This month, as we remember our freedoms we enjoy in our state and in our country, we celebrate our local heroes for working hard to keep us safe.
Sometimes our freedoms can be taken away from us in an instant in the case of an emergency, but luckily our heroes at Syracuse City Fire Station work tirelessly to protect us and do everything in their power to keep us and our freedoms alive.
Their mission statement says, “As professional firefighters, we will respond to, serve, and assist the citizens of our community in their time of need with courage, conviction, and compassion.”
And, the men and women at Syracuse Fire have, without a doubt, served with courage, conviction, and compassion since 1965. The chiefs who have served the city have included Keith West, Roy Miya, Thomas Jensen, Dale Snyder, Craig Cottrell, and today’s is Aaron Byington.
Deputy Chief Jo Hamblin (right) and Captain DeWayne Hitchcox (left) have been with the Department for many years and they talked about their experiences and time at Syracuse Fire.
In 1965, the Syracuse City Fire Department was built. A 1946 Ford Pumper was purchased as the fire truck. Keith West was elected as the fire chief and 25 volunteers were hired to come to the rescue when the siren sounded.
When Fire Chief West resigned, Roy Miya was appointed by the city council as the new fire chief. Roy Miya served the Department for 19 years. After Chief Miya, Chief Thomas Jensen was appointed. Chief Jensen brought pagers to the Syracuse Fire Department. In 1968, the fire station bought a larger fire truck as well as built a meeting room for the firefighters. Back then, the chief’s salary was $25 dollars per month. Volunteers earned two dollars for each meeting attended, three dollars for any fire service they assisted with for the first hour, and then two dollars an hour after that.
In 1994, the Department moved into a brand new three bay fire station. The new station was needed because of the growing population. Dale Snyder became the new fire chief in 1998, and was involved in managing the rapidly changing needs of the fire Department for the next nine years.
In 2002, Syracuse City purchased two ambulances and began providing ambulance services to its residents; a service that was previously provided by the Davis County Sheriff’s Office. In order to staff the ambulance, Syracuse City hired its first full-time firefighters.
Craig Cottrell took over as the new chief in 2007 as the city saw new and expected growth. Plans were made to move the Fire Department to a new station that would serve both the current needs, as well as future needs of the City.
In 2009, the Department moved into the new station at 1869 South and 3000 West. This station includes integrated training space, a large training room, as well as offices and living quarters for the firefighters.
Today, the Department operates with three full-time and one part-time firefighters/EMTs and receives about 1,000 emergency calls per year. The men and women at the Syracuse City Fire Department are some of the heroes that serve our city tirelessly.
Deputy Chief Jo Hamblin developed a love for firefighting as a child. He said that his Grandma used to take him to some of the stations in California. He said, “[It was] kind of neat meeting the firefighters.”
After getting his EMT, Deputy Chief Hamblin needed to maintain the hours to keep the certification. He said that he came down to the station and spoke with Chief Tom Jensen. “I came in and he gave me a pager. I hadn’t had any fire experience at all but I was able to get all my certifications here at the Department,” he said.
Captain Dwayne Hitchcock has been at the Syracuse Fire Department for 23 years. He said since he’s started, he’s been through five different chiefs.
“When I first started, the Department was different than what it is today. Soon after I started, when I went out on a call for a grass fire, I remember being so excited because it was my first grass fire. After being out there for 11 hours, it wasn’t near as fun as I thought it would be,” he said. “It’s more of a job today but I still get excited about going out.”
Deputy Chief Hamblin said that even though it’s difficult at times, his love for the job has not stopped.
As members of this community, we are forever in debt for the service our local heroes give. This month, let us reach out and thank those who give so much for us to enjoy our freedoms.
For the full article, read about the Syracuse Fire Station on our website at syracuseconnection.com. There was too much to be said about the Syracuse Fire Station that we couldn’t fit it all in this publication