Across the United States many great men and women are giving their time and energy for a great cause. They volunteer hoping to save lives, protect property and help out their fellowmen. Each year more and more people step up to join this worthy cause.
Here in Morgan, 15 men and women have spent the last couple months training to fight fires. Six others have taken the EMT course so they too can assist in emergencies.
Few people understand the sacrifices made by these men and women. During the time they are on call whether it is morning, night or weekend hours the emergency personnel must stay within the county approximately 5-10 minutes of Morgan’s fire station.
Austin Turner, a local EMT, shares that it is “hard on a family” and “kind of a rough lifestyle.” However he also shares how grateful he is to be able to help others out and have the knowledge and skills to be able to save lives.
It is a trade off, but these dedicated workers wouldn’t have it any other way. These amazing volunteers don’t bat an eye as they are excited to serve their community.
Tierell Remund, one of the new firefighters, has wanted to be a firefighter since he was little. When he was 18 he took a job installing fire alarms and this only furthered his desire to become a firefighter. He understands the sacrifices he will make having a wife and two children at home, but is excited about the opportunity to help others.
A lot of us don’t stop to think about these emergency services until we are placed in a situation where we rely on them. We fail to think of the birthdays, holidays and sleep they often miss. To them it is another day on the job.
Each year Morgan’s ambulance services over 300 calls, last year hitting over 330, while the Morgan Fire Department goes on about 100 to 150 calls. Each call equates to at least several hours and is as varied as the emergencies they are called out for. Some fire calls can last hours but some have even taken days or weeks to control.
Each time an ambulance goes out, it must secure the person and transport. When they return back to the station, their job is not done. They spend time filling out paperwork, putting away supplies and getting the gear ready for the next call.
With the addition of the new firefighters, two brigades were added in the outer reaches of the county. This is a big thing for Morgan as these areas have longer response times. Axcel Blongquist and Zac Mecham who were in the latest firefighter training work at East Canyon. Morgan City has agreed to train these two as firefighters and the resort has purchased a brush truck as well as offered to pay half the cost of a pump for the water tender in return for the training. It is a win-win situation for Morgan as these two will be able to be sent out at first signs of a fire. They will take control of the situation until the rest of the Morgan crew are able to join them.
Brady Toone, Logan Robinson, Ernie Durrant, Cale Clark and Ron Trussell work at Holcim. These five were trained in firefighting and will be a great asset in this region. Just like the trade with East Canyon resort, Holcim is grateful for the opportunity to have some of their employees trained and is looking to purchase some equipment to add to the efforts. Ernie Durrant, safety manager at Holcim, is excited about this opportunity. After hearing about the training, he signed right up and will be part of the crew ready to start fighting fires at Holcim until the regular crew can get there.
Other trainees are Travis Huerta, Jamie Greenwald, Mauricio Melendez, Shannon Barker and Landon Walker. Each of these trainees are already trained and running with the ambulance crew but wanted to be cross trained so they would be ready to help with any kind of emergency.
Right now there are 28 EMTs and 23 firefighters. After the completion of the class out of the 51, 16 will be firefighter/EMT cross trained. The 15 new firefighters will be a great addition, whether they are helping from Croydon or East Canyon or running with the regular team. Darin Gardner, Austin Emery and Tierell Remund are all a part of this course and are excited to join the team.
Those joining the EMT team are: Tyler Rose, Baylee Bice, LaVar Edwards, Teisha Emery, Casey Mecham and Nasheena Stratton.
Not only will we have more manpower, but the Morgan Fire Department was able to acquire two FEPP water tenders free through a federal program. These tenders will be able to carry water to places to help out in the firefighting efforts.
Morgan County Fire Warden Boyd Carrigan is excited about all of these new changes within the department. Carrigan has been with the department for 20 seasons but has recently come on full time as fire warden. He is excited for this new list of EMTs and firefighters because the need is great and “it is getting harder and harder to find volunteers that are available during the daytime.”
Morgan County Emergency Services Director and local EMT Terry Turner is excited as well. He shares that the addition of the new EMTs will make it a lot easier to schedule. More people equals more manpower.
He recognizes that it takes dedication and he has definitely given his share. Turner has been with the department since 1983. Having a passion for helping others, he shares that he really enjoys doing it. Some of this passion has even rubbed off on his children as two of his sons, Eric and Austin, are also EMTs.
It is a family affair for many. Even though they may not actually be EMTs or firefighters themselves, Morgan County Fire Chief Dave Rich credits “an extremely good wife” for his being able to serve since 1965. One thing resonant between the group, they all have a great desire to help others.