emergency medical technician with the Fort Carson Fire Department, inspires his fellow brothers.
“I have known Ben for seven years, and I am proud to work beside him,” said Martin Flores, firefighter and EMT, FCFD. “We have been through everything together, from wild land fires, structure fires, and many life and death situations.
“You could not ask for a better partner at your side. He is as solid as a rock,” Flores said. “He still continues to come to work even though his house is gone. That shows his true passion for this job. His work ethic and dedication inspires us all.”
Ben Robinett said he was at the grocery store on Tuesday with his 16-year-old daughter, Emily, when they came out and saw the fire.
At first, they nonchalantly headed home to get his 11-year-old daughter, Abigail, and pack a few things. Once the fire shifted, though, it became a race to finish packing their belongings before the flames rapidly approached their home.
They made a few more hasty decisions in a five-minute span as to what they could take and what they would have to leave behind, and then they quickly hooked up a trailer and threw in three days worth of clothes before leaving their home.
Ben Robinett took the next two days to settle his family in with friends before returning to work on Thursday after his 72 hours off.
The standard work schedule for the Fort Carson Fire Department is 48 hours on and 72 hours off.
Ben Robinett said that his desire to help those in need is why he became a firefighter 18 years ago.
Both Ben Robinett and his wife, Ashley, feel that staying optimistic is how they will get through this tragedy.
“Even though I have lost my house to this fire, I will continue to help anyone that I can,” Ben Robinett said. “Everyone should stay optimistic and continue to move forward. If people help each other, they will get through this tough time.”
Ashley Robinett said a combination of optimism and routine is the key to making it through tough times.
Another of Ben Robinett’s station members said that he is an example for all firefighters.
“We all signed up to help those people in need, and Ben has put his feelings aside to focus on taking care of his family, and to help anyone he can during this tough time,” said Shay Ridout, paramedic, FCFD. “Ben is the most unselfish person. He will give the shirt off of his back if it is what a person needs.”
The Fort Carson Fire Department currently has nine personnel, two brush trucks and one water tender fighting the Black Forest fire, and will be taking turns switching out with other FCFD personnel as they become available, while they continue to cover the multiple areas they are responsible for.